31 August, 2011

Tomorrow is now Yesterday

I have just left my first home in Paris for the last time.  With Monsieur Goutagny on the practically mandatory Parisian August holiday he had a friend come by to check me out of the flat.  Of course being it was already halfway through August she, too, would be leaving for her trip after our meeting.

I spent the last two days packing up 6 months of memories.  I recall the first time I entered that apartment alone, falling exhausted and lonely on the couch.  This time it was going through to the other side of the doors that proved difficult.  The place “belongs” to me and I to it.  Am I the only one that gets this possessive about a residence?  I hope I am not because it is a wonderful feeling to feel connected to the home you go to every night.  Where you learn, you change, you grow, you…LIVE! 

Lauren, the agent, shut “my” door for me the last time I walked out.  The door of the perfect little studio I so love closed with the loud click I have become accustomed to, signifying that one part of my European life has come to a close. She helped me, holding my fan and my computer and a little bag of memories that I had plugged up on the wallboard during my stay.  We walked the twelve feet across the hall to the place where I would be staying for a few days.  Elvira, my always gracious neighbor, had offered to allow me to stay at hers whilst I await my holiday to Spain. I unlocked the hard wooden door that resembles my own, or the one that was mine rather.  There I turned and Lauren saw what I had feared she would: huge tears falling silently, involuntarily from my eyes.  
I shut the door behind Laura, a kind woman, I thought, even though she was the grim reaper of my apartment.  I sat in the silent wide-open rooms of the flat.  Much, much larger than mine and empty since Elvira is on her vacation.  Empty except, of course, for the little (albeit growing) chat that I love.  She comes running down the long hard wood corridor along with the sunlight that bounces off of it making it look like gold.  She circles my legs and purrs.  Chat is happy I am here and slowly the tears start to subside.
I walk around looking at the walls that aren't mine, realize I need a tissue. As I go to grab a paper towel I get the instinctual feeling when your legs take you were you need to go without asking you.  Mine took me towards the front door to my old place.  Then I realized, no, no I don't live there anymore.  It hurt, that gut hurt where you cave in for just a second with the realization that the past is now, in fact, the past.

Luckily the view from Elvira's, is soothing.  With one quick turn of the head I gasp as the Sacre Coeur comes into view, up on the hill looking majestic with its white marble dome.  It is overwhelming.  On “my” side of the building (as you know) I had looked down onto my half naked neighbor or schizophrenic, bad guitar playing teenager.  Quite the change.
I take a deep breath gazing out at the view.  Wiping the final tear from my eyes it occurs to me.  I have never lived anywhere I didn’t shed a tear upon leaving.  This fact tells me that I am doing something right.  The fact is I am sensitive and I feel EVERYTHING –heaven help me. 
As I pack up and leave a part of my life behind, if there are no tears, what does that mean?  Was I not truly fulfilled there?  Should I not only be excited for the next horizon but spend a brief moment mourning the loss of another successful adventure?  So it is with tears, at the end of an old beginning, that I left my Café de la Lune to create another series of beautiful memories in my life!
Espana here I come!  Or like my landlord said when he called today, “Vive l’espagne”.
Mais j’aime Paris tout mon vie!

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