We won’t discuss the many ways in which I made an ass out of myself today. While we all know how funny it would be to talk about that waiter taking pity on me when I needed a cup of coffee that I couldn’t order properly. Or the woman I seemed to scare out of a wine store with my bad French. We’re beyond all that. We’ve grown. It’s the Summer of Yes. We’re positive now.
Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
I started the day the way I imagine a toddler does: slowly at first, then all at once. Squeezing into the tightest dress I’ve ever owned, I was ready for a day at the Louvre, the one place in Paris I’ve always longed to see. Only problem is: the Louvre’s closed on Tuesdays. Not only that, but I couldn’t seem to get myself to go into a cafe to ask for some breakfast. I don’t want to look like a stupid American. I don’t like to be embarrassed. To take my mind off my grumbling stomach, I wandered.
Luckily for me, the grounds of the Louvre are not closed to the public. It was everything I could have dreamed, though I must admit that my head felt like it was in a cloud for most of the day. For awhile I was convinced that the last vestiges of my depression were beginning to retake roots. I’m not so sure that’s true. Maybe I was just lonely. I did my best to enjoy the day and Le Petit Palais. Eventually though, I was too hungry to function. I headed back to the apartment, stopping to pick up the two things I know how to buy: bread and wine. In retrospect, it’s okay to make a fool of yourself. If you are kind, someone will always reach out to help you.
Sitting alone with the window open while you eat your lunch is probably one of those little comforts in life seldom sought. Something I learned today: eclairs shouldn’t be squishy. They should be firm and have just the right amount of filling. They should also be enjoyed with coffee, but there wasn’t any on hand.
Around 3, Lisa finally arrived. I carried her 175 ton suitcase up four flights of narrowing stairs. We caught up, changed, and headed out for the Sainte-Chapelle for the one thing that has made my heart skip a beat every time I thought about it: a solo cellist playing Bach’s Suite No. 1 for Unaccompanied Cello and a trio playing the Goldberg Variations. If you’re unfamiliar with these pieces, I encourage you to check them out. They’re some of the most miraculous pieces of music you’ll ever hear. So, to know that I would hear both in one night? I knew it would be a religious experience.
Oh boy, was I right. After strolling along some street side book vendors and scoring some sick pieces, Lisa and I queued up before finally (finally!) being allowed inside the stunning Sainte-Chapelle. When the soloist finally started her piece, the tears started to well up something fierce. Everything I have ever worried about just spun together and disappeared on these miraculous crescendos. I lost all sense of time and space. In that moment, I existed in perfect harmony.
But like all good things, it had to come to an end. I felt stunned, my head as foggy as it had been before…but different, better. After processing the entirety of the show, I felt at peace. I can’t properly describe it (which is no good for a person who aspires to be a professional writer). Now, sometime after eating a divine dinner of prawns and asparagus, it’s quiet. I’m quiet. Still. Happy. Hungry for tomorrow.