I’m in Paris, and courtesy of Danielle, I have a mattress and even sheets to sleep on. Today has been full of moments so cinematic as to be surreal. The biggest, most amazing movie life moment came after dinner in Mont Martre. Danielle, her friend Sandy and I picked up a cheap bottle of wine at “un tabac” a convenience store. The owner was sweet enough to pass us three plastic cups, and so we jumped on the Metro to ride to Point Neuf. Once there, I did the twirling Paris fan girl thing, and took a few pictures, before we settled in on the bank of the Seine to drink. The air was chilly, and every hour the Eiffel Tower sparkled for me.
But the thing about Paris is that when I say it’s beautiful, it feels like I’m not trying hard enough to convey to you its dirty, overpowering loveliness. If it were scrubbed clean, Paris would be uninhabitable. No one could take so much prettiness, and I saw that in the juxtapositions that made me love it at fourth glance. After dinner, walking to find wine, I saw the Sacre Couer rising over a neon sign for an Indian restaurant and garbage cans in an alley in Mont Martre, and I knew Paris and I would do alright with each other.
Danielle lives in the 20th Arrondisement, in Belleville, where there are North African immigrants, Chinese bakeries, and dime stores everywhere. There’s free wireless in the park nearby, and I could spend days just drinking coffee and watching the way this place is. Maybe someday I will.