Ok, so maybe eavesdropping is a capital sin, but who told this guy to force me to hear his private conversation while I was minding my own business in the lobby of the Forum des Images at Les Halles? Of course, I had some good reasons for listening, like improving my French or not wasting this fortuitous opportunity for cultural knowledge, you know, hearing some middle-aged rather intellectual French type talking to an ex-girl friend. And after all, these things can always turn out to be, well, antológicas. Oops. Ontological. But I have to admit that what really drew my attention was the fact that this lovely specimen reminded quite a bit of someone I had had the unfortunate opportunity to meet at the wrong moment in an earlier life... or maybe a hybrid of two of more or less the same sort. Anyway, for my literary purposes here, I baptize him and he becomes Gérard. Or maybe Piotr, just because I can´t be 100% sure that this guy was really a Frenchman. What I do know, on the other hand, is that Nuria, who was on the other end of the line, was definitely not French. Because Piotr kept asking her, in French, if she was getting it, and then throwing in heavily -accented English phrases (the accent did sound a bit Eastern European to me, but by this time, just trying to keep up with the conversation on both ends required all my attention and imagination...) just to make sure she got him straight. Oh, by the way, I know her name was Nuria because he called her that once, , but only after accidentally calling her Natalya, whom I had already learned was his current live -in girlfriend from South Africa. He was really rubbing that one in on poor Nuria! Oh, the tension in the lobby was on the rise, with Piotr pacing back and forth and snorting impatiently so that I had to completely give up on looking at Cristian Poveda's photos of Mara gang members from El Salvador (and that eventually cost Cristian his life) and just sit there and soak the whole scenario up. After a whole week of compulsory reflections on global patriarchy and the sad truth in the good ole Brazilian expression, Só mudam de endereço, I most certainly had some smug knew-it-all-along grin on my face. Wait, on second thought, I may just have discovered a difference - that is, on that ' they just live in different houses ' bit - and maybe you can decide how crucial: you see, I can´t quite conjure the person or persons that this guy reminded of huffing and puffing and snorting around the room; more likely, they would be sitting back, smirking and proud of themselves, surveying the spoils strewn over the landscape of past conquistas. Maybe even throwing in a sly, seductive remark here and there to make poor Nuria think that they might eventually tire of Natalya so why not just keep up a little spark of hope alive, Nuria? But Piotr, on the other hand, was just irritated and stressed, as he informed Nuria that she was welcome to stay at his place if she passed through Paris on her impending trip, but of course, he was living with Natalya and she would just have to, well, sleep on the couch.