Pascal Derrien

4 years ago · 3 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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Eight Days A Week

Eight Days A Week

After The Party

What a heck of a party that was. It was morning, it was roughly around 6.30 and I was heading back into sobriety territory. I was sitting on the rooftop of a fancy duplex somewhere in the North of Paris. I really had a smashing view of the city from this posh apartment in the heart of Montmartre. I don't think I even knew who owned or who lived there but the sun was about to get up and that was a cool reason enough to be there. While I was staring at the horizon I found that my coffee had a strong taste of toothpaste for some reasons. Back in the flat, there were a few sleeping night casualties and other zombies who had enjoyed a tad too much the overall nocturnal festivities. My mind wandered.

Routine & Famine

We were all in our early 20's, the eldest was twenty five and the youngest twenty one I think. Some of us like me had been working for a few years already but most of us recently or not had settled in a life routine that neither satisfied or mystified us. Jacques and Elodie hade been in a relationship for a long time and I guessed they would be having a baby together, Bertrand and Sophie were consumed by their newly, mutual and exclusive passion for each other. Doc Wildy was drifting dangerously away from the gang with various substance experiments while Manu, Greg and Axel had become fine beer connoisseurs, Manu told me once that life was such a bore that maybe it did explain why he was getting carried away with consumption galore.

For any of us, there was never too much sleep from the onset of any given Friday to the extreme end of the Sunday evening. At the end of the month it was not rare either that some of us had to borrow money to get by. All of us had made the big adulthood life statement that consisted in leaving our parents nest, we all aimed and ought to find something in us that we could not find at home. None of us knew what it was and maybe that was what the big puzzle of life called the best. The thing is we had to make practical choices between buying food, delay the bills or have a minimum of cash to administer our lives a necessary dose of autonomy. My mind wondered.

For a while now I was finding hard to settle with the others in the pack. I had been going thru the week end motions with no particular anticipation after I had crashed big time on a relation. It had been the most profound and unconditional to date, in turn the break up produced a massive passion hangover who itself triggered an unwelcome corrosivity of emotions if that how you can call it. Loss, corrosion, attrition or destruction led me to undertake a vast and prolific collection of one night stands, love auditors would called for intervention, this was devastation, annihilation, obliteration I bet some would have even said demolition, I left ruins behind me when all I wanted but failed to understand was how to find a friend.

I had worked very hard, squeezed as much overtime as my body could including week ends but I finally secured a leave of absence that could be extended. I left for New York for three months. I hopped on a plane. My heart pondered

New York Diaries

I landed on a sunny day, I slept on the floor of a friend for two months , had most of my breakfasts on a New York roof, I was constantly blown away by the energy of the city and I embraced it to the full. I was attending parties, music gigs, I travelled thru the city back and forth, I went to places where cab drivers would not dare going to ... I felt so alive. When the visa waiver dangerously hit its limit I did not see it as a problem instead I moved to 103rd Harlem.

I made friends at the cheapest hostel I had found, fair to say I was the palest in the hood but a few local homeless guys and the hostel manager quickly adopted me, they called me Mad Frenchie. I used to sleep by day and wandered through the night. I don't recall how I had set a foot in it the first time but I often ended up in this late night dinner somewhere near Central Park.

Most late nights or early mornings It became a ritual stop over before heading back further North of the city. I became a regular and Liz who worked there most nights ended up chatting with me when service was quiet. She was probably 10 years older than me, I think Liz had a child and she thought my accent was exotic. We developed a sister /brother relationship, if I was not reading a book when she was busy, we had lengthy chats about anything and as long as it was during her shift Liz would refill my coffee mug at will and give away a few pastries for good measure. My soul liked being there

Onion Soup

I stared at the beautiful sky thinking Paris was a beautiful city but even in the city of lights there were still a few inner demons to fight. '' I am back three months'' or  ''man you need to be loaded like Crésus to own a flat like this in Paris'' I told myself. I noticed some people were getting busy in the kitchen, a few minutes later a tall blond girl with a big American smile offered me a bowl of onion soup. I declined the proposition pretexting that full of coffee was my mug.

How could she know and I did not tell her either that at this very moment I would have given anything to have even only the smallest sip of a New York coffee cup.

People & Stuff

Photo Credit
Paris Sunset

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Written Content Copyright 2017 -Pascal Derrien-
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Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #38

Lack of sleep now equates to feeling like the flu!

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #37

thanks so much for enlightening us with your comment nowadays I don't sleep much but the sleep I need I reallly need it otherwise I cannot really function 😀Lisa \ud83d\udc1d Gallagher

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #36

Wonderful trip back to the past. The past always brings with it both good and not so good memories. I thought my 20's were harder than my teen years. I married at 21, had my son at age 22 and waited 4.5 years before I had my daughter. We were still kids raising a baby back then but we thought were were SO grown up. Well, we had to grow up fast lol. I do remember working second shift back then and I would go out dancing 1 time per month on Friday nights with my girlfriends after work. I know I was much more carefree back then too. Can you imagine getting by on 1-3 hours sleep now?

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #35

indeed les voyages forment la jeunesse as they say 😏

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

4 years ago #34

Wow nice flashback Pascal Derrienpasca We are all adventurously crazy when we are 20 I guess. So many experiences and so many lessons learnt just by meeting people. Life is indeed a blessing.I need to book my tickets to nowhereland I need a break sighh.

