Thursday, June 22, 2017

Antoine



I met Antoine one day in April. He was from Lyon and he was in Paris working for Deloitte. We matched on Tinder. I had been talking to someone else I was really interested in but he had been having problems with his family, and his texts were becoming more infrequent. I wanted to get my mind off of him. 


Antoine mostly joked about me teaching him English, he bragged a lot about sleeping with his teacher from his Erasmus program in Germany, and I thought he was too arrogant. When after a few days of texting he texted me out of the blue saying "my grandma died. Bye" I ignored him. I found it tasteless. I thought there were probably better ways to let a stranger you were trying to date know that you needed to take a break because you were going through something emotional. He texted me a few days later, but by that time I had found something else to distract me. I wasn't interested.


About two months later I ended up receiving a message from him while I was on the bus to work. It was something like "hey" and I pretended not to know who was texting me in the hope that he would go away. He didn't. He ended up sending me a photo of his body. I don't know why because we had ever met, much less seen each other naked. I thought it sketchy and wasn't game, in fact I was kind of annoyed, so I said something to the effect of 'I don't know you bye'. He then he ended up sending me a picture of his dick. 


I am a filthy, sex obsessed person. And also a lover of playful men. I thought it would be fun to play with him. If I was ever drunk one night and wanted an easy lay I could always call him. And It's not everyday that I find a cheeky Frenchman, and he seemed really cheeky. I sent him a pic. Not a nude but one of my best. I wanted him to realize what he would never get. We ended spending the rest of night having a laugh with each other. 


I didn't think much of the interaction. I was talking to a few guys so I didn't envision it going any further. He wasn't exactly top of my list. But as the days went by I found him funny, and as I said cheeky. When you live in France it's very, very hard to find a cheeky guy who can banter with you. It's so rare that when I finally find one, it's a huge turn on for me and I can't let go.


After a while I liked talking to him. So we agreed to meet. But that's when the excuses started coming. "I have so much work, a 25 page thesis needs to be done by the weekend, I didn't finish it, they gave me an extension", and on and on. Finally after giving up and ignoring him, he texted asking if he could cook me dinner and explain himself. 


Now I know this is when all girls should see the number of giant warning signs and ignore, but he had psychologically mindfucked me. I needed his attention, and I wanted to know what he was really like, behind the cell phone, so I agreed. Later that day when I finished work I asked him what metro and his address, that's when I got "I can't meet you tonight".


I have a temper. I have rage issues. I am aware of that. This was the final straw, I was angry. He had been sending numerous dick pics and I decided you want to fuck with someone's head? You want to play games? Fine. So I took his least attractive dick pic, the profile photo from his Tinder profile and tweeted and ista'd his number and social media id. I imagined I probably wasn't the only girl getting these pics.


He naturally got pissed. But I wanted him to hurt. I wanted to fuck with his head. I wanted him to see what happens when you you're on the receiving end of someone playing with your head. I had no intention of keeping it up, and my social media is private so only my gays in Texas were seeing it (if they were up), but the angrier he got, the funnier I found it, and it made me feel better.


After about 20 minutes of him calling me endlessly until the point that my phone was completely disabled, I picked up his facetime. He started rambling on about how fucked up this way, and how 'I don't understand', bullshit, bullshit. Every time I hung up, he called back. Finally my rage came back and I decided to rip into him. He hadn't seen me mad, but if he wanted to. I was going to give it to him.


I answered. He wouldn't let me speak. Finally he said I can't see you because, because "I have aids". 


Now what he failed to translate correctly was HIV. I was stunned. I know people have HIV, I know the stigma. I've seen Philadelphia and that Mark Ruffalo movie, but I've never actually met anyone with it. It's something you only see on tv. And certainly wouldn't have thought some cute French guy who had just turned 25 could have it. I wanted to understand, I had so many questions, but I couldn't think of what to say. Finally I asked him to come over. I felt I needed to see if he was being truthful. I needed to have this conversation face to face.


We met up but didn't really talk about it. There wasn't anger, there wasn't hostility. It was just two people, hanging out, walking around Paris. We had dinner and I decided we should head back to my apartment so we could be alone to talk. We put on a movie. One movie turned into night, and night turned into day. We spent the day watching videoes, talking and getting to know each other. I wasn't scared because I knew that HIV isn't what it used to be portrayed as. I knew there were helpful drugs, and people lived normally, and you couldn't catch it from sharing a toilet seat. I was open to him because I enjoyed his company. We got on as easily as we got on through text. There was a sexual attraction because our relationship had become highly sexualized. It sucked that we couldn't jump each other, but because we had talked so much it was like we were old friends. If we decided to have a relationship there were ways around it. He seemed open to it. He said he was actively looking for someone. That he wanted something more.


