“That Paris exists and anyone could choose to live anywhere else in the world will always be a mystery to me.” — Adriana, Midnight in Paris
How do I even begin to write about Paris?
Do I write about my first glimpse of the city, within the filthy, stinking bowels of the Gare du Nord? Or perhaps of how terrified I was of the 18th arrondissement where my first hotel was?
Do I write about how I was completely overcome the first time I saw the Louvre, or the perfect happiness of my first stroll through the Tuileries and the Champs d’Elysees?
Do I write about the Eiffel Tower, and how not a day went by that I did not make a point of seeing it? Or how about my nightly vigil at the Trocadero where I froze, thawed, and froze again, just so I can get that one perfect shot of the Tour?
Do I write about the food, or the cups of chocolat chaud that I found so delightful?
Do I write about the boy I lost, or the man who found me? Or how about seduction in nondescript brasseries and kisses in alleyways, and maybe the art of fending off coffee invites from amorous Frenchmen?
Do I write about the pain and pleasure of walking without end, or the endless discoveries, each one more exciting than the last? Do I write about feeling the cold deep in my bones, or the delicious warmth in my soul?
Do I write about the pain of leaving, and the prospect of going back? Or how about of knowing without a doubt that I’ve finally found a place where I could belong?
Do I write about finding myself again? Because that’s exactly what happened.
A long time ago, I lost my spirit. But it looks like it’s been in Paris all along.