I hated Montmartre the first time I saw it. The tourists and pickpockets around Sacre Coeur were atrocious: rude, aggressive, groups of three or four men circling around you, asking “Where you from?” as they reached for your purse or under your jacket.

It nearly ruined the whole day for me, until we got away from the tourist sector and began wandering the back streets, which I found beautiful. Trees shivering with yellow and orange leaves – even in November – and narrow twisting roads fit my expectation of Paris better than the crowding wolves: “Where you from?”



We wandered the streets for maybe an hour, without destination. Suddenly we turned a corner and a beautiful bronze sculpture stopped us in our tracks. I smirked at the worn-away boobs, but thought she was gorgeous.


According to the plaque, her name is Dalida. She was a singer. We took a few snapshots and moved on.


That evening, we fell into bed exhausted. We barely made plans for the next day and Paul began to drift off. I, however, need more time to unwind before sleep, so using my iPad, I googled Dalida.

I began to read her Wikipedia page. As I read, I began to frown, then smirk, then titter. Beside me, Paul sleepily asked if I was okay.

“Yeah… Dalida had a tough life…”

He rolled over and looked at me. “What?”

It was one of those things that you KNOW you’re not supposed to laugh at, but because it is so over the top, so outrageous and yes, so forbidden, I began to laugh more.

I read him the entry… suicide…suicide…suicide… With every tragic suicide, we laughed harder. When her bulldog died, we gave up trying to be respectful; we just rolled. Tears were falling down our cheeks. We laughed for half an hour straight, laughing at how utterly awful this poor woman’s life was, how over the top dramatic.

A few days later, I looked her up on YouTube and watched this.

It was beautiful; she was beautiful and talented, and she died too soon.

When it was over, Paul said, “I bet the guy directing the orchestra threw himself off a balcony.”

I can’t bear to see if he’s right.

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