He finally left around 4 the next day. When he left I realized that he had gotten into my iPhone and my iPad and had deleted his messages and pictures. He had come over just to make sure that he got rid of anything incriminating. I almost had to give him a round of applause for his acting. I had actually believed that he wasn't a bad individual. I thought he was misunderstood, and lonely, wanted to connect ,and just needed someone to take the time to understand him. He had never told anyone about his having HIV. I thought it's probably lonely not being able to tell anyone, not even your friends. I didn't judge him. I didn't care. I saw him for him. 


People with HIV are not damaged. You can still have a pretty normal relationship with them. But this guy wasn't interested in that. He just wanted to fuck girl's heads without remorse and get drunk with his friends. He used HIV as an excuse for his shitty behavior.


It's kind of sad that he's my view of an HIV positive person. I'm not saying all people with HIV are immature, or that they should be saints, but you would think something like that would put life into perspective. Not always. Life isn't a movie. A person is a shitty person irregardless of their health status. Don't ever let someone expect leeway because they were dealt a shitty hand in life. Some people are just assholes, no matter their circumstance.


If you ever meet a 25 year old guy from Lyon who works in marketing named Antoine (who knows what's the truth) know that he’s cat fishing you. He anonymously starts relationships over the Internet and then ducks out. It's pretty fucked up but you can't explain that to him. He thinks there's nothing wrong with it.



Sunday, March 12, 2017

Pro Tip: Free Wifi isn't Free

One of the things I hear from every tourist who comes to the city is why is it called Free wifi if it isn't free? You'll no doubt turn on your wifi and go scrolling for an unsecured line once you land (if you haven't switched to a French network) and see "Free" pop up without a little lock next to you. You will assume you've hit the motherload and found a nice open wifi line. Once you connect you will realize you were wrong.

First up, Free is the name (Free Mobile) of a mobile provider in France. And the word for "free" in French is gratuit. Free in this case is mobile without limits, not free to use.

Most tourist areas of Paris have free to use wifi (the city will list them under Paris_Wifi_####, or WifiLib will have free connections with the creation of an account). You will also see that all of the major providers (SFR, Bouygues, Free and Orange) have open wifi spots too. If you know someone before you come to France, and they can give you their log in for these, more power to you. But if you don't have a login you're going to have wait and find a connection elsewhere. Most cafes have gratuit wifi, as well as the chains; Mc Donald's, Starbucks, Burger King (Quick does not), and you'll also find them in certain areas of Paris. For instance the entire Champs Elysees has wifi accessible by supplying an email address. French libraries (bibliotheque) also provide free internet.

This site lists the free spots provided by the city: https://opendata.paris.fr/explore/dataset/liste_des_sites_des_hotspots_paris_wifi/

Pro Tip: Know Your Doorcode

One of the surprising things about Paris is showing up here and realizing you can't get into any building without a door code. No one really tells you that. And while most doors are open during business hours, some (like mine) are the rare exception that don't open during these times. So just a quick tip, if you're renting an airbnb or going to someone's flat, make sure you have the digicode to get into the building. And then make sure you have the name on their interphone once you're inside. Otherwise you're going to be waiting outside trying to get them on the phone. And if you're flying into Paris and haven't switched your phone to a French network, good luck with that.

Life Hack: Montparnasse

I advocate never changing at a train station. The walk is long, there are too many people, and it's just a hassle all around. But let's say you need to catch a train out of Paris or you need to do some shopping on Rennes. Well first things, if you're catching a train out of Paris take ligne 6 or 13 into Montparnasse. Those are the lines that are in the station. If you're just looking to go to Galleries Lafayette or need something on the high street (Rennes), ligne 12 or 4 are the lines that don't intersect under Montparnasse station. And if you're needing to make a change, wait until Raspail for line 4 or Pasteur for line 12. If you're changing from the 6 to the 13, then you won't need to walk all the way across the station because they're next to each other. But for line 4 or 12 to line 13, prepare yourself for a long walk.