moments of illumination in the city of light

012 : Jussara Nunes Châtelet metro station, line 1 in the middle of the platform, direction Chateau de Vincennes., Chatelet
Born in 3/3 of 20th century in The sunny city of Rio de Janeiro, Jussara Nunes currently works as flâneuse parisienne Why Paris? It’s the best place to learn French, and eat the best baguettes in the world She digs the following Paris bits: 1. its history 2. its architecture and monuments and museums 3. the cafés and the bars - best places to read the papers and watch people 4. the marchés, the restaurants, food 5. the unusual— le Paris insolite She is, however, a bit miffed by the grumbling French way of life, the groups of tourists who block our way (as they never know where to go), the cost of cinema, theater and most quality entertainment, the taxi drivers (most of them stop working when we need taxis), and the fact that most people don't smile. For more info on Jussara Nunes you should send an email or visit Le Manchot.

image: ToNToNCoPT

“A dialogue out of nowhere and from the 5th dimension”

It was quite late at night. I had just parted from my friends at the entrance of the station, each one of us taking a different metro line. Even though it was late in the evening, there were tons of people on the line 1 platform, some waiting, like me, to go home; some going somewhere else to continue partying. The Châtelet metro station[1] is weird at any time of day or night and I don’t like it at all: always crowded, with its smelly-dirty corners, and strange people lurking about. There is some nice music to be heard now and then through the corridors, which function as some sort of performance space. Then there are the people like me who go there to take the metro. Châtelet. Such a nice name.[2] Such a strange flora and fauna of nightlife.

I was standing there, earplugs tucked deep into my ears. I was away listening to some music. My earplugs serve as a shield to protect me against the violent world out there. I can’t hear, but I can see. And people can see me. He saw me.

I was leaning against the wall, midway down the platform. He passed once in front of me, going left.  He passed again going right. He crossed my field of vision again and again, until he saw that I had definitely seen him.  He caught my attention. He smiled. I pretended not to notice. He stopped and said something. I read a ‘Hello’ in his lips.

He was about 1,55m tall.[3] Dark hair, quite long. He was wearing red lipstick, in a clownish style, the red had passed his lips, and had make up on his eyes. He insisted. Who knows why, but I take off my earplugs and stop the music. And listen to him. A dialogue out of nowhere and from the 5th dimension begins.

—You are beautiful. Don’t worry, I won’t harm you.

—Of course not, I wouldn’t let you.

—You are beautiful, I love your eyes. You’re Latin American right?


—Me too. I dance and sing.

—I see.

—Do you?

—No. So, that’s why you are wearing this make up.

—I love you, you know?

—No I don’t.

—Well, I really do.


—I will love you forever.

—Really? I’m sure you will say the same thing to someone else tomorrow.

I smile. He smiles.

The train pulls into the station. He waves goodbye and blow me a kiss. I blush. The crowd is looking at me.

I tuck my earplugs back in my ears.

Off I go. I never think of him. I think of him when I happen to take the metro at the same station around the same time. I wonder if he still dances somewhere nearby.

referenced works

  1. The most central metro station in Paris, where 5 metro lines and 3 suburban lines intersect.  Changing from one line to another takes forever, with a couple of exceptions: the 7 and the 11 and the A and the B.  If you know of any Châtelet shortcuts, we’d love to hear about them. Full station information here.

  2. In fact this was the site of two fortresses, le Grand Châtelet and le Petit Châtelet, “châtelet” being a term used in the middle ages to refer to a small château.

  3. about 5’1”.

location information

  • Name: in the middle of the platform, direction Chateau de Vincennes.
  • Address: Place du Châtelet
  • Time of story: Late NIght
  • Latitude: 48.858687
  • Longitude: 2.34571
  • Map: Google Maps



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