I’m a Minnesotan in Paris. And I’m alone.
It’s not romantic. Paris with the one you love is romantic. Paris while you navigate the rain, the metro transit system, and a creative-writing residency class-load and its homework, is challenging and more than a little lonely. I’m one of the new kids here, and while I’ve made friends, it’s hard to step up to a circle and demand to know what we’re all doing tonight. I’m not built that way. I’m built for books and Netflix. I’m built for empty movie theaters and empty seats next to me on planes. I’m built for my wife. She is my co-conspirator and without her every experience feels drenched in a demi-glace of melancholy that mingles with the January mist and chills my bones.
JESUS. Chill out, Bennett. Someone’s been spending too much time talking imagery and not enough time eating.
And, since I’m in Paris, eating is a must. So I’m taking my stomach on a date. Instead of flowers, I will buy my stomach flour. We will take a long walk in the rain to a restaurant void of tourists, and the wine will flow. And, after a date like this, my stomach will totally put out.
Okay, I may have extended that metaphor too far. But, you know, that’s why I’m in school. To learn how to not make it sound like I expect my stomach to have sex with me.