Sunday, 5 April 2009

When did I arrive in Paris? At which point? I remember Republique before anything, even though this is incorrect chronologically. I remember Republique and coming up above ground, faced with a large circular monument and a huge island surrounded by roads, all bordered by magnificent detailed buildings, all quiet. I had returned to ground level at this point having flown and tunnelled and this felt like a true point of entry, as though everything between this and my Neukoelln flat in Berlin could be forgotten.

I walked through the damp streets to the apartment, following numbers and street names scrawled on the back of my hand in ink, moving past mussel restaurants, late night Greek eateries and the odd bar still lively behind thin, drawn curtains. Several wrong turns later, I arrived at the correct house in a narrow street parallel to the canal, somewhere in 11éme.

In the small loft, on the sixth floor, the record label factory was hard at work, pressing, printing, folding, packaging five different compact disc releases. We smoked cigarettes, drank coffee, prepared some warm green vegetable soup to try and resist the night chill and schemed on the next few days. Sleep was fitful and slow, my head still being transported in those rickety underground carriages, with foreign words looming out at me from the darkness, white spectres etched onto murky grey walls.

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