Friday, July 24, 2009

THE TURNING POINT

(French tarmac....somehow so appropriate....no, no Dude, don't bother getting up, it's just my PLANE you are supposed to be guiding in, I don't want to bother you)

I have to admit, I bawled my eyes out on the plane ride back from New York this time around. Alone in the dark at 3AM. For exactly 76 minutes. I thought about my family and cried. I thought about my friends and cried. I thought about all the stoops in Brooklyn and Queens I sat on and cried. I thought about the concert I gave there, the stage banter in English flowing effortlessly from my mouth and an entire room laughing at all of my jokes.
Cry.
Eating a steak and watching deer with my Mom.
Cry.
Doing Kung Fu with old friends.
Cry.
Ninja dance party.
Cry.
4th of July, crying while looking at fireworks and was blindsided by a crazy sense of patriotism that yes, in fact, I DO love the US of A.
Cry for the US of AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.
But mostly I cried because for two weeks I had felt like ME again. The one who wears no bra and flip flops and likes to sing while skipping down a Brooklyn street to get a bagel while stopping to talk to everyone about everything. The one who has giant shiny steely balls of wonder and fearless glory power (well, most of the time).

(Visiting Mom in NJ forest...yeah that's right, THIS IS NEW JERSEY)

(Hanging out on the East River in Queens)

But now I sat hurling across the Atlantic in the dark with "France" approaching closer and closer. My stomach quickly knotting, the sense of adventure gone this time around and all that is left in its place....a looming sense of isolation and incomprehension.
Bienvenue.
I'm back.
Sigh.

It started the minute I got off the plane and stood waiting for our bags.
Silently sulking next to the carousel trying in vain to talk myself out of the attitude problem, bits of conversations around me floated through my ears and into my brain where they were not translated, but understood.
Huh?
I shake my head back and forth as if a butterfly somehow ensnared itself in my ears.
Whatever.
Get into a taxi with FB under a grey Parisian sky. Silently sulk and do my usual "I'm in a reeeeally sad music video where no one understaaaands me" pensive look out the window. The radio is on and again, some of the words are in my head and I am somehow understanding them......
OK, is this the point where I take Jesus Christ as my personal savior? Because some craaaaaazy shit seems to be going down in my brain.

Up the 104 steps....
I missed you, little apartment with your yellow and blue walls high above a garden.
I missed you, butcher, greengrocer, cheese man and wine guy.
I extra SPECIALLY missed you, best butter I will ever have in my life and that I sometimes dab behind my ears because I secretly want to smell like this butter all the time.

I wiped the crocodile tears away and went to Burgundy this past week where I fell for you all over again, France.
Attitude adjusted.
I'm in love.

(Autun, France)

10 comments:

Kimberly said...

I missed you Dana. Glad your trip was a success and glad you're back in Paris.

Anonymous said...

you crazy cunt. u always make me laugh... i must say, Dana, you're the only american i like now (other than the politically correct David who did an MA in Writing at Warwick).

i'm glad you're back in paris with the rest of us Les Miserables.

Edmund

donna said...

As I recall the French could care less if you wear a bra or not. Although they aren't big on flip flops.

Anonymous said...

Oh, god, I know.

- Nel
www.nightmeadow.com/flog/

hannahinmotion said...

This was such a beautiful post. I think we've all written these- I know I have- going from one side of the pond to the other, and back again. They help us remember why we do what we do and live in- and love - two places.

Gina said...

Love it! I too am having a rather unhealthy love affair with this phenomenal French butter. Glad your back and back in love with France.

Gina said...

Correction: Glad YOU'RE back. Sorry, didn't want to seem illiterate.

margaret said...

Atta girl! I'm happy you got to come to the States and hang with your nearest and dearest. But I'm also really glad you're back. Your ninja batteries must be fully recharged--look out Paris!

KFD said...

Merci! :)

jess said...

This is really wonderful Dana. The States are poorer without you, but the butter richer.

Keep writing.
www.chagrinandbearitall.blogspot.com