Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rue Saint-Denis

When I moved into my apartment, I was a bit chagrined to realize that I’m right around the corner from rue Saint-Denis. Many people know this street, if not intimately, then by name and reputation. It’s where many sex shops, peep shows and prostitutes can be found.

But it was only this past week, when I walked north on rue Saint-Denis to find the less expensive produce market that my landlord told me about, that I really understood how relatively clean and modest my part of the street is. About two blocks north, middle-aged women with clownish makeup, plunging necklines and impossible haute talons leaned in doorways, looking both bored and hopeful. Wow. Middle-aged hookers a plenty! I was shocked.

But on my return from the market, the shock turned to awe.

There, I saw the largest fake breasts I’ve ever seen in my life. They were unfathomably large. Like, basketball-sized. Seriously. Of course my awe (and shameless staring) was mixed with sadness as this woman was old and had done so much cosmetic surgery to her face that she looked deformed. But still, I could not get over those breasts. How does your skin even stretch that much? How do you put on your shoes? In what position do you sleep? Can you zip up your jacket?

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