Almost There!


Yes, blog post number three in a row with small child swaddled to my chest.

My back is in monstrous sympathy with all pregnant mothers.

Although, God forbid any of them have to carry to term with the weight of a full one year old.

Yup, the monkey turns one tomorrow.

Happy Birthday from Paris!

Some years from now you will resent the hell out of your parents when they bring it up, “oh, you’ve been to Paris, you turned one there!”

Yeah, like I’ve been to Hawaii, mom was pregnant with me there.

Does not count.

If I cannot remember it, the situation did not happen.

Yes, that means I am self-centered.

What is your blog about?

I get asked this question all the time when it comes out that I write a daily blog.  Myself, I answer, me, myself, and I.  All about the Carmen, all about my experiences, my hopes, dreams, schemes and little plans.

I was joking with Maggie on the phone tonight that my two-week figure it out time is almost up–Easter Sunday will mark the end of the time of what is going to keep my butt in Paris.  I have not had any success figuring it out.


She laughed, “the Resurrection!”

Yes, indeed, resurrect my ass in France.

I do not know.

The only thing that is clear so far is that my room-mate suggested I not sell my bike.  I have been doing the do I?  Do I not? Sell my bike.

She loves me.

She loves me not.

God damn I love my bike.  I am attached to her, how could I not be, inspired by Van Gough’s Starry Night, which only one person has ever sussed out, a midnight blue (RAL 5011) with Rock Star Glitter top coat, one silver rim in the front, one deep V classic purple in the rear, black spokes, saddle, cogs, black Sugino messenger crank, flip-flop hub, set currently in fixed gear, Japanese drop grips, Deda Pista handle bars, she is a gorgeous beast.

I don’t want to sell her, but sell her I will if that is what is called for.

Granted, I may not get a response for her.

She gets a lot of attention, but I designed her, I designed her with no one else in mind but me.

If you want to buy a custom-built bike, you probably want to go through the process of designing it to your specifications. It is not a Trek off the store floor.  My bicycle screams custom, and screams Carmen.

I scream.

You scream.

We all scream for Carmen.


I am full of myself today, but that just means I am full of caffeine.

“We can have a tea party?”  She asked as I rifled through the tea tin in the cupboard.

“Absolutely,” I responded, settling on some Black Currant tea.  I drank all the Earl Grey up yesterday.

“I want that one,” she said as I dropped my tea bag into my cup.

“No, sugar, that one has caffeine in it,” I replied.

“I like caffeine,” she said, stomping her small foot on the kitchen tiles, “I want caffeine.”

“I don’t think you do,” I replied.  “I certainly don’t think your parents want you to have caffeine, and I do not want you going near the stuff.”

Or the sugar, or the chocolate, or the honey/caramel frosted cereal bombs in the kitchen.

You, missy, were up until midnight last night.

Not going to play that song and dance again tonight.

“I need to pee.” She said.

“I need to eat,” she said the next time.

“I need my mom and dad,” she said the third time up.

“I need another story,” she told me the fourth time.

“I need water,” she said, “Carmen, Carmen, Carmen!”

“Shh, hush honey, your brother is sleeping,” I said as I walked into the bedroom.  “You have water right here on the bedside table.”  I pointed out the sippy cup next to her.

“Is it fresh?”  She demanded.

Oh my god.

I almost got fresh with her.  Then I stopped and I admit it, I lied. “Yes it is, now drink up, and go back under the covers, it is super late.”

It was after midnight by now.

I had been with the kids for nearly twelve hours, that had not been the plan.  I wonder, if I should have asked for overtime pay.  I was certainly starting to be resentful about the hours and I just wanted some quiet time to rest.

She was up when the parents came home.

“I get my special melty purple pill tonight!” She told me when I came in early this evening.

“Give her a Benadryl when she’s getting ready for bed,” mom said tonight as they left the house.  “I hope you had a really wonderful afternoon off,” mom added, “thank you again for you help.”

You betcha.

I had the afternoon off.

I needed the afternoon off to recuperate.

I did not sleep in, as I was not sure when the family was going to need me, and as the adage goes, “make hay while the sun shines,” I was clear they could use me this afternoon if so needed.

I finally got a call from the mom around three pm asking me to come up to the apartment by 4:30pm.


Wrote, meditated, went grocery shopping, check in with my room-mate about room-mate stuff, did a load of laundry, read a book, Joyce Maynard’s memoir, made a tidy hot lunch, and started writing a new piece, which I am scared to write and was completely compelled to literally drop my fork from my lunch, pick up a notebook I had started using as a short story manuscript and begin writing.

The opening line to the work came to me as I was eating and I could not get it out of my head and it was so sharp, compelling, and starkly mad, I had to write it down.  I will admit the source material scares me, it is an intimate story, shocking, it’s mine, and it is about an intimate relationship–the longest one I have ever had–with my mother.

“You should write a book,” John Ater said to me, “this could be your opening piece, you could call it MOTHER.”

“Fuck you,” I said, dashing the tears off my face, and signalling the waitress at the Lucky Penny, that yes, I would like another refill on the coffee, just leave the damn pot on the table, I have a lot of reading yet to do here.

That conversation and the subsequent events in my life, a history that I never thought I would ever write about, it all just boiled up off the back burner in my writing repertoire and spilled all over onto the stove.  Whoa, that is hot, and ready to be dealt with.

The paradox is that I recently, Sunday, had access to a land line that I can call the States from and I called my mom.  We have been in communication again, for the last few years after a very long hiatus, and I had seen her right before moving to Paris.  We have had an honest dialogue and a kind of open communication with each other on a level I have never before known.  It has been a lot of work, but worth it, amending my relationships is what makes me able to have new ones.

“Any romance?”  She asked, “it’s just, well, you’re in Paris, you should have a love in your life.”

Maybe, mom.

Maybe there is, but it is too early to tell, and as of yet, it has not been a romantic experience here in Paris, with the exception of the love affair I have with the city.

“I like listening to how you describe Paris,” he said to me via Skype, his blue eyes, blue, searching, wry.  He licked his mouth, full bottom lip, damn it, knock it off, I thought to myself.  I should never have agreed to Skype, I want to crawl through the screen and bite that lip right back.

Not hard.

But hard enough to get noticed.

Distracted then.

Distracted now, by blue eyes, and a tousled blonde head on my breast, his breath, warm, soft, slow, heavy.

Go to sleep little baby, go to sleep you little baby, you’re a sweet little baby.

We are almost there.

Where ever there is.


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