Today is my second (full) day back in Paris since the winter break. I added a couple hundred words to a short story I started yesterday, and while I intend to finish it, the thing is crap. I speak the truth. This ‘ol brain of mine can’t always crank out awesomeness, which is too bad.
The way I see it, I’m only going to produce publishable material if I take care of moi first. So I started today the same way I started approximately 100 days in 2014, and that’s by going to church. Did you just roll your eyes? I know, I know. I’m not particularly religious and I certainly have nothing to preach about. But when you’re a couple thousand miles from the people you love the most - when your oldest kid is boarding at military school - when you’re in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language - when your washing machine takes 3 hours and 20 minutes to clean your clothes and your dryer takes even longer - when you slap yourself for even saying that because you know you’re goshdarn lucky to have a dryer - when your Wifi is more like WhyBother - Look, sometimes you have to show up and fake God into believing you’re the praying type.
Truth be told, when I first arrived in Paris a year ago, I realized right quick that I needed a reason to get up in the morning, and I also noticed that hearing just a little bit of English every day boosted my happiness endorphins. That and the Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower makes everyone smile, even the Frenchies.
So after Church today, I was feeling pretty good and went to the gym. On my way there, I ran into an American friend while crossing the Grande Armee, like, right smack in the middle of the street, and we did just what every Parisian hates. With our loud American voices and botched faire la bise, we were all like “Oh HEY you! Bon Annee! How was Austria? Did you ski or snowboard? We MUST get together for wine soon! Oops, the light’s red, better run! Have an incredible day!” I heard “ppppfffftttttt” popping off all around me like flashbulbs on the red carpet. Didn’t matter none to me, though. You know why? I had a pep in my step and I was going to the gym.
Here’s what I did at the gym: I walked around for a bit and looked at the French people. I observed an aerobics class from the third floor balcony while pretending to do sit-ups. I piddled with a thigh master. I walked around some more. But most importantly, I avoided writing. This is what I call taking care of me.
My stepdaughter woke up at 1:15 - that’s in the afternoon, people - minutes after my housekeeper got to the apartment. Maybe I should change the subject now.
I had a doctor’s appointment at 2:00 in the 8th. I acquired some weird skin cancer issues last year - on my face of all places - and I’m still finishing the recovery process. So obviously, this appointment superseded any gibberish that was going to flow from between my ears and land on my blank computer screen. And I just couldn’t resist a leisurely walk home from the doctor’s office, because after all, I’d been back in Paris since Sunday but still hadn’t swung past the Eiffel Tower.
Oh, and now I’m writing a blog entry, because you know, that’s important.
But I better get moving because I need to straighten my hair before dinner tonight. Nothing beats the steak tartar at Chez Clement. And I would know.