A MORNING IN PARIS. | By: Terry Collett | | Category: Short Story - Introspective Bookmark and Share


Gigi reclines on her back and drags on her cigarette and looks intently at the off-white ceiling with its cobwebs suspended from the corners and the dull curtains almost in tatters and muses on Jean’s attitude over her modelling for the artist he’d introduced her to and now had second thoughts about her undressing for this artist and all it boiled down to (as far as she could see) was he was jealous of her undressing and posing there on some couch or bed or in some bath and being done in oils for all the world to see and that was what had choked him up she thought dragging on the cigarette again and releasing a puff of smoke that rose up to the ceiling touching hither and thither the cobwebs that hung there and she wanted to do the modelling anyway she liked the artist and the manner in which he fixed his eyes on her and how he appreciated her fine figure and how well the oils would capture her beauty he had said in his baritone tones and had run his hands over her body and said her figure would make men gaze and gape and that the galleries the world over would one day have her framed for all those men (and maybe women too) to gawk at and dream of and maybe lick their lips in their secret lusts and deep desires and sitting up she looks around her small room at the gaudy wallpaper and the wooden floorboards stained but now faded and the aged photograph of her mother on the mantelshelf in the chipped frame and the fireplace unused for ages as she couldn’t afford the fuel to light it and so would sit in her room in her coat in the cold winter and lay under the bedclothes alone or sometimes with Jean or Albert when he came as he did now and again when he was in Paris and she and he would snuggle down beneath the covers and copulate until the dawn came and birds sang and he would slip off somewhere to scrounge breakfast at some friend’s house and she’d scrape what she could with the money Jean had given her or what she had earned by her body being utilized as she termed it to Jean if he asked which he did seeing himself as her guardian or pimp or lover or whatever he saw himself as being and now standing up she walks to the window and peers down at the busy street below and the passing crowds and traffic and the noise coming up to her and rattling the window frame and she muses on the women with their latest fashions and their men beside them and the arrogant way they walk along and the men looking around to see if they were being noticed and one or two look up and catch a glimpse of her and she smiles and waves her hand at them and hopes their wives look up too and see her in her underclothes and her hair unkempt at the moment as she had just got up and was having her first cigarette and swig from her gin bottle to make the day worthy of her time and being and hoping that the artist was sincere in wanting her that day and it was a genuine need of his for a model and not just a quick romp and screw but she was convinced he meant what he said after all why go to all that trouble if all he wanted was to bed her when there were plenty of those girls about and she knew men by now to know what they wanted and what they didn’t want and the artist seemed to know his stuff and what he wanted and how he wanted her to pose and when and how much he would pay her and where his studio was and could she be there on this particular day at early morning so he could make his preliminary sketches and take in the colour tones and how best to capture her and her beauty as he called it and that had been two days ago in the cafe where Jean had taken her and introduced her and maybe bargained her for his share of her price and not told her and that was nothing new to her he often took his cut in any work she did and it annoyed her and if wasn’t for the fact that she loved him and liked his lovemaking and his secure presence around her about the streets she’d have told him to go drown himself in the river and that thought makes her smile and as she takes one last puff on her cigarette and she walks to the dressing table mirror and gazes at herself and licking her tongue presses down a strand of hair sticking up at the side of her head and blows herself a kiss that floats across the space between her and her image like some dove of peace.

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