explore deeply

the art of living your life purpose

in the spirit of our encounter

Chloë RainComment
Room with a view Saint Malo beach

Room with a view Saint Malo beach

Like a flower waiting to bloom
Like a lightbulb in a dark room
I'm just sitting here waiting for you
To come on home and turn me on 

Like the desert waiting for the rain
Like a school kid waiting for the spring
I'm just sitting here waiting for you
To come on home and turn me on 

My poor heart it's been so dark
Since you've been gone
After all you're the one who turns me off
You're the only one who can turn me back on 

My hi-fi is waiting for a new tune
My glass is waiting for some fresh ice cubes
I'm just sitting here waiting for you
To come on home and turn me on 

Turn me on

The day I decided to ditch the Fancy French Foodie tour I'd been leading for myself and have a meal in a tacky little place with lots of flashing Christmas lights, things started to shift in my Paris experience... there were TVs on every wall they could fit, one was repeatedly playing Gangnam Style when I sat down, not sure I can think of anything more tacky, but can't-take-my-eyes-off-of-the-train-wreck good. And sometimes that is just what you need. (WTF is up with that dance move? oh gawd, its so good I just watched it again.)

A Coldplay song played while I was drinking vin chaud at the delightfully regular brasserie and reminded me of a crush I had after college on a boy who had a dream to buy the Green Leaf Cafe. I had always associated that first Coldplay album with him and the good feelings that come with the beginning of crushes .... we may have only lasted a few phone calls and one make out session on the couch but I still remember that time in my life fondly and I will always love Coldplay's first two albums (sensing a theme here) and the good feelings that come with the beginning of crushes.

I had become weary of  "nice dinners, five courses, by myself."  It was a Friday night and I went out about 8pm and walked left out of my door instead of right… I just wanted to have a "regular friday night" where I would meet some people and we would chit chat and it would be bullshit, but i needed some bullshit and companionship… I circled this place and decided to go in, no one would talk to me, in fact they pulled the bar stools away after I answered "une personne".  The question had begun to rattle me, every time I answered "Oui, une personne" I never knew what the reaction would be, mostly friendly, but tonight the waitress was particularly icy. But I was DETERMINED to have some sort of "regular" friday night french experience….. so after a glass of wine I went on to the next place, there were a ton of people sitting at the bar and on lounge chairs around the bar, it looked popular and swanky, people chit chatting all around…. I sat at the bar… it was painful… no one would talk to me…… luckily the chef behind the bar speaks english, he's from SriLanka and is friendly, he talks me through my dinner of cheese and bread, and more wine.

The guy of the couple sitting next to me whips around after his girlfriend goes to the bathroom and says in English "No one is going to talk to you here. You're in the wrong place. This isn't the neighborhood to make friendly conversation and meet people! No one came here to make conversation they've come with the people they're going to talk to… you must go to another neighborhood to meet people…" and then he flips back around when his girlfriend returns from the bathroom like he didn't even speak english.  MOMENT OF CLARITY. Now, I actually understand what's been going on, at least… its not JUST me.  I'm in the wrong neighborhood to meet people? Who knew? (I later find out that its not entirely française acceptable to go out alone, though I'm not sure this piece of information would have changed anything for me.) 

The chef behind the bar says "you like cocktails?" and since there is no such thing in Paris (drink options are wine, beer, whiskey... there was one place that had "Sex on the Beach" on the drink list, but I wouldn't dare order such an American drink, unless is was 1999).

I'm like, sure, I like cocktails, why? "You should go here" and he writes an address on a napkin …. so I go.  There's no name on the awning, just a large dark bouncer outside that I show the address to like its a "permission slip" to get me in and I go in…. ahhhhh. Its like home. There's a guy in a plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up showing his tatted arms and chains that fall into his pockets shaking a cocktail shaker. My inner dominatrix has decided that I'm going to hang out here until the awkwardness KILLS me, because if it does not KILL me then I'm still alive and will go to a museum in the morning, but for now, I need to have an normal night out!!!

At the bar there's a group of married guys in suits and one has had too much to drink and starts telling me how he's not exactly happy, and he yells at the bartender to get me a drink and the bar tender comes up to the guy and though I don't understand a word of french they're speaking, I'm pretty sure the bartender has told him where to go and how to get there.... All I manage to say is "Je regret." The bartender responds in English "I'm sorry too, that these guys are bothering you."  And I decide to buy my own drink. Awkwardfuckingness. But it hasn't killed me, and so I'm NOT GOING HOME, yet.

