Posts Tagged ‘american cathedral’

I’ll Buy The Ticket

November 3, 2015

If you find us a place to stay.

Oh my fucking God.

I am now on a mission people.

I was chatting with a friend tonight who has not really been to Paris, except to fly through Charles De Gaulle on his way home to San Francisco, who has some vacation time he has to use before the end of the year.

Paris came up.

We looked at tickets.

I talked his ear off.

Art, art, art.

Museum, museum, museum.

I showed him photos of my bicycle in Paris, cafes I used to hang out at, places I walked around, the Rodin museum, the Louvre, the Palais de Tokyo, Musee D’Orsay.

Oh.

My.

God.

SERIOUSLY?

Seriously.

I could be leaving for Paris two days after my birthday and be there the week of Christmas.

My heart just is leaping about my chest.

The Eiffel Tower at night with glitter lights splashed all over it.

Sitting in Odette and Aime over a cafe creme.

Going to the market at Square D’Anvers.

Apples.

Rabbit sausages in a paper packet from the rotisserie.

The ferris wheel in Place de la Concorde.

The one I never got around to riding on, although I so wanted to on my 40th birthday, but I was taken out to a birthday dinner in the Belleville and wasn’t able to make it to the ferris wheel.

I would go this time.

Oh.

Walking through the Tuilleries at dusk.

Going to see old friends at the American Church and crossing over Point d’Alma to the American Cathedral and heading up Rue George V.

Sacre Couer, midnight mass on Christmas Eve.

The singing in Latin.

I would go to my favorite book store in the 20th, Le Merle Moqueur and buy a book or two and also lots of postcards and then promenade through Pere LaChaise cemetery.

I have posted on Facebook, texted a friend, and e-mailed another already before starting this post.

My friend was dead serious.

I find us a place to stay and he’ll buy the tickets.

Holy moly man.

Fuck.

I’m putting out the feelers.

Just to walk around again.

And play tour guide, since I know the city and my friend doesn’t.

It would be fun.

Also, since I was there last I was broke.

So broke and hungry and trying so, so, so hard to make it work and well, everyone here knows the story, it didn’t work, but damn I tried.

I’m grateful it didn’t work.

It wasn’t supposed to, but I leapt and I moved there and I tried it on for size and found it too tight, too constricting, too much effort to just get by, barely, scantily, scraping by.

“I was going to say it, I’m so glad you brought it up, I think it’s time you went home,” she said to me as we finished doing some reading in the book.

I had tears sliding down my face.

I knew she was right.

It was time to go home.

But.

Oh, the humble pie I had to eat.

When I thought I was going to be there so long.

Forever.

Years at least.

A decade probably.

Nope.

Six months.

But still.

How many people give themselves six months in Paris?

Even poor and scraping and just barely getting by, it was six months of walking the streets of one of the most beautiful cities int the world.

Just saying the museum names makes me giddy with delight and childish greed.

I want to eat it.

Let me lick the Kandinsky Accent En Rose in the Pompidou, let me saunter around the Warhol’s at the Musee Moderne.

Let me go to the Musee Marmottan Monet.

Or just let me walk the bridges.

Pont Neuf.

Pont D’Alma.

Walk over the Trocadero and up the stairs to the Passy Metro station.

Or down towards the Seine and out onto the island with the Statue Of Liberty on it.

The things that I would do that I didn’t do or allow myself to do because I was on such a tight budget.

The opera house.

I never did see the Chagall’s there.

Or the new LVMH Gehry museum.

Or eat oysters on the half shell at a cafe.

I could handle that on Christmas eve.

I would go to Cafe Rouge again in the Marais.

I would go to the little shop I found on a twisty, turning, winding bit of road and buy a hat from the millinery shop in the Marais, I believe it might have been on Rue de Victoire, and I felt like I fell down a little rabbit hole of hats and ostrich feathers and fedoras, felts and velvets, and ribbons, and I just touched with such reverence and looking with my eyes and heart.

I swoon thinking about it.

All the sweet treasured spots I have in my heart for the city.

The churches.

The smell of incense and the warmth.

I could always get warm in a church after much walking with cold toes through the streets.

I would go to Place Vosges and sit at the Victor Hugo cafe.

I would have many cafe cremes.

Many, many, many.

I would buy posters and postcards from the book stalls along the Seine.

I would walk through the Garden du Luxembourg at dusk just to hear the gendarmes walking through with their whistles clearing the park.

I would buy some the de Mariage Freres.

Tea.

That is.

I would eat some cheese.

Hello.

And tartar.

Oh.

I would have some tartar thank you very much.

Put it in my mouth.

Sushi face, try steak tartar face.

It’s fun just to sit here and think about the silliness I would get myself up to and sharing it with a friend who’s never been, tres cool.

Oh the delirious thoughts in my head.

The lights at night.

The Christmas lights too.

So beautiful, very different from the United States, but still so pretty.

It would be cold.

But I know what that’s like and I also know to dress warmer then I did when I was living there.

Mwahahahaha.

I just got pinged.

Message from a friend in Paris with a studio near the Eiffel Tower.

She’s looking for a rental, but I bet a good price could happen.

