I am in Paris crashing at a friend’s in their living room on a mattress, with the balcony window open, the cold chill after a night of rain, spring on it’s arrival. A moterbike buzzing by in morning commute.
I have a similar sense of peace and anticipation, being back to this place with so much history, and filth, and art, and untempered love.
Last night I met up with friends for drinks in the park. The park is cliffside, with towering bridge over valley, and paths crawling through what feels like once an old misshapen farmland. The city sprawling out, tightly packed, in the distance below.
I took the train from Montmartre, stepped and climbed cobblestone roads carved into hillside, sat at a cafe on the corner, people-watching people watch people, with a friend and his girlfriend and our beers and close conversation nearby.
It felt like something familiar, because I have been to these streets before, have walked them after a breakup, young american on my own, new and unknowing. I imagined myself as the soul of someone who once lived here. Is that why I continually return?
Each time I walk these streets the city loses some of it’s romantic novelty, while that same novelty becomes something more a part of me. I am in Paris, not a Parisian, still charmed by the age and growing familiarity of this city. I hope that never fades sharply. Distance seems to be what keeps.