It was around about late January or early February, New Year had been and gone and I was once again thrust into another year of existence. 'The Roaring Twenties', 'The Golden Era', 'The Jazz Age', the 1920's stained with the dried blood of the Great War. The European economy was booming; for anybody who wasn't me prosperity and money flowed like wine.
I was living in Paris at the time. If you'd have asked my father, he'd have told you I was living out a lie, a delusional fantasy of which no good would ever come. However, if you'd have asked me I'd have told you straight - I was there to fulfil my lifelong ambition to become a writer. I got by on what little I had, my determination and drive were the only things that I could call riches.
The Cafe Laurent was a place I frequented often, it was a hive for people such as I, down on their luck artists with financial constraints. Artists, writers and models gathered in clusters to talk recent publications, latest exhibitions, business, current affairs, lost and newfound loves; half empty coffee cups filled the tables of the despondent clientele. Cold, unnerving and as bitter as the ferocious wind that bit at my lips.
I sat inside people watching, comparable only to star-gazing. It was then that I saw her, my eyes fixed on a distant étoile. Fumée projected from her delicately formed mouth, rouge lips emanated smoke in thick, full of life plumes.
My throat became coarse like emery paper; a human heart that beat with the rapidness, urgency and uncertainty of a locomotive. Lust, need, want, desire, every primal instinct was redundant next to love.
She stood to walk out, as she passed I smelled a pungent aroma in the air - roses and cedar wood. I sat there fixed in what seemed like a lingering purgatory, entranced and encapsulated in an otherworldly bind.
I followed her out onto the densely packed street with the intention of declaring my love to her. Just ahead of me and about to cross the road I saw her...
Absent-minded faces cluttered my path, constricting the blood flow and causing a temporary block in the arteries of fate.
As the clot dispersed I regained my vision and composure, she was gone.