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #33

thanks Vincent Andrew appreciate the encouragements I am like you not too keen to go back there unless it is a quick virtual tour like this article :-)

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #32

thanks for dropping by Joyce \ud83d\udc1d Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee it can be a magic or a tragic place depending on :-)

I remember spending a night in Central Park.

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #30

ah thanks Aaron Skogen I kind of thought that one would resonate with you alright :-) thanks for the nice words :-)

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #29

Yea i cherish those days as they provide inspiration for being a little more adventuresome. But alas, today i risk more than i did back then. Hot-rods, motorcycles and boats all traded in for the mini-van and car seats. That day i realized it was time to reduce my exposure to my youth was somewhat surreal. We were in the hot-rod on the way to work and some joker that thought he had a hot car gave me the look. Instantly i was watching the stop light like a light tree at the strip. Lit um up smoked him, and with a smirk on my face perused the rear view mirror to let him know he had been beat. Unfortunately i didn't see him but my baby girl laughing and enjoying the sudden escape from my reality. Continuing the theme of fish my wife had a look of how she was going to use me for cut bait. That day the for sale sign went up on my youth. Ps. yes i did contemplate how to get the car seat on the motorcycle. This produced another cut-bait moment when i casual mentioned it to my wife.

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #28

many thanks Harvey Lloyd for sharing the mini van story or is it sardines blues 😀

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #27

Ah the days of old when knights were bold....When i can recall a scene from my youth there always seemed to be magic in that moment. But back then i measured things differently. Today its mini-vans retirement plans and children playing in the sand. Thanks for the walk through those days when life was simple and good times were spontaneous and not part of the monthly schedule. Ps. after a few years of the mini-van adventure i asked mom and dad if i could come back home and restart my youth. They told me i was their son but now you are family, and family, like fish start to smell after three days.

Very welcome Pascal, we enjoy your articles

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #25

thanks Bill Stankiewicz, \ud83d\udc1d Brand Ambassador short & sweet :-)


Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #23

yeah this weird ''tradition'' in France at some parties in our twenties to have this early dish I need to dig about that, yes I had two framed pictures in my office one of the Eiffel Tower under the snow and another one of NY I relate to the two cities very closely but live in none of them :-) cheers Dean Owen :-)

Dean Owen

4 years ago #22

I can almost hear the Eric Serra soundtrack playing in the background as I read this. Glad you didn't try the onion soup as that would surely have made you hop straight back on the plane....

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #21

thanks debasish majumder gladly accept your compliment on this one 😉

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #20

cheers Doc Ian Weinberg appreciate you read it and that the narrative was working well enough to keep you entertained ✍️

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #19

thank you for reading and commenting Danish Charles and thanks to Javier for sharing 😋

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #18

many thanks Aleta Curry for dropping by you may like my previous one then it is much lighter 😏

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #17

Praveen Raj Gullepalli I think it was Confucius who said something along the line that nothing new happens it is just that the same stuff happens to new people 😏

Ian Weinberg

4 years ago #16

Thanks for sharing this slice of life dripping with authenticity. Great narrative as always Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #15

thanks Lisa Vanderburg I am not sure how differently I would do things unless I was given the power to alter the trajectory of a few tragic events :-)

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #14

ah thank you glad you liked it Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman it is always good to have you on the comment thread, I think we all have there in one way or the other :-)

Great story, Pascal. Youthful times trying to determine who we were and who and what we wanted to be. You have a special talent in story telling, whether fact or fiction. I enjoyed this piece.

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #12

It's like you were on the outside looking in; is that how we view our past? I do anyhoo. Reminds me of that old adage 'youth is wasted on the young' but imagine if we were given it again...who'd really want it? If you had to write the story then, would it have an entirely different perspective? Great writing - very thought-provoking Pascal Derrien!

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #11

thank you Monsieur Gert Scholtz I would not say it was over easy but I enjoyed cracking the eggs on that one :-)

Gert Scholtz

4 years ago #10

Pascal Derrien I really enjoyed reading about this "party" and your time in the Big Apple. Creative and original as you do Pascal!

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #9

that's a very kind comment David Navarro L\u00f3pez that I appreciate more than you may think from start to finish :-)

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #8

oh thank you for dropping by Jim Murray yeah the wild years :-)

David Navarro López

4 years ago #7

I only wish one day I could be writing like you do. If you don't enjoy parties anymore, like I do myself, it happens to me that very seldom writers get me engaged from start to finish, most bore me right from the start, others, takes a little longer, but with you, I always find your writings too short, you always have me willing a little more of it. Thank you for your lines.

Jim Murray

4 years ago #6

Nice autobiographical piece, Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #5

Grass is always greener elsewhere syndrome :-) I suppose. For me the fundamental change is that I actually don't really enjoy parties anymore I get bored very quickly maybe I did like them that much already :-) If one day we meet we will have café/ croissant then :-)

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #4

That's absolutely right Ken Boddie I don't know how the old me is looking at the current me :-) Maybe he is OK with it maybe not :-)

Ken Boddie

4 years ago #3

The things we did in our early twenties for approbation, exploration and fornication. Life was an aberration. How did we survive and how did we become the bourgeois population we used to abhor? The party may be over, but the quest still remains. Have we raised the bar for our kids or merely swung the revolving door?

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #2

thanks @Julio Angel \ud83d\udc1dLopez Lopez for reading , we accept and respect that :-)

Something prevents me from telling those uncertain dawns. They served me to get married soon and lay my head.

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