To get away from all this post-chemo miserableness, I turn to gay Paris. Pete and I have talked about going there when all this madness is over next spring and I can't think of a better place to share with my love.
I've been to the city of lights twice before: once with my gay ex-boyfriend when I was 21 and again when I was 23 with my cousin and her then-boyfriend (now husband) during our obligatory four-month backpacking tour of Europe. The first time it was, unsurprisingly, all about fashion. I was obsessed with all things clothes and my travelling companion was similarly eager to traipse through all the houses of Chanel, Gaultier and Dior. The shopkeepers were pretty tolerant of us as we fingered the $600 bustiers and rubbed our feet on the plush carpeted stairs going up to the couturier rooms. I remember D bought a Gaultier T-shirt and I bought a pair of outrageous platform clogs that almost broke my ankles several times.
We also toured the necessary art museums and sauntered through Versailles, but it was really all about the clothes during those 11 days of Parisian bliss. Food? Not memorable. Wine? Ventured once into a shop and bought some horrible white stuff.
The second time I went, I felt all grown-up and independent. I left T and her boy to tour the Louvre while I hopped onto the Metro to check out the 1st arrondissement where I had stayed at 21 and wandered around trying to look French. I remember buying the same little Eiffel tower keychain I had bought two years earlier and thinking, "shit, man, here I am in the same place in Paris... I feel pretty fucking lucky."
Both times I went, I wasn't in love with a boy, which made the soft pink lights from the old lampposts, the bridges, the river, the everything, a bit difficult to take. With Pete, I could experience all that good stuff, plus the food, the wine, the cooking, the market-shopping.
It's what I think about as I lay about on our big red couch and crave french fries with vinegar.