No, I am definitely NOT rested. FB was in a rush this morning as he was late for his first day of work. He had to get me on the correct train first to go to the village where his parents live and where his mother will pick me up to take me to the mairie (town hall) to take care of my visa there. I am too embarrassed to admit that I am extremely nervous to travel by myself and that I had insomnia all night along with some nightmares about getting lost. He is jumpy and short with me, I am over-sensitive and crying once already by 9AM.
Gare Du Nord train station. We rush through it and I have a sudden memory flash of when I worked there for a month in 1992 passing out flyers for a youth hostel. My friend and I befriended a gypsy family over in that corner and would often blow our earnings on the McDonald’s there across the street. That was 15 years ago and now I sit on a platform, stomach in knots, FB no longer by my side, scared to death someone might actually speak to me. I don’t remember being this frightened when I was 22 and living here. Maybe I was frightened and I only remember the adventure. Is it a mindblock or is it just that nothing bad had happened to me yet?
My stomach hurts. A woman walks up to me and before I have time to process the dry heave inside me, she asks me for directions. I answer “Je ne sais pas” very quickly and then for no reason decide to add “Je suis tres tres desoleé” (I am very very sorry). I guess it was the pathetic and sincerely sorry look on my face and the emphatic way I said those words, as in “I am VERY VERY SORRY to have disappointed you, to have ruined your life AND mine, to have rained down destruction upon ALL who live here. For this I AM VERY VERY SORRY”. She patted my hand and said something in French I couldn’t understand and walked away. I felt like asking her if she’d be my Mom but I don’t know how to say that in French.