Canine Flirting

Canine Flirting

My neighbours, or rather the neighbours of the woman from whom I’m borrowing this house, have asked me to water their plants and feed Mischa, their cat, as they join the white middle class exodus out of Paris. Therefore they have given me the keys to their house. They don’t know me but they can trust me because I am respectably, boringly, trust worthy and moral. I obviously exude the quality as Celine, in whose house I’m staying, offered me this place within ten minutes of meeting me.

And indeed this morning I opened up their house, walked straight to the plastic Tupperware of cat food, doled out some smelly little dry pellets for Misha and walked straight back out again. I then hung the keys back up on the key hook where they proceeded to almost glow and rattle enticingly at me for the rest of the day.

Because, you see, the neighbours are cool! Tooth achingly French sixties cinema cool! In their early thirties, he’s a boyishly handsome free–lance photographer, I don’t know what she does, or even what her name is, but look up ‘gamine’ in a dictionary and you’ll find her photo. Their genuinely adorable six year old reads translations of Roland Dahl and excuses my shite French with impeccable politeness. Even their bloody cat Misha is cool. Maybe I’ll starve him!

This would basically be out of sheer bad mindedness. Because, you see, they are the sort of couple who seem exist to make me jealous! Jealous and single and large and so terribly chunkily Anglo Saxon….AND I’M IRISH! That’s how much they get under my skin.

I KNOW that you never know what goes on behind closed doors and seemingly the most perfect couples have their problems….but being given the KEYS to those closed doors? Well about an hour ago it proved too much of a temptation and in I crept.

I don’t even know what I was hoping to find, a shelf full of really low-brow chick-lit? A wardrobe full of stained tracksuits and golf shirts? A secret stash of porn featuring large and chunky Anglo Saxon women? I don’t know! Anyway my furtive and guilty little dash around the house, pursued by a disapproving Mischa, was hardly going to yield any secrets.

No instead it just compounded my envy. Write ‘INT- COOL YOUNG FRENCH COUPLES HOUSE-EVENING in a script and this is what the production designer would come up with. And then be berated for cliché! Ethnic furniture vied with quirky flea market finds. Black & white prints of Indian street kids hung on the wall along with lovingly framed children’s drawings. The multitude of bookshelves creaked with books on philosophy, feminism and serious literature. The cd collection was an eclectic mix of Jazz and world music with Herbie Hancock still out his box. There was even strategically placed bloody mirrors over their bed where I’m sure that they have lots of cool good looking French couple sex. I slunk out, all of a sudden hating my shoddy life!

Still, to be fair, it’s not their fault they are cool. It’s not their fault they make the 37 year homeless women squatting next door break out in an envious sweat. So I suppose I shouldn’t really kill their cat….maybe just their azalea.