This past September I discussed a new book called A Paris All Your Own and I shared a few snippets from the book that were my favorites. I ended that post by saying that I would come back with the last few stories to discuss those as well.
Well I have finished the book and as promised I will discuss a few of the stories that I enjoyed. The next story that I read and found it quite interesting was called "My Paris Dreams" by M.J. Rose. Her story had a bit more romance in it than the others.
She talked about her first visit there. "I was fourteen the first time I visited Paris, staying with my parents at the Ritz hotel in Place Vendome. In the bathroom, water poured from the mouths of gold swan faucets. On the bed was a duvet filled with down feathers, softer and far more luxurious than my wool blanket at home".
She went on to discuss her imaginary love affair with the elevator boy..... "why walk when you could glide up and down in an old -fashioned gilded cage, an elevator complete with a white-gloved attendant? And especially when that attendant was young and, to me, exceptionally attractive...... I can picture him still, all these years later. He was tall and gangly, with fair skin and black hair. And he had a mole high on his left cheekbone......When we stepped into the elevator, and during the ride down, he always stared straight ahead. Never spoke. Never made eye contact with any of us.......
I noticed the panel. Realized I could see his reflection. And then became aware that he was looking at me. Instantly and completely, I fell in love. Why we fall in love is often a mystery.....
I can certainly see that. I have done that once before. I was about 12 and was at the YMCA during my summer. There was a boy there by the name of "Dre" his nickname I never knew his real name but we were playing softball and he was in the outfield with me. I turned and looked at him. He was about my height, light-skinned, curly black hair and had he clearest skin for a boy that I had ever seen. All I knew was that I was suddenly in love. So crazy......
Now back to the story. Years later she went back to Paris for work. Every night after work she would gather with her client and friends for drinks. One of the people that she would gather with was a filmmaker by the name of Jacques who spoke excellent English and had dirty blond hair, dark blue eyes and always wore a motorcycle jacket, black scarf, white T-shirt and black jeans. When he drank he only ordered champagne.
Jacques took her around the city to see many different things..... "After descending the broken steps, we walked through an archway into another world. A wilderness. The sounds of traffic from the Champs-Elysees were gone, magically replaced by bird calls and splashing water. Maples, lilacs, bamboo, vines heavy with wisteria, perfumed the air with a heady sweet, peppery scent. We were lost in green. Awash in nature. There in the middle of Pairs we'd found an overgrown garden, magnificent in it's obsolescence."
"Orange and lemon trees scented the air. A bird whistled. The stream rushed by. We wandered on the twisting path."
"We ate the crusty bread, soft cheese, and ripe fruit and drank the champagne. As we sat and looked out at the Seine, clouds rolled across the sky and a storm blew in. When the rain came, we huddled beneath a broad chestnut tree, the water releasing the leaves' sweet smell. We watched the swans swim by, as untroubled by the rain as we were.
"They mate for life", Jacques said. For a moment, I thought he was going to kiss me, and I wondered if I'd taste the wine on his lips........
Does she end up with Jacques? Well you'll have to find out yourself. I just wanted to share more from this book. It was a really good read and I did enjoy it. The last story that I enjoyed was "Paris Alone" by Maggie Shipstead. She talked about her days in Paris alone and I really enjoyed her story. I could see myself doing the same thing.
Here is a small snippet from her story.... "Days spent along aren't filtered through anyone else's moods or subject to another's whims or preferences; likewise, I don't have to manage or compromise my own mods or whims, because they don't affect anyone but me.... (agree!)
"One rainy afternoon, I sat in the Musee de l'Orangerie with no one else around, a private vista of Monet's water lilies wrapped around me."
Water lilies by Claude Monet at the Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris.
Just beautiful, I hoped you enjoyed this post and check out the book. To read part one of my post see here.
(photos via Pinterest)