Monday, 31 January 2011
But I drift towards tall women. Maybe because they seem stronger, more resolute, they've had years of people staring at them. I like walking alongside them. They are easy to spot on the dancing floor in clubs.
Last week I caught up with a tall friend, now separated. We had a lot to speak about - about creativity, about men, about handbags. But that makes it sound simplistic. We talked about the courses our lives were on, and how we had set out as twenty year olds into the world.
My first glimpse of Europe was when I was nineteen. I instantly fell in love with the gritty Paris of the eighties that has shifted now. As soon as I had saved up enough, at twenty-one, I went back there to live, enrolled in the Sorbonne, wrote a novel in my room above the sweatshop downstairs. My 'family' were artists and there were murals painted on the walls, a dark room for printing and - oh yes! - a baby to look after. Malou was a classical Parisienne rebel who organised her world into creativity-motherhood-womanliness. She was my first and strongest example of these forces at work, and the main reason why I was determined to write, while getting my childbearing on the way.
And that was where I met my first tall friend, a dancer who basically helped me learn Italian (my boyfriend thought my accent too cute) while I ironed out her English. She too was easy to spot in nightclubs and walked with a remarkable back. We have since grown older and danced together in clubs in Tokyo and Moscow, thinking ourselves very exotic.