At first the idea of the Film Guy was great. That was before the reality set in… There are a lot of films shot in Paris (check out my favs on Paris, in the Je T’aiming Resources), however, there are also a lot of films shot far, far away from the capital, in the dark depths of the French countryside. Sadly, this fact would throw a wrench into the plot of my summer romance.
Burgundy. I would normally love this region, especially due to its succulent wines. However, this was the setting for the TV series (bonus points to anyone who can recongize it from the image below, I don’t watch TV so didn’t know the show) that the Film Guy was working on, hardly perfect scenario for the screenplay of a Parisian aventure. He came back occasionally on weekends, yet that didn’t mean we would automatically get to see each other. I had all this whole string of house guests in July, ending with one very particular roomie, though I did go and see the film guy near the end of the Mex-capades when I was starting to realize that my latino love affair was going to lead to nada.
My availability during the weekends wasn’t the only problem. The Film Guy was always very last minute. He’d text me on his way back to Paris, often around 10 pm or later, to see if I was free. I let myself assume that he wasn’t able to text me any earlier because he was working intensely on the shoot, nevertheless, I wasn’t always willing to come running to him at the snap of his text message finger (yet at least when I did go over, I was treated to a new bottle of tasty Burgundy wine).
I gradually started to notice something about his behavior, or rather his outlook on life. I’ve dated a fair number of Frenchmen, some of them have this feature, not all, yet it’s a general characteristic found in French culture. At first, I put it down to pessimism. But it wasn’t exactly that. Then he actually called himself this term, setting off alarm bells in my head. It was cynicism.
To make sure this was the right adjective, I looked it up on Wikipedia and interestingly discovered that it was a) originally aschool of ancient Greek thought, b) included in the name of numerous rock and death metal bands, and c) a contemporary movement of Chinese art. And there, beside these definitions was a photo of the Film Guy… just joking, though I was sad to recently discover that this cute photo of him has disappeared from a cinema workers’ database, maybe the high number of clicks on his profile photo (by me) had caused some suspicion.
As I got to know him better, I learnt that he was 36, had already been married and was now divorced (whew no kids). This, in addition to some other criteria, had led him to the conclusion that true love didn’t exist, nor la femme de sa vie (his “soul mate”). There really was no hope in pursuing anything with him, still, there was something endearing about him, other than his good looks and cool job, which kept me replying to his late night verging on booty call messages.
He sent one on a Saturday night late September. I was out of town, but coming back early Sunday evening. I wasn’t too surprised that the next night he repeated his invitation for me to come by, which I accepted. I discovered another excellent wine and he discovered the sexy lingerie I had worn for him. Later on he asked if I had met anyone on my recent trip to Spain. Thinking back, I vaguely recalled him asking the same question the last time I’d gone away. Not to give too much away (I wasn’t going to reveal the Catalan to him expect his story shortly), I said, ‘Oh well, not really, but there’s always the Mexican’ (I use him as a convenient excuse of scapegoat when necessary now). To which he replied that he had actually met someone, an older woman, with a child. And then he launched into his cynical love tirade.
Hmmpf! A plot swing for the worse, yet I really had no right to be miffed because I hadn’t been waiting around for him either, but there was this little tinge of jealousy. I didn’t really know what to make of him, he was so contradictory. The next morning he was really sweet and made me breakfast and even said ‘Oh, I need to get some tea to have for when you’re here.’ That meant he wanted to still see me, right?
The shoot in Burgundy had wrapped up and he was doing shorter projects in Paris and other French cities. I thus invited him to this film premiere I was attending the following Wednesday, I thought he might meet some useful contacts. He seemed interested in attending. That was until the night before when aound midnight I got this text message from him:
10/02/2012 11:34 PM
Dear Tigresse, Sorry for my late reply. I’m still in Lyon. Tomorrow I’ll probably be finishing late too. However, perhaps it isn’t such a bad thing. I feel bad. Our relationship is leading nowhere. I’m confused and I can’t keep playing this role with you and I’d prefer to be honest before things go too far. I wish you lots of good things. I’m not a cheater. Kisses, Film Guy.
What?! One day he’s suggesting having tea in stock for me, the next he doesn’t want to see me ever again. Did he want to pursue things with this other woman? Was he over-analyzing “us” and cynicism had won? Probably a bit of both. On my side, I was suffering more from a bruised ego than heart break, so I sent him a sort of nasty reply the next day anyway. I knew I could survive without him and had a few fish swimming around that could be caught. After a few days of brooding, he slowly started to fade from my thoughts… and I seriously thought that that would be the end of this film, a French one after all – not a happy ending American one. The whole episode even made me think of a French 1980s hit by the Rita Misouko’s to add to my list: Les Histoires d’amour finissent mal… en général, “love stories finish badly, in general” (which I shall include below for your entertainment).
Then last Friday, I was about to get on the métro after a dinner out with friends when my phone buzzed announcing a new sms: Bonsoir, how are you? Geeez… What did he want?? Was it a good idea to reply??