Monday, August 3, 2015

Hey, Paris

She was always the popular girl that everyone loved. She's so beautiful, so romantic, so well-dressed! Everyone loved Paris except me.

What I saw was copious traffic and snobbery. Wealth and power. Tour buses, armies of tourists. Dirt on the buildings and dog poop on the sidewalks. The smell of pee. Hypocrisy, noise, smog. The occasional tree choking under tons of pavement.

I don't exactly remember the conversation. How or when I told my manager that I'd be working from the Paris office for a couple of weeks. Like the rest of the arrangements for Paris-Brest-Paris, it just kinda happened. I registered on the last possible day. I bought a plane ticket (with trepidation, because Air France). I looked up the office location on Google Maps and found a place nearby on airbnb.

Need time to get over jet lag, I said. Need to learn how to eat gluten-free in France (of all places). All true.

Need to flee a thing at work that no one can talk about. An acquisition of sorts. With consequences and politics and stress. Feelings of helplessness. Need lots of exercise, a change of scenery. Naturally, riding Paris-Brest-Paris for the fifth time. At least it's good for my brain. At least I can control the bike. It's better than being here.

Something else has to be said about Paris. It's a fabulous place to escape to. Once you remember some French. Once you stop waking up at 3am. Taking melatonin, then sleeping like a dead person until 10 or 11. Using the shower to get conscious. Fumbling around to get dressed. Stress testing the coffee machines at the office. (Ceramic espresso cups!)

After a plane trip the hangover goes on and on and on. Hey, a party girl needs a place to crash.

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