I write this for Kim from Atlanta who commented on my post regarding this picture yesterday. .. hope you like it, Kim
You all think you know me. Even those of you who haven’t met me, never dropped by, refer to me as Gay Paree, the City of Lights and Lovers. You don’t see past the sparkle, the bateaux-mouches on the Seine with the tourists guzzling over-priced champagne, my wonderful phallic symbol on the bank.
You know I am a woman but you believe me to be a Toulouse Lautrec prostitute, gaudy, painted and determined to live hard, die young. Hardly anyone sees this side of me. When it rains you dash into museums or shelter in cafés not giving a thought to my other children, the ones who cannot shelter. Yes, look again, dear visitor and you will see I am not a whore. I am a nun. I care for my orphans, the dispossessed and unnoticed. You don’t see them and only rarely do you see me because I hide them under the folds of my habit. I do not want you to stare or toss a measly fifty-centime piece into their hat to make you feel better.
I am gay. I do smile – when someone takes time with my orphans, sits down and treats them as a human being, buys them coffee and stops to drink with them. That is showing them what I want to find – a little dignity, love and compassion. Yes, I am the city of love but ohhhhhhhhhh you do not know what kind.