Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

24 March 2023

Article 49.3

If you can walk Paris—if you deign to give her the attention she merits—walk her by night. By night she is ribald, volatile. You can't listen to music. You can't get lost in your thoughts. You have to be alert. She will leave you no choice.

This is when the city is most eloquent. You cannot ignore her. Tonight, there is no romance. Tonight she is full of discontent. 

The results of the day's protest spills over at sundown, like inflamed flesh. The garbage, left weeks uncollected, has exploded into the streets. Bins are aflame.

But there is also zeal, and for every ten restaurants that have closed as a precaution, one is open, its lights warming the faces peering out from their terraces. This is also Paris. It is Thursday and the night is young, the chaos embraced, no interruption to the desire to flee our small flats. 

Swamps are not polite places. They have a character that can't be beat down, no matter how much civilization you build on top of them, how many Haussmann buildings—or, in the case of Florida, how many resorts. The sharks will still come. The alligators will appear in your swimming pool. 

In the case of Paris, the discontent of its people does not fester. Like spirits responding to their mother, to the hurling of this wildland corseted under concrete, it explodes vocally, viscerally. You know the expression, "ask for forgiveness, not for permission"? It doesn't even ask for forgiveness. 

We walk atop what once was wild marshlands and it vibrates beneath us, never allows us to forget. Its character remains irrepressible: Chaos always threatening to retake space from the concrete. This is Paris. And if you're called here, if you live here, you feel it in your blood, vibrating under your skin. There is no taming it.

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