23 rue Boyer

Paris 75020, France

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Legendary Summer Nights

The plane is a funny meeting spot, but only less so when you are asleep. Friendly types often make contact based on the chance of being seated together. When I saw you in the waiting area at the gate, I asked the counter assistant where you were sitting and then I asked them to change your seat so that you would sit by me. You fell asleep before we got off the ground at LAX and in the half hour before we landed at Paris CDG you finally spoke to me and said, "I've never seen this movie before."

 

You weren't watching Casablanca

 

Why I fear romance is the dedication that people have to it. Fiercely loyal fans would not necessarily be able to voice their opinions in words because words aren't necessary. The passive actor processes the feelings before they happen while the active allow themselves bemusement. You and I weren't thinking. I gave you the address to where I was staying and we settled on a time. This is travel, I said to myself. This is the mystical. We propel ourselves into another dimension when we do not know what is possible.

 

There was no point to the bar. It was packed thigh-to-knee with the after-work crowd. We walked out into the car-less alleys instead. I wanted to know what you were thinking because I was content to walk and look around. Paris isn't the kind of place where you bar crawl, but if you can make it out you can pass through a lot of crowds and scenes. I wanted someone to paint me a picture of the past because everything I thought was coming into a clash with the lack of familiar landmarks. From the mini-worlds of hidden passages and alleys to the staggering grandeur of an arch along the boulevard, I was lost.

 

I fought the need to know where I was. You only had one night, though. You started to yawn. I pulled into a Fish and Chips shop and ordered two lagers. We walked in circles with our beer. We followed the music. I was talking the entire time and saying nothing. Finally I shut my mouth and let you speak. We were at the canal and you dropped your skirt and your camera and you wanted me to jump in. It had been that kind of evening. We were drowsy with art and architecture and entries into spaces that had been occupied. Our lives were complicated by the images stuck in our heads. We were trying too hard to remember.

 

I didn't know what to do. We caught the metro to the Bastille and went to a random beer bar at last call. Either Paris is less impulsive than you or during the week you really are a mermaid. 

 

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