I’ve never minded traveling alone…
Bonjour – pull up a chair, kick your shoes off, grab a glass of wine or a café crème – visit for a bit, will you? Let’s get to know one another. First of all, I am afflicted with a fondness for Paris that cannot be explained in simple terms. I have always felt that her allure lies more in missing her than actually being in her company. That being said, I still give my neighbor a key to my house to water my plants, stop the mail, and make the long flight as often as I can, staying for whatever length I can afford in order to soak up as much inspiration as possible. I pack this treasure very carefully for the trip home where I take it to my studio to push it and pull it into the beautiful designs you find in my boutique.
I’ve never minded traveling alone. In fact, I like it. It scares me. In a good way. Even when I go back to Paris time and again — you’d think it would be same-old same-old, but non, it is not. Familiar, yes, but there is always something to challenge me, something new to discover, a previously missed passage to explore, a French language hurdle to clear and (seldom) conquer. I do sometimes miss the interaction of reliving the day with someone over a glass of wine and a good meal, or turning to make a comment about something and having no one to make it to. I wonder if we lose some of our memories of a trip when we don’t have that out-loud interaction? But I am comfortable living in my own head for a time, and there is selfish freedom in not being concerned with any one else’s agenda.
It has always amazed me when I say “I am off to Paris again,” how many people still ask, “Who are you going with? What? You’re going alone again? What do you do when it’s time to eat?” I eat, I tell them.
Why do some people seem afraid of being alone? I’m not really always alone while I am there anyway. I know he’ll find me. He always does. How he knows when I’ll be there is still a somewhat delicious mystery to me. You see, we don’t communicate anywhere but in Paris, and he doesn’t live in Paris. How he manages to appear in the oddest places at just the right moment is rather amusing and intriguing. Even more exciting, we never acknowledge already knowing each other, yet we always end up together….in a cozy corner of a dim wine bar…kissing in doorways…tangled in sheets.
We’ve never discussed a “real”relationship. I don’t think either of us wants one, actually. This way is more fun. It is like having an affair. For all I know, he could be. We never say au revoir.…he just disappears the same way he arrived – unexpectedly. Sometimes I am wistful that he is gone, other times I am just as happy to get back to my own adventure. Sometimes I miss him the way I miss Paris when I am not there, with longing…but I let it go. Tomorrow I will pack for Paris and wonder where he’ll find me this time.
*While the Boutique here at The Armchair Parisian is very real indeed, the stories and characters are a product of imagination. Please enjoy them in the adventurous spirit in which they were intended.