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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

another one bites the dust

We stood outside the metro, arms wrapped around each other, as tears made their way down my cheeks.

The fall air was cold, leaves blew under our feet, and passerbys glanced twice at the girl who cried as she hugged her friend goodbye.

I didn't want to let go. I kept thinking how the only person in Paris who loved me was leaving. That after this it was back to my Parisian reality, where I'm lucky to get a smile from the woman at the Patisserie.

Aimee came back to Paris and spent just under a week here. We took advantage of our time together, talking, remembering, walking around the city, and most importantly listening to each other. Aimee has been travelling around Europe on a bus tour on her own, and we're both familiar with being thrown into a new culture and feeling a little lost. We both needed a good friend and a real conversation to remind us our feet were still planted on the ground.

I wish I could've given her more of my love and energy. But these days I'm drained. I seem to always be working, running from place to place, and trying to get the kids to calm down. French classes have begun, and I'm late even when I leave the house at 7:30 in the mroning. Today I worked from 9:30am to 11pm. There's nothing left in me. And the cold air is sinking right through my fall jacket.

But it was great to play tourist. Paris is much more beautiful if you're a tourist: relaxed, happy, taking it all in, and going to all the right places. It seems that as soon as it becomes familiar and you have chores to do, you become slightly blinded. So for a few days I wiped off my Parisian grimace, stretched my lips into a smile, and walked around the city speaking loudly in my native tongue.

We laughed, we sang, and in the end I cried.

We let the rain run right through us. We went out off little sleep and charged ourselves with coffee breaks. It was good. She's gone now, but the memories aren't.

rain in Paris
First day out it pissed Parisian rain.
the devil eats japanese
So we went out for Japanese.
drink up
Then got drunk.
bar in the latin quarter
Then went to a bar where the sex symbol in the black t-shirt played the Doors for me as we kicked back drinks and made fun of older men from Liverpool.
triumphantly at the arc
We went to the Arc de Triomphe twice, but never went up due to weather and wallet conditions. You mean you have to pay to go up? I'm too cold anyways.
halloween at euro disney
But it was worth paying for Euro Disney, where even French men that make their way into your photographs look like Disney characters.
honey i shrunk the audience
And you only go to the 3D show just so you can pimp the shades.
it's a small world
Or go on rides that make you feel like you're on acid.
final feast
I made us a final feast for her last night: salade nicoise and salade roquefort. It fuelled us for our trip to the top of the Eiffel tower afterwards.
saying goodbye with champagne
And then we pre-celebrated my 19th birthday, climbing on an empty docked tour boat that was still blasting 80s music, wrapping ourselves in a fleece blanket and popping open a bottle of champagne. We thought we might get kicked off, but the guides that passed us gave us big smiles and said "We're in Paris."


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