Running Around in Circles


I was like a restless dog today.

I got the day off unexpectedly.

I was supposed to work today.

A lot.

However, I did not, instead I did, well, it feels like not much, but it wasn’t that bad.

It was in Paris.

I hung out with my fellows.

I sat at the cafe.



I hung out.

I drank a creme.

I drank another.

I went back to the house and discovered that I had gotten back my state refund from California.

And it was already three-quarters gone.

What the fuck?

I looked at the bank statement.

Oh, well, looky there, thanks ACS Student Loan Services, I see that you ran an automatic payment without my knowledge.

I was actually not overwhelmed or upset.

This is huge.


There would have been a time, and not that long ago that this would have pissed me off.

However, I do owe them money and I did not ask for my forbearance to be extended.

I forgot.

Thank God I had done my taxes already.  How they both dropped within the same 12 hours I do not know, but I would call that serendipity for sure.

I could not be mad, I was just grateful that there was some money in the account to cover the cost of the loan payment.

Ten years later and I am only about a quarter of the way through the payment.

I went to my account, logged in, requested another forbearance, and fingers crossed, I will not have to pay on the loan for another six months.

I would like to have my student loans paid off.

Me and millions like me, I suppose.

I write it down in my daily affirmations, I am financially successful, I am solvent, I have paid off my student loans, in my morning pages, along with a gratitude list that I compose daily.  It really helps me to see that I am constantly and continually taken care of.

How else could I possibly explain the timing of the state refund tax and the withdrawal?

This led to me being in a bit of a dither–I have a little money, what do I do with it?

This and the abundance of free time I had.

I decided I needed to go fuel up my Navigo pass, it is almost the end of the month and now I will be able to happily traverse the Metro system for another month without worry, as often as I like, with no Gendarme to give me a ticket.

Pont-Neuf La Monnaie

Pont-Neuf La Monnaie

I used the number 7 line three times today, one of my stops was at Pont-Neuf La Monnaie.

I was on my way to Shakespeare and Company.  I figure the other thing I really needed was a book.

Unfortunately the book store was closed.



I decided I would walk along the Seine.

It was a nice walk, the weather softer, slightly balmy, soft rainy drizzle.  Not enough to need the umbrella, but enough to take the glasses off my face so as not to get misted.



The book sellers along the Seine were mostly shut down with the weather.

The streets not too busy.

It is not a heavy tourist time.

I can feel that a coming though.

Spring feels just around the corner.

Although I am well aware that February is still winter and that March here can be rather capricious.

Determined to not have gone out for naught I continued along the Seine and just took in the scene of commuters coming and going on their way home.

Going Home

Going Home

I crossed over the bridge of love.

That’s what I call it, or Locks of Love.

Love Locks

Love Locks







This, in turn, reminded me that it was soon to be Valentines Day.  I have some post cards that I have been meaning to send out and what could be nicer than a Valentines Day postcard from Paris?

A date.

Oops, sorry, how did that slip in there?

I thought I would also “splurge” on some stickers to decorate the postcards I got.

Books and stickers.

I am a twelve-year-old at heart.

I discovered a new book store on Rue Rivoli, Librairie Gaglignani, the oldest book store with English language titles.  Half of the book store is in French, then in the back, the English Department.


The stacks, the push ladders, the wooden book shelves, the smell, oh, the glorious smell of paper and leather bindings, dry, sweet, warm, the cozy arm chairs.  I was happy as a clam.

Until I started looking at the price tags.

You want 23.50 Euro for a paperback?


But it is the new Irvine Welsh.

I will wait.

I still went about covetous, desirous.

In the Stacks

In the Stacks

I debated.


No, I will head to WH Smith and see what the prices are there first.  Damn you Shakespeare and Company.  I can not wait for the end of the month to have a new book.  Even though the end of the month is only a few days off.  Not having a book to carry with me on the Metro has already made me a little cuckoo.

With a last longing look I fled the store.

I headed up a few blocks and, yes, WH Smith was a little cheaper, but also it felt tatty after the glorious lay about of the previous store.  However, I did get two books and a packet of stickers for the cost of what I would have spent at Gaglinani.

There will come a time when I don’t think like this, I pray.

I will have my student loans paid off.

I will own a home.

I will walk into a book store and I will pick up a book I want to read and buy it without thinking that I could eat for a few days on those Euro.

I actually do firmly believe this.

I am not having a pity party.

Instead, I came home with my loot, my Navigo charged up, and went grocery shopping.

I cooked myself a nice dinner and I played with my new stickers and I wrote postcards.

With Love, from Paris

With Love, from Paris

I read from my new David Sedaris book and I had some tea.

I thought I had done not a thing today.

But I smiled and I looked Paris in the eye and I said, today, despite my best efforts to undermine my happiness, I am happy.


In Paris.

Expat in Paris

Expat in Paris







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