I unloaded my well-worn French verb conjugation book out of my bag. My dictionary I happily kissed goodbye to. I shut off any notion of knowing French whatsoever and boarded a plane to New York where I happily spent two New York weeks talking non-stop and joining in every conversation I possibly could for as long as humanly possible.
It. Was. Glorious.
As I boarded the flight back to Paris I got a sinking feeling as the flight attendant made the announcements in French. My babbling bubble burst as I realized I understood nothing. Maybe the plane is on fire. Or the emergency exits are located in aisle 16. Or I should stow my portable electronics. Should I fasten my seatbelt or is the flight six hours and twenty minutes? Who knows? Certainly not me.
I put my best foot forward into CDG, took the train back into the city ready to say "HIEEEEEEE, I AM BAAAACK!!!!!!"
(insert cricket sounds)
When I left Paris, she was still open. She offered me baked goods, wine and green markets close by. She was hot and irresistible. But when I returned, my brain rested and ready again to understand, she had left. Closed up shop for the rest of the summer. And the nights have turned an early fall cold like a slap that says "You want New York? Go ahead. I could care less about you cause I am OUTTA HERE."
Paris, wait! Where'd you GOOOOOOO????
And for those who stayed, yes, I am back to explaining myself again with the vocabulary of a three year old. Embarrassed the first night all over again to order my own dinner with authority, disoriented again to lose the entire subject of the conversation and frustrated again not to communicate with a full language at my fingertips.
I feel like the lover who left only to return to an empty house and the housecat asking for an explanation.
Ah Paris, you sneaky girl, you.
But it's OK. I will wait and she will come back to me. In the meantime I will learn some new words for her return and enjoy the quiet of a sunny afternoon in the park.
DAAAAAAAAAAANA.....LEARN MORE FRRRRRRRRRENNNNNNNCH......