Lexi asked me today if I felt far away from the states, and I said no.
But then I changed my mind and said yes; but only in a time sense -- I never know what time it is, or what day it is, or how long I've been where, or how long ago I left home, or if it's time to eat or sleep, or if I've really been away from Lexi for an entire semester, or what will fill my days and nights tomorrow and forward, or what my family and friends could possibly be doing to fill the seven-hour gap beween us.
When I'm sleeping like a rock, exhausted from sensory overload and endlessly sore calves and feet, I can imagine they're all getting ready to go out or just winding down after an equally long day. When I'm waking up, I hope they're all safe asleep and dreaming in a swirling mash of colors and sounds. When I am eating a late lunch, I think of them snoozing their alarm buttons. And when the sun begins to set behind the Seine and carousels begin to illuminate, I know their days are still a little mysterious, just beginning.
But when I'm missing the last Metro ride for the night because Lexi and I have gotten caught up in the lights and the energy (and perhaps the champagne) of Paris, I find I cannot imagine at all. Because I am here, and the only time I can fathom is what surrounds me.
And now? It's 5:41 a.m., but my body swears it's not even midnight. And I know in the morning I'm going to feel like I've been run over my the Metro.
Lexi sleeps, and I am trying to translate the last three days. So I'm dividing into categories to hopefully save from rambling about every aspect of a day, which I might just do anyways. merde (Look it up -- I'm already learning tres classy French!)
The journey: bad weather = delayed flight from MSP = my unfortunate absence on the plane from Detroit to Paris CDG = a few tears in the airport bathroom = a desperate, 1-hour-long rebooking attempt via telephone with an NWA agent = spending New Years Eve in the air = another desperate rebooking attempt with an NWA agent in person = last seat on a flight to Amsterdam = SUPRISE! Business class! complete with my own personal TV and remote, a salmon dinner, and one of those eye cover things that blocks out all light so you can sleep better... and a British sculptor as a seatmate = maybe I don't hate flying so much = irony: migrane and another hour delay on the tarmack = missed flight from Amsterdam to Paris = Luckily another left 90 minutes later = champagne on the flight :) = Finally at my destination = just to top it off, lost baggage.
Which didn't arrive until this afternoon, two days and two hours late.
Lexi: We made a pact to never try and guess that we understand what anyone else is thinking or feeling or really means to say unless they actually say so. especially one another. because "f our lives" all we do is create for ourselves a million daily disasters. Instead we'll just talk for hours about everything and now my voice is hoarse.
French: The word for tomorrow literally means something that's just out of reach, whereas the word for today means something like in/at hand. And a million other beautiful words I don't understand. But even more beautiful is finding how to have a conversation with someone here sans Lexi.
Twilight: The movie premieres here Jan. 7th. And there are seriously huge billboard-size posters of Edward et Bella EVERYWHERE! especially the metro.
The Metro: Metro = Paris. It connects every place, every person. fini. (sp?)
The Louvre: To "do the Louvre" is to see the three ladies of the Louvre (the Mona Lisa, the winged triumph somethingorother, and some other famous statue of a woman) as fast as you can and then skedaddle. Apparently an American student holds the world record for fastest time. There's legitimately a Starbucks in the museum. (I cried a little inside). To see the place in its entirety would take 8 months. But considering a war painting covering an entire wall sparked an incredible convo with Lex, I'd say my two hours there were enough.
Falafel: It's heavenly in Paris. Simply heavenly.
The Eiffel Tower sparkling at midnight to ring in the new year. Even more dazzling than Edward Cullen. yeah I said it. and mean it. It was magical. breathtaking. Best welcome to 2009 ever.
The person who shares the apartment complex with Lexi's host family:
GREGORY COLBERT! omygosh I actually did a presentation on him for an art class. He's a filmmaker/photographer and his stuff is brilliant. Google him.