I had forgotten about her. That young girl with the stars in her eyes, determined to find the Paris they used to sing about. The Paris that Henry Miller searched for, that Gertrude Stein found. The Paris that inspired painters, writers, architects to greatness. A city steeped in history, answerable to none but it’s own residents.
She walked the boulevards ecstatic. Her feet moving in the same pathways that countless before her had tread. Not the hoi-polloi, they would always be there, had always been there, but they never truly saw Paris, not the way she did.
The whole world was open to her. Seduction and adventure were the order of her days. To be seduced and to entrance were like inhaling and exhaling. When the sun shone, the city smiled at her. And when it rained they sobbed together. The masses who had come to Paris, expecting a better life and finding only more to complain about would do that anywhere. For her, the city was magic, consistently. And still is.
The nights of music and midnight bike rides. The lunches that took three hours, the affairs that lasted 20 minutes. The knowledge that no matter what happened from this moment on, she had lived in Paris and that would set a shine to any dull edge.
She is still here. She is still excited. She will still say and do silly things in the name of exuberance. She would still leap headfirst into the fray and know without a doubt that it will sort itself out. She knows that with even more assurance than she did then.