But still, I could not bear the thought of Sylvester in the arms of another woman. He had been so loving and kind to me. I had loved him so much that now, he was almost all I wanted. Almost. I also found my mind permeated by thoughts of Marius; I wanted to hold him; caress him; feel him inside me – beneath my skin. I was so ashamed to admit I felt this way. I wanted two men; two great men – both great in their own right. Sylvester was a fine, artistic lover who had more flaws than I had thoughts in my mind but Marius was fiery and full of an unshakable passion for life. Even though I had only met him earlier that day, I felt so much for Marius – yet – I also felt so much for Sylvester. Can a man not love two women? Can a woman not love two men?
I couldn’t cope with this place; all the noise; the men; the women; the smoke. It was all too much. I needed to get away. This brothel was too much for me; Paris was too much for me; I was too much for me. In an intoxicated panic, I ran out to the iron ornate balcony which looked out over Rue de la Liberte. Paris was beautiful at night. The Seine glistened with the milky luminance of the oil lamps lining the roads; the light autumn rain sprinkled itself over the uneven pavement; the bells of Notre Dame called out midnight. A new day had begun. Looking out over the city, I found myself a little calmer and began to think how any girl could not feel right in Paris. It was such a strange feeling, being intoxicated. It then caught my eye that there was a girl standing outside the brothel, looking up at the window; it was me; it then caught my other eye that there was a girl looking out over Paris from a high window; and she was me as well. I was all of those people. I was both within and without myself for the second time that evening. It felt so strange to me to even think these thoughts as I thought them in my weakened sleepy state. I was harshly awoken from my wondering by a soft whisper.