Then I'm talking to this guy, not even sure how or where he came from, the girls he's with are talking to the married guys cause they're buying them drinks and I guess I'm standing out because I'm American.  I'm fairly certain I will go down in his personal life history as the "American Girl". Whooohoooo.

We're getting along smashingly and I'm so thrilled he speaks English and wants to practice with me and we're talking shit about this person and that person and decide to make a go around of the bar we're in, its two stories…. We're laughing and I know he's 26, and that he's proud of the Transformers t-shirt he's wearing, but I haven't thought a damn thing about it because we're rating people on who we are going to take home with us tonight and I think that we've identified the girl he's going home with in the crowd and we're standing on the stairs laughing about the guy I picked out because he is a neanderthal with a sloping forehead and then he kisses me.

He's tall and is standing two stairs below me and kisses me, and I say "where the fuck did that come from?" and he says something like, "I thought you liked me?" and then I go "Ok, you can do that again."  

He must have gotten me there, looking back on it… cause I wouldn't have done what I did, if I didn't like how he kissed me.  He doesn't drink and doesn't smoke, and though he's young and tall and wicked smart, I'm ok with him walking me home, I feel safe, he's a nice guy and I think he's funny. He's lived in two other countries and speaks 3 other languages and though he seems adventurous and wise neither of us can find the way home without our iphone map apps and then some good old fashioned stopping people on the street for directions. When we get home he takes my computer and tells me about the "places I should go". He bookmarks the English booking page, the wikipedia page, the train ticket page, the travel itinerary and demands that I must GO see the countryside of France while I'm here. He asks why I haven't planned to do so already, and I tell him honestly…. Though it sounds like one should do this and that, its taken enough emotional gumption for me to be in a foreign country for this long and the thought of going somewhere else has just been too much for me to surmount. 

The next day I wake up and I'm inspired, some fear has been lifted,  he has said enough encouraging things to make me decide I'm renting a car and going for it…and then I write him- "This is kind of random, but I just thought to ask you- in the spirit of our encounter- do you want to come with me?"

When he responds "Lets do this!", after some discussion, I never look back, it all seems quite natural, I don't even recall overanalyzing one thing. I spend a day making some travel plans and reservations and he comes over after work. In the morning we wake up and walk to get the rental car,  on the way he stops to get a pain au chocolate for breakfast and I turn down the offer because I'm holding to my "morals" of no chocolate for breakfast.  I'd end up eating chocolate for breakfast with him for the next 3 days.... maybe I'd always eat chocolate for breakfast if I was with him.  

Within 5 minutes of getting the rental car, I'm driving the Avenue des Champs-Élysées and circling the Arc de Triomphe in the what seems like 12 lanes of sheer madness and I'm screaming, not with glee, but with utter steering wheel clenching fear "OH MI GOD!!!!!! WHAT AM I DOING?!!!"" and he's saying "YOU'RE DOING GREAT BABY, YOU'RE DOING SUCH A GREAT JOB!" and I was effing smitten. 

We drive out to the seaside, and land in Mont Saint Michel first.   I'd seen the most amazing pictures of this place, literally a castle on a rock out to sea... though its raining we both agree we want to walk the 40 minute walk instead of taking the 10 minute bus ride to the mont.  We've been talking and sharing about everything in our lives leading up to that very moment where we find ourselves walking on the same path.  As we're making our way toward the castle I've just discovered that he's a singer, and I recall earlier in the car when "Heho" by the Lumineers came on the radio and I was signing along.... and I gasp slowly, Ohhhhh.... and he says, "Yeah, I know you can't sing."  So then I asked him to sing me a song, expecting him to say "maybe sometime later."  

We're walking toward the castle in the clouds and the fog and he's holding my hand and begins to sing Slow Dance by John Legend…

Mont Saint Michele from a distance, on the walk

Mont Saint Michele from a distance, on the walk

I repeat this mantra in my head, over and over, slowly....  "Take it in Chloë, take it in, take it in Chloë, take it in", this is your life, you're walking in the rain and the mist is falling on your face, and there's a tall handsome boy holding your hand, there's a castle in the distance with green sea all around and he's singing a love song because you asked him to sing a song for you….  Take it in Chloë, take it in, FLOOD THE GATES!!!  Man the pumps! Drop the guns!  The walls are tumbling down, the light is breaking in, let it come!!!  

The tsunami. The rolling wave, catch it, ride it, like your life depends on it.

You might tell everyone you're writing the greatest love story of all time, but....

You just can't make this shit up.

Mont Saint Michele in the fog
Mont Saint Michele
IMG_4623.jpg
Mont Saint Michele

to be continued.....

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