Six Hours in Paris
Mr. Pids, Paris
On my way to Barcelona, I stopped in Paris to leave a suitcase at a friend’s apartment. I am sure this part of the plan was worth it.
So worth it because I met Mr. Pids. He’s nine months old, and is actually named Piddles, but I think this is one of those names based on premature impressions. Mr. Pids is a fine young hound now. He kept me company all afternoon as I tried to stave off jet lag long enough to get myself on the overnight train to Barcelona. He napped with me. He helped me pack and unpack various items of clothing. I was desperately searching for something lightweight to wear, given the weather was unexpectedly Southern California like, and my all black ensemble had died on the vine. He enthusiastically endorsed the idea of he and I going for a walk, but this was left to his owner to attend to, as I napped some more. And woke up to find Mr. Pids back again, asleep right next to me.
I’m in love, what can I say. I’ll inform my friend of his name change when I get back to Paris.
Bumper to bumper
The driver who drove me from Charles de Gaulle to my friend’s apartment was fluent in English, and talked all the way in. It was bumper to bumper traffic because there were demonstrations, so there was plenty of time for chat. This was pretty one-sided because I was basically catatonic from the twelve hour flight.
He was a new grandfather, he told me, via his daughter from his first wife. As of two days ago. His son called to tell him today was his (current) wife’s birthday which he’d forgotten. This got my attention. I suggested he do something about it. He asked me if I would be angry if my husband forgot my birthday. I told him that I never had to be angry at either husband for forgetting my birthday because I always reminded them ahead of time. To avoid that very situation. So he said he never got angry. Well, only twice had he ever been angry and one of those times had been at his mother. This was said with tight lipped grimness. I said “Blame the mothers!”
On another topic, wine. He told me, very kindly and with a mention of one or two he’d had which were decent, the reason he didn’t like Californian wines was because he felt the grapes got too much sun (as did the grapes in any hot country which produced wine). I thought this was a fascinating theory. But since my own drinking days are long over, I couldn’t either argue with him or agree. Maybe this theory makes sense, and is in fact a well known fact and no one ever talks about it. In a minute I’ll ask Facebook!
Train station, evening Paris
This man, Michel, came before Mr. Pids. And the train station came next. I hung around there that evening. Time slowed. People were waiting for a train upon which they intended to sleep. It was quiet. I had a croissant and Pellgrino. I paid fifty centimes to use the bathroom, but I couldn’t haul my suitcase in there with me, but the attendant said she’d watch it, even though her body language said she might watch it walk away and fail to react…
Then, just like that, like always on a long, weird travel day, time travels in dips and bursts, I was in my bathrobe, being lulled to sleep in my bed on a train rumbling towards Barcelona, Spain.
I drifted off, thinking about Mr. Pids.