Sophie, could you hand me the knife? Wine and jokes about the apple bread with ham. And oranges. Did you guys see that movie? The White Ribbon? Oh lord, don't see it. The violence was inexcusable. I finished my sculpture! and Really, Sophie, just take your time over there. Podcasts and Brushes on the metro, staring at a woman in white dreads. Men in superhero masks in the hazy 9 degrees Celsius. Scaling stairs of the kilometer-long Bibliothèque Nationale mountain, between the book-tours and the city-light-shimmering river. The stairs make lines toward the horizon. I didn't forget my keys again, thank god, and the cat tears toward the kitchen and the food bowl when the door clicks. Hi, Virgule, it's nice to be home.
Home. That was Paris tonight. Rob asked us to write again, now that chapter one, "the Romance of Jet Lag," is over. But the city just felt foreign during the first phase. To run past the Venus de Milo (and the millions of tourists) in the Louve because I know I can see it later, to successfully make appointments in French over the telephone, to laugh at the jokes in my sculpture class, to realize there are many more beautiful Gothic cathedrals in Europe than Notre Dame de Paris, to know people, to be fast in the metro and get asked directions — that's way more romantic than snapping a picture of the Eiffel Tour.
I have a life here. A life in a beautiful city. A city named Paris.