I told you we'd talk about Paris...
We were walking along the Seine, licking Berthillion ice cream cones, talking about our futures. I decided to try out my new History of Paris knowledge on the beautiful French man walking beside me as we crossed over to Isle-St-Louis.
"Ahem," (cue sexy French voice) "You know, this is the oldest neighborhood in Paris."
He didn’t miss a beat. “Yes, and it is the most expensive neighborhood in Paris.”
Why hadn’t I thought of that?! Instead, I thought: only in Paris is the oldest place in the city the most expensive!
“One day I will own an apartment on this island,” he continued, “and you will come and live with me.” Though I very well knew this relationship--or whatever it was we had--would not survive my departure from Paris, I nodded.
“Only if you drape me in jewels,” I teased.
And that is how life went in Paris. I floated along in a dream-like state not knowing what was real and what was a figment of my imagination. One moment I was a beautiful dame, draped in jewels, a cigarette in my wrinkly hands that I smoked through a long filter like they only do in old movies, calling everyone 'darling' and 'chérie.' The next I was a young twenty-year-old staggering out of Pub St. Michel into the hazy dusk of morning in search of some carbohydrates and my bed.
Those six months were the sweetest I can remember, both because I consumed six thousand times my body weight in French pastries and because I cannot remember another time in my life when I did not have to seek happiness. In Paris, it just found me. I am not saying that I just floated down the tiny rues in a constant haze of utopia, but that even when I was miserable, it was beautiful. Paris is the only city in the world that I have ever been to where you can be just as happy being happy as being miserable. A glass of wine in an outdoor café tastes just as delicious when shared with a lover as when contemplating one’s miserable life.
Not to worry...Frenchie will return in future episodes. (And my hangover is doing much better, thank you. Must be all the cake.)