I don’t know that it’s a fit.

But, it’s a start.

And worth investigating.

The hunt is on.

And hey.

If you know of anyone who’s looking to do a San Francisco swap, my friend has a great big gorgeous room in an awesome house out by Ocean Beach, he’s open to a swap.

Hell.

If I could swap my place too I would, but my housemate isn’t into it.

Anyway.

Paris?

Christmas?

What do you say Universe?

I’ve been a really good girl this year.

Pretty, pretty please.

With the Eiffel Tower on top.

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January 11, 2013

Looking glass eyes.

I had England on my mind, obviously the Beatles.  I was on a train, Metro Line 9 coming home from the American Cathedral this afternoon.

I had climbed in over a man sprawled out in the front seat.

I thought at first he was passed out drunk.

He was nodding out.

I leaned against the door on the other side as the push of passengers grew.

I noticed the girl out of the corner of my eye, she reminded me of my sister, the hair style, a crazy comb over, home done dye job, and the slash marks of a cutter running up her arm.

She was well-groomed, if cheaply, and I could not pin what was wrong with her, but there was something wrong.  I tried to not stare, but her visage kept snagging my attention.

The man nodding out had a phone that would not stop ringing and a bag of bags,  I could not tell if there was actually something of worth in the sacks, he did not strike me as homeless.

Fucked up.

Right that.

Homeless, not so much.

The girl to my right vibrated.

She adjusted the volume on her headphones and looked up.

Holy fuck.

She had on some space alien contacts.

That’s what was off.

Her eyes were the color of robin’s egg blue, but there was not reflection in them, there was no gloss, it was a flat color, like paint chips laying across her eyes.

Super spooky.

I could not get the image out of my head.

Later when I was doing a little writing I heard a line, then another line, I scrambled for my notebook and jilted out a little sonnet.

Speed Ball

Sitting, staring, blank face, in the front car,

wearing plasticine porters over her eyes, arms

cut ripe fruit seasons of pain mar

soft crescent white skin.  He lays, charms

fled, nodding in/out, blank sprung, phone

trilling in his pocket, shopping bags spread

about his trainers.  He runs, to have

space, wide open under cowboy dreams, maul

at his mind–the skies blue, her eyes hid

brown behind fake lenses, she stares

thrum, thrum, thrumming like a bent slid,

a broke slide into home base.  January flares

cold bright sores of living encapsulated

cringe cuckold on the train soon evaporated.

 

I suppose I have train travel on the brain.

I will be on the EuroStar tomorrow afternoon slipping below the waves and headed to London.

I will not be taking much, my passport, please to stamp me in and out, yes, thank you.

A change of clothes.

My lap top.

My camera–charging up the batteries now as I write.

Barnaby asked me if I was excited this morning.

I was not.

I am sort of getting there.

Downloading an app for London metro transit actually helped, seeing the names and the Tube and the words all in English.

That lit a little flame of excitement.

Truth be told, I am more nervous than anything else.  Falling out of my routine, having to find my way about another new city.  I have also, not, um, the best memories of the last time I was in London.

No, not really.

I hit my bottom there.

Hard.

I drug along for another few days, pun totally intended.  I was in London January 2nd 2005-January 9th 2005.  I drank like a crazy person, always in the pubs, with my mom, smoking fags like there was no tomorrow.

And for me, there felt like there was no tomorrow.

I had whipped through my resources so fast, splurging (if you can call taking out a cash advance on a very strapped credit card, splurging) on a room in a nice hotel for my mom and I.

A week with ones mum in  a hotel room.

Detoxifying from cocaine.

That is a sexy bottom.

I detoxed via martinis in the hotel bar and pints across the way at the pub.

I figured as long as I was not using cocaine I was safe.

I was wrong.

Three days later, back in San Francisco, having got my mom off to Wisconsin on the 10th,  eight grams of cocaine, more margaritas than I want to remember, a strip poker game with my dealer at a girl friends house on Polk Street, with some one who had a Polaroid camera (fuck me), a six-pack of beer, sex with a guy I had picked up at Blondie’s on Valencia Street, a bottle of vodka, numerous packs of cigarettes, the last of my money, and voila!

Please, God, help me.

I cannot say exactly what happened.

However, I will say this.

Things changed.

Boy howdy.

Standing in the front car of the Metro today with my book to shield my eyes drifting between the junky and the speed freak, I thought, I am beyond lucky.

Beyond.

Graced is what I like to call it.

Yeah, I am not excited to go back to London and be reminded of that ugliness, but I get to go.   I get to go with a fresh perspective and I get to go and re-live it with fresh eyes.

Not eyes glazed over or ever turned inward in self-hate, anger, and self-pity.

Eyes turned outward, lamps of blazing love to saturate the London skyline with.

I will go and really see the city.

I am going on a budget, but I am going solvent.

I paid the rest of my January rent to Barnaby today.  I paid for the EuroStar ticket in cash.  I made arrangements so that people know I am coming in.  I have researched where I will be going.

It will not be to the pub.

It won’t be to the hotel bar.

It won’t be to the dealers.

It will be somewhere much more free.

Happy, and joyous like.

 

 


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