The last full day in Paris is bittersweet. Even after this short period of time, I feel like this little apartment is a home. At the top of the stairs, I find this dorm-sized room more comforting than any place I've stayed in years. Living here would be easy, I think. In six months, I would have some solid conversational skills. In eight? Surely almost fluent. A year? More? I'll be like Gertrude Stein and run one of the hottest salons in the city.
Today was the sort of day where you leave the past where it belongs. I took a hard look in the mirror and said, "Bailey, it's time to be a grown ass woman." Where better to do that than a cemetery? A thousand other places, but we work with what we've got.
When travelling, one rarely thinks about laundry; however, international travel usually requires people to pack lightly and prepare for the eventuality that they will have to throw their knickers in with the wash. Having armed ourselves with a bargain priced liquid detergent and a sack full of euros, Lisa and I braved the unthinkable: doing the laundry in French. That, of course, meaning here we threw some coins into a machine, crammed the clothes into a single washer, and ate eclairs for breakfast.
I start off with my head near a toilet and wishing that I would learn not to take vitamins, no matter how badly I need them. I’ll be equally real about this: Today was not a great day. It was not a, “I am woman, hear me roar,” sort of day either. It was the sort of day where you reflect on your life and wonder how the hell it got to this state. And then you drink a bottle of wine, which is totally appropriate.
While both the journey to Versailles and Lisa tried to murder me today, I refuse to be conquered or killed. If I want to do something badly enough, I'll make it happen. Just a shout out to my would-be murderess: Thanks for letting me call that Uber so I wouldn't go on a tri-state (or whatever its French equivalency is) murder spree.
Funny how one day can begin with screaming on the bottom floor of a Parisian metro because you're lost and end by giving cheek kisses to an Italian man who drew your portrait in the courtyard of the Notre Dame. While I prefer life to be comprised solely of moments like the latter, the former make the day so much sweeter in the end.
I knew I would mess up and skip a day of blogging. What can I say? I'm tired. We intended on waking up early to head over to the Louvre before our lunch reservation. Let's just say that us waking up at ten and getting lost in the metro for 20 minutes didn't help in getting any of that accomplished. What's that saying about the best laid plans of mice and men? Don't bother getting attached to plans, because they're for sure gonna change.
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 never thought I'd make it to France. Even as the leaving date grew closer, it didn't seem like I was actually going to get on a plane and leave the country. When Dad drove me to the airport, it didn't seem real. When I got my boarding pass, it didn't seem real. When I had to get a pat down because the metal detector thought I was packing some heat, it didn't seem real. When I got on the plane, it didn't seem real. When I landed, it didn't seem real. But when I was waiting in a kilometer long customs line? You bet your ass it was real then.
I want to meet strangers and learn new customs and do something that puts me out of my comfort zone. All of these things can only add to my writing. Right?