In Between


The fear and the faith is a line I seem to straddle quite well.

I do not know if this is a blessing or a curse.

I sat at Bert’s listening to a woman, young, scared, oh so scared, talking about needing to find work and what needed to be done and I thought, “am I doing all these actions?”

The fear, contagious, fell from her mouth, I could taste it, blood copper in my mouth, burnt with the edge of the cafe Americain I had been drinking.

Then I breathed.

I do not have to live in fear.

Even when I do not know much about where the day is going to go.

I was pushed and pulled a couple of different ways today.

Mainly, tied longer to the house than I could have desired.  Tied here now, in this moment, waiting for the electrician, at 7:10 p.m. on a Friday evening, to fix the stove top.

Things in Paris do not always happen on my time frame, my American time frame.

Things are often late.

They take longer.

I had sat this morning, waiting, waiting, waiting, then not gonna wait anymore,  I fled.

I left the land lord a message and said, “the door is unlocked, tell the electrician to just come in.”

I had it with being in the house.

Do not trap me inside with the weather as lovely as it was, robed in robin’s egg blue, the sky flew down my throat and ate up my heart, it was so divine.

Especially after the dreary of yesterday.

All those poor drenched Valentines Day troopers out there trying to make the best of the mercurial Paris weather.  It was as if Paris said, listen you yahoos, you are allowed to be romantic everyday of the year, “I am Paris, after all,” but I will not suffer you this hallmark version of love.


I rain on your parade.

Then, with a chuckle, the benevolent skies open up and the blue caterwauls in.

It was a gorgeous day.

I had an errand to run after my coffee session at Bert’s and I walked to the Metro George V on the Champs-Elysees.  I could have gone to Charles de Gaulle Etoile, but the roads were a mess of tourists fresh off the buses, boats, planes, and trains, being serenaded by the commerce song of the trash souvenir sales.

I choose to avoid it as much as possible.

Although, truth be told, I was headed to the mall.

I had made a purchase there last Friday and was none to happy that my purse, my one splurge from my tax refund, had a faulty zipper.  I discovered yesterday as I went to pay my bill at Odette & Aime.


The zipper literally pulled off as I opened the purse to take out my wallet.

I had the receipt however, should I ever go back to the states, or when, I will probably go back for Burning Man, especially after I got that thank you card yesterday, stirring up all sorts of fun time memories, I will have a pile of little receipts to exchange at the airport for my taxes.

The tax in California, it ain’t fun, I remember that from living in San Francisco.

California has nothing on Paris.

The tax here?


Fuck my mother.

If you are not a “citizen” here, when you leave, you can be refunded the taxes from the purchases you made during your stay.  Granted I am not exactly a tourist, but seeing as how I can’t get a real paying job here and I get nothing of the benefits of paying taxes here, I want that money back.

Thank you very much.

Normally I would have tossed the receipt out.

So glad I did not.

I pulled it out of my pile and stuck it in the purse with the broken zipper and headed out.

Aside, I am ready for the electrician to be done now.  I needs to do some eating, dang nabbit, it is dinner time.


When I got to the end of line 1, Metro stop La Defense, I hopped up the stairs and out to the esplanade.  It is entirely possible to stay underground and go from the Metro straight to Quatre Saisons (the mall).  However, I had purchased my cheap on the cheap lunch at the Monoprix–packet of roasted peanuts, piece of Elemental cheese, and a banana–and I wanted to be outside for it.

The sky just shamed me with its loveliness.

I finished my eats and squared my shoulders, I went to the store, presented the purse, showed, the receipt, and asked for a new purse in exchange.

All in French.

Smooth, easy, breezy, took less than five minutes.  The saleswoman was utterly accommodating and exceptionally polite and nice to me, she even told me to hold onto the receipt longer in case it should happen again, they would again exchange it for me.

Well, alright.

Once the transaction was done, I scooted out of the mall as quick as quick can be.

I had come for what I needed and I did not need to spend any more time or money there.

1.71 Euro for my lunch and my new purse and I am out.

Out into the day.

La Defense is just an amazing outer space area.

I decided to not get right back on the Metro, rather I walked the esplanade and took pictures.  I find it amusing to be in the middle of stunning, first world, modernity, and there, off in the distance is the Arc de Triomphe.

In the Distance

In the Distance

The juxtaposition is really quite impressive.

Then I saw the Eiffel Tower off to the right between a line of a skyscraper and a crane doing more work on a new building rising, pushing, headed skyward, unstoppable with progress and bright pained windows of light pressed glass brick upon  glass brick.



Sky Reflections

Sky Reflections
















I walked the length of the esplanade.

I took in the buildings and marveled at the sudden remembrance of a childhood memory, playing with building blocks, when they were still wooden and you did not have a box full of plastic pieces with a fold out map that tells you how to assemble the building on the package.

I thought of how I wanted to be an architect at one point in my childhood, the skyscrapers I would build.

It was as if someone had opened up my head and dumped all the buildings out, jumbled and tumbled, then righted and stacked.

I smiled, I am in the right place.

In Paris.

Or just outside of it.

Signs from God

Signs from God

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