It comes and it goes, unhappiness that is, even in Paris?! Most of the time, he's not welcomed in my life and I quickly close the door or go the other way, (towards the sun) when I see him coming.
Today, he snuck up on me. I haven't seen the sun shining for the past two days since I arrived back in Paris, it's been rainy and overcast. I should have known unhappiness was somewhere near, waiting to visit when the wonderful holiday memories faded along with the sunshine.
Unhappiness surrounded me as I walked down the sidewalk, within the crowd he found me, singled me out and asked me why I was walking all alone. "Where are your friends?", he asked, "Look around at everyone else, they are not alone, you are all alone, you have no one to share your life...", he hovered over me blowing cold air over my head as he reminded me I had forgotten my umbrella. He laughed at me as the rain fell, soaking my head and shoulders. I looked down as I walked.
I thought, as I walk down the crowded Paris sidewalk, "Isn't it interesting how the thoughts in my head can literally beat me up like little ghosts of unhappiness, having a boxing match against my heart and soul." Seemingly for no reason at all, negative thoughts, depression, and unhappiness all appeared.
I know I'll feel better the moment I realize that I am in control of my thoughts, but until I take control, depression and the little unhappy ghosts surround me, and kick my ass.
I'm tired, hungry and lonely.
Moments like this, I need McDonald's (yes, seriously). Only half a block away, I enter the overcrowded McDonald's, full of French, American and internationl families, men, women, boys, girls and children. The lines fill the lobby, on any 'normal' day, I would turn around and leave, but I smile on this rainy cold day as I see the crowds and realize that if there are this many people waiting here for food, my choice to be here can't be all that bad. After all, the cozy Bistro across the street doesn't have nearly half as many people lining up for a menu.
I order my usual, one cheeseburger, small fries and a small diet coke.
Sitting on the bar stool between two strangers, watching the parade of people passing by on the sidewalk below, I realize I must have lost depression and the unhappy ghosts in the crowded lobby downstairs. I start to feel better already.
Just as I finish my last bite, my cell phone rings.
"Where are you?" it's the voice of Pierre with a strong French accent.
"Uh, I'm ah, out... eating lunch." I answer, not wanting to confess my McDonald's affair.
"Where are you?" I ask in return.
"I'm going to my apartment." he answers.
"Okay, I will meet you there in 30 minutes." I reply, knowing it's okay to be there.
"Sure, why not? 30 minutes is fine." he says.
In a burst of "Retail Therapy" and unable to resist the massive Sales going on all over Paris, I buy a pair of boots, a new scarf, a hat and some chocolates all within 30 minutes along the way to Pierre's apartment.
"Ah, you are so lovely." he says with a smile, "but we must change your look." he says referring to my natural hair that is now a little bit straight, part curly, and somewhat afro puff from the rain. "You look poor." he says with sympathy. I wonder if he means I look sad and beat down by depression and the unhappiness ghosts. "I want your hair smooth with curls." he says as he lightly kisses my cheeks, and brushes my wet hair away from my face.
By now his demands are normal to me. I smile.
"I'm tired, I want to take a nap. " I tell him as I look for a place to hang my rain soaked coat.
"Yes, but when? Where will you sleep?" he asks puzzled.
"In there..." I point to his guest room. "...and you can continue to work." I finish.
He touches his index finger lightly on my forehead and says, "You are very special. You are a very special girl."
I think jet lag is still in my system as I lay down to rest. He enters the room, "Oh, it is better that you sleep under the blanket as he pulls a blanket over me and quietly leaves the room, closing the door behind him.
"You are a special man." I think to myself as he doesn't hint at sleeping beside me.
I smile again, wondering where depression and unhappiness had gone as warmth and comfort surrounded me. I realize I am still not happy all the time, but in Paris, I am happy most of the time!