Research & Development

by

I walked along the Seine tonight.

A long walk, in the rain, with the song “Ne me quitte pas ma Chere,” ringing through my head.  The refrain, “I love Paris in the rain,” repeating itself over and over again in my head.

Tonight, for perhaps the first time since I have been here, I relaxed.

I surrendered yesterday.

It was an emotional day, I went through a lot of tears, and finally, after a night and early morning of dancing, I let it all fall from me.  I danced it out of my system.

The awesome thing about Paris nightclubs?

They are in Paris and the door into the club held many surprises.

A cavernous space that looped on endlessly through many rooms.

Rooms thunderous with the hormones of the late teenage and early twenty Parisian.

I forget at times that the drinking age here is 18.

I felt like I was at an out of control prom drenched with liquor.

Fortunately, I was with one of the djs and I was allowed backstage and behind the dj booth.

I was stunned, once again, to be in a club, with 100s of people, 100s,packed unto the dance floor, smashed against the barrier to the dj booth, thrashing, a mass of young humans pressed leg to torso, arm to arm, tight as the skirt on an 18-year-old out way past her bedtime.

Once again, behind the dj booth.

The awful thing about a Paris nightclub?

The smoke.

Oh my god.

It was a smoky ashtray.  Especially backstage and in the “green room”.  Which was the alcove stashed behind the stage with a private door, a security guard, its own refrigerator with cold beverages, and a bathroom with a shower, that every one was doing cocaine out of, at least that is my assumption when three boys go into the bathroom at the same time.

I just used it to pee.

There’s not supposed to be smoking in the club, but that stopped nary a person, and to add to the general haze of the place, the light and sound system pushed out copious amounts of smoke from the smoke machine.  It was foggy.

I was leaning against the wall in the underground lair drinking from a bottle of Perrier when a cute French boy leaned in and asked for a smoke.

“Je ne fume pas,” I said.

He rapidly said something in French.

I looked at him, smiled a little, “pardon, je suis Americain, je ne parle pas beaucoup de francais, tu parle tres vite! Repetez s’il vous plait.”

“Ah, American, with your healthy ways,” he leaned into me, “look at you, drinking your Perrier, like a good girl, and not smoking, you’re one of those types aren’t you?”

“I am one of those types,” I agreed, “I used to smoke, I quit.”

“Ah!  even worse,” he groaned, “how did you do it, it is terrible, too hard for me.”

I just wanted to tell him to stand still and breathe deeply, he would get a lot of nicotine in his system and lots of smoke.  I certainly did.  Every article of my clothes was saturated with it, my hair, ugh, in my hair, I forget that smell that gets into your hair.

Then to top the smell off, I got drink spilled on me.

Cue to come home and shower and wash all clothes.

It felt funny to walk into the house at 5:30a.m. but good too.

I let myself go out and play for a little while.

I will let myself go out a play again.

“Don’t go!” He said to me tonight.

“I can’t find work,” I said.  “I don’t want to go, I have a timeline, if something happens in the next two weeks, I’ll stay, but I don’t have any money and finding work here is a lot more challenging than I realized it would be.”

He rattled off a number of things for me to do.

“Done that, that, that, and that,”  I said, “and a few other things as well,” I listed them off.

“You really belong here,” he said touching my arm.

I believe I do too.

However, it may not be the time yet.

I realized today as I was doing my “morning pages” that I came and did research here.  I explored, I got to know the lay of the land, I have not mastered the city, but we are on friendly terms.  I know how to navigate through it and I have learned a lot about the daily life of being in Paris.

I also, for the first time, I believe, really felt I was successful here.

Oh sure, I don’t have a sous and I don’t know where I will work next or where the money is going to come from, but I did it.

I came here.

I tried.

The beauty of it.

I can try again.

I can do it differently next time.

Believe me, I will be doing it differently next time too.  I will have a Visa so I can work.  I may have a student Visa, I may have a work Visa, I don’t quite know yet, but I will.  I will also have much better winter clothes, should I come again in winter.

I get to keep trying is the other thing.

Just because it did not happen the way I want does it mean that I failed.  I have not failed.

If anything I have reasserted to myself that I do want to live here and now that I have done four and a half months of research I have a much better idea how that may be done.

I have two weeks to keep trying, two weeks from tomorrow.

That will put me at the end of March.

If there is not a shift, if a miracle does not happen, then I accept the miraculous that has–this time I have given to myself, the time that you have given me, let me be honest, I could not have done it without you, your support, love, money, hugs, tea, coffees, dinner, lunches, words of support.

I could not.

I won’t forget you.

I will play it forward.

I am tempted to start looking for work back in San Francisco, but I am going to stick to the time line.  Although, I admit, I did send out a little query to the Universe, I have always wanted to work for Burning Man, more than just at the event.  I would make an awesome intern or admin, I believe.

And the writing, oh, you know it, I have let myself really embrace my writing.  I will continue to submit, query, live a writers life.  That is a never-ending journey for me, I feel.

I will go to the country over Easter weekend and spend time with my manuscripts and take some notes and start working on the next books.

Books.

I like that.

I am still in Paris.

I do not know what the future holds, not tomorrow, not the next.

But I suspect there will be a lot of Paris in it.

It may just not be the way I planned it out.

It never is.

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2 Responses to “Research & Development”

  1. lori Says:

    i think it’s awesome that you went after your dream. i’d love to visit paris some day too. i appreciate the little glimpses in to your adventure there. hope it all pans out for you. all the best.

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