Home is Where your Computer Is
So now, let's see...... it was two months ago today that I took off on my last little trip around France, with stops in Champagne, Italy and Burgundy. After spending four amazing days in Champagne, I jumped back on the TGV, and headed back to Paris for the night before leaving for Beaune the following afternoon. It was a beautiful feeling to climb aboard the TGV and go 'home' to Paris. It felt so right. And arriving back into Gare du l'Est, it was just three short metro stops to my stop, a 10-minute walk through the littered cobblestones of the Goutte d'Or, past the extremly ethnic diverse street merchants selling courgette, poission and leather belts, through the three courtyard doors to the 'battement coeur', up two flights of rickety, drooping stairs, and I was home. Turning the key in the lock of the new armored door that JPC and his brother installed a few weeks earlier, I was greeted with 40sq meters of a construction zone, but it was just part of the landscape of home to me at that time. The compact and efficient kitchen, the blue protective plastic still clinging to the cupboards, the unfinished paneling surrounding the windows and the white chalky plaster on the walls leaving their marks on all of my dark clothes. The French kitchens are uncannily economic. In the space the size of an American walk-in closet, and with the help of Ikea, a typical 8sq meter space you have a fridge, convection oven and induction cooktop, a front loading energy saving washer/dryer, sink with sizable depth and a dishwasher. Really, San Francisco, is it really all that hard? I believe their plumbing is a bit older in Paris than it is here too. They seem to manage. The living room is still currently I believe the staging zone for all the DIY stuff, but at least we had finished the bedroom together. We finally had the chance to move the bed and it's impressive leather headboard in the separate living space after the walls were painted a calming, elegant shade of slate blue. We had also just put up the mirrored closet doors a few weeks ago, which now hid the expertly designed and organized closest space. Never before did I have slide out drawers with soft closes that held my jewelry, watches, and unmentionables. Such luxury! With the muted striped curtains of lavender, pale blue and grey purchased at Madura on the rue du Rivoli, it felt like a truly grown up room. The first I had ever had a hand in creating, no matter how slight. And I loved to sleep in that bed, with the oversized European goose feather pillows, the long round bolster pillow that I would entwine myself around in the morning after he'd gone to work, the simplicity of French bedding: good quality cotton perçale fitted sheet and a duvet cover, nothing more, even in the dead of winter. After sleeping on the couch of some very generous students in Reims, I was so happy to climb back into this luxurious piece of real estate in the northeast of Paris. And the bathroom, mostly finished, was expertly designed and fashioned. Towels from DeLorme warmed themselves over the sleek new radiator installed next to the shower cabinet. It was good to be home. After a long, hot 'hollywood' shower, I started the tea kettle and settled in on the only chair in the place, a standard black swivel desk chair in front of the large computer screen, to plan out my next two weeks. Listening to Arcade Fire fill the small space with sounds of longing and retreat, I increasingly found myself not wanting to leave my little haven in Paris. Yes, it was small, and yes, it was under construction, but it was home, and everything I ever needed was just a few feet away. Especially when JPC came home, and we made dinner together, and ate it in our laps on the floor, as there was only one chair and a coffeetable in the place. I found myself not wanting to leave, but the inspiration of the vineyards of Burgundy, the architecture of Venice and the landscape of the Alps kept me on track. Sometimes, when you find a place, and it becomes your home, it can be increasingly difficult to leave. Even if it is for the Grand Cru vineyards of Montrachet. But I knew I had to get out, get away, and see what was on the other side of the river. Or I would regret it forever, and be stuck wondering just what was awaiting me. 'Cause on the surface the city lights shine........they're calling at me, come and find your kind.....'