Monday, February 18, 2008

I'm Going to Paris!

Most days start out as follows:

Alarm goes off and I, face smushed into my pillow, will it to go away. The Mutt's cold nose finds my face--she's such a morning dog--I mutter "uh uh" and somehow manage to find the snooze button on the alarm clock without opening my eyes.
Said Mutt actually listens and curls back up by my feet for 9 glorious minutes. Alarm goes off again. By this time, the Mutt's having none of it, she's ready to get up. The coffee pot thankfully has an automatic timer and by the time I shuffle downstairs I have just enough energy to fill my cup and curl up on my couch to do a little writing and reading while the caffeine works its magic.

But then there are some days, like today, when something so delicious happens where you are not only awake but have sense enough to know your life will be changed forever. Like when your friend's wife (who has become a good friend of yours too) calls and says "We're buying plane tickets to Paris today and want to see if you're in?"

"YES!" or rather, without hesitation, "OUI!" The most fabulous word in any language.

I don't know when I first fell in love with France. It came slowly, beckoning quietly, so quietly I didn't even know what was happening. It started in 10th grade when I switched from taking Spanish to taking French. Then popped up again in college when we read A Moveable Feast. And again and again as any corner I would turn involving art, food, culture and wine inevitably ended at this place halfway around the world. This place that was so far removed from my West Coast existence that I had to love it from afar. And it has become a full fledged love affair, despite HAVING NEVER BEEN THERE. No bother, I had a ton of practice at unrequited love--it's no accident that one of my favorite books is Love in the time of Cholera. But that's another story for another time.

Serendipity has swung in again, for in a mere matter of months I wll finally be walking the streets of Paris--renting an apartment, shopping at the markets, taking pictures of this place that I have seen for so long in my mind. How, I ask you, how am I supposed to wait an entire 6 months to go?!

It reminds me of the time when I got a chance to go down onto Safeco field to watch the Mariner's batting practice during the days of Lou Pinella, Edgar Martinez and A-Rod. No one could stand me from the time I found out I was going until the time I got back (and maybe for a week or so after that). I fear I may not have friends for the next 6 months. Maybe I can contain my excitement ... not gush, not plan everything we're going to do from moment to moment ... I can just casually let them know that I'm going to Paris and say nothing more ...

On second thought, who hasn't neglected her friends once or twice in the face of new love? I'm sure they'll understand.

I'm going to Paris!!!!!!