printemps

Friday was a gorgeous day. I sat by the canal and talked with a friend about traveling, about baking and how hard it is to find the right sugar and flour in Paris, about how much Parisians love American cookies. I told her how strange it felt to be American. Something I have always been but have never said I am. I am, have always been, Puerto Rican but here I am American. Here being Puerto Rican is not a nationality. As I walked up the stairs to my apartment I thought- I have never lived in a foreign country. Then I thought- ah, but you have, since you were 18 you have. Then I sat in the small nook of the kitchen window as the cat slept by the last direct ray of light. The pigeons stood still, perched on the chimneys across from me, and I looked at the sky.

Moving shakes things up. I always remember my dreams best when I sleep somewhere new. Changing position changes perspective. Leaving Leo gave me a sense of self I never had before. Leaving LA has made me aware of how full my life is. It is nice to swim in feelings of what I have as opposed to what I don’t, as opposed to what I want.  It is wonderful, it is productive to feel happiness with what you have. There is so little we can control in our lives. Our perspective and our efforts, that’s about it. I keep thinking about something my mom said recently. That life wasn’t so much about paying your dues but about contributing. Where you give your time, your love, your attention is where you reap your light.

When I first got here I emailed my old writing teacher Jack. Every few months he writes emails to his students meant to kindle a love of writing. His last email was about fact and fiction, writing and art, and Pina, the movie about Pina Bausch. After reading it I wrote to him and told him how much I enjoyed his “letters”.  We’ve been emailing about Paris ever since.  It’s exciting to correspond with someone I find inspiring.

Since moving I have been in touch with a lot of long lost friends dispersed through out the world. Some emails have been proper catch-ups and others a simple lovey touch-n-go. After dreaming that I walked past my friend James on a street here in Paris I wrote him. I think the last time that I talked to him was about twelve years ago. He wrote back: I’m glad we reconnected, in Paris. Hopefully we can reconnect one day in real life, with fruity cocktails, on a beach, in PR. The last time was on a warm windy night, at some party. I remember it. 

There was a time that I hung out a lot with James. He was my boyfriend’s best friend. He was Anouk’s roommate for awhile. We were so young and as he said in another email, but thought we were so old. We took ourselves very seriously in the way that art school kids tend to do.

I spent practically the whole weekend at Butte Chaumont- drinking wine with friends on Saturday and then Sunday with Iris listening to music and taking photos on her great-grandmother’s blanket. I had fun slutty-kisses with a cute Parisian late Saturday night and rosé by the Seine late on Sunday. The weather is making me think of NY. James’ email is making me think of NY. Kissing a 26 year-old is making me think of being 26 in NY. And all of it feels very weather appropriate.