Monday, December 01, 2008

Echoes

It is after midnight.

I am riding home in a taxi from a farewell dinner. "Brrr. Il fait froid," says the driver. "Moins 2"

We make pleasant chit-chat and I note with irony that just as I'm leaving Paris I'm beginning to recognize the Celsius temperature readings without a mad mental scramble to do the math.

The car slides silently along the quai, past the Statue of Liberty on Ile de la Cygne, past the high-rise apartments across the Seine in the 15th. "How can I ever replace this?" I wonder. Even the mundane modern buildings take on importance. Suddenly the Eiffel Tower surges into sight; its brilliant blue lighting is breathtaking. For a brief moment I consider asking the driver to stop so I can take a photo, but it's too cold, I'm too tired, and I would have no way to upload it when I get home, because there is nothing left in the apartment.

Well, nothing but seven suitcases and a bed.

Entering the apartment, I feel like Audrey Hepburn's character in Charade, opening the door of her Parisian apartment to find it stripped bare. Mine lacks the gilt and the Givenchy of the Hollywood scenario; but the emptiness of a tall-ceilinged Parisian apartment is dramatic. In addition to the echoing from the parquet to the moldings, there is the stark blackness: I have no more lamps.

In the kitchen, one of two rooms with recessed ceiling lights, I sit at my improvised desk -- the rejected ironing board lowered to 3-feet tall -- and sit on a tiny metal sidetable, also a tag-sale reject.

Is this any way to spend the last night at my home in Paris?

It's odd. In every other house I've lived in I've felt a deep sense of sadness leaving the actual dwelling. Although I adore this apartment, I'm not emotionally attached to it. The sense of place and home, and the angst at leaving, is more about this big engulfing city.

10 comments:

Francofou said...

I think we all know how you feel.

pdxknitterati said...

Trop triste.

Starman said...

I know how you feel. Every time I go to Paris and have to leave, I feel like I'm leaving something behind.
Here are two very nice pictures of la Bleu Eiffel -
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3122/2626682209_79251eacc2.jpg)
(http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/12650572.jpg)

Who is Mary Blake? said...

It's not easy to d-Polly, d-Paris.

Prêt à Voyager said...

Bonnes chances on your next adventures!

Anne

Sherry said...

I have never written before. I am very sorry that you are leaving Paris. I hope (if it is your wish) that you will be able to return soon. Best wishes

Anna said...

Sad. Can you see a way to return in the not too distant future?

Lora said...

Wow, that was a very moving post, Polly. You'll miss Paris, but you'll be OK! And what a wonderful experience you had - I so envy you!

Sedulia said...

That's such a great photo.

I'm sorry for my sake that you're leaving. Yours is my favorite Paris blog. Anyway, now I can't meet you there. I was looking forward to that.

I hope you won't miss Paris much. Honestly, I don't at all. Just when it seems I might really be going back soon, too. C'est pas beau, la vie?

Anyway, have a wonderful Christmas, and stay in touch.

Petrea said...

I have lurked, but not commented much. I'll miss your Paris posts. Merci, merci, Polly.

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