Just Like Paris


Born on the crowded, cobblestone hills rolling down from the giant white Basilica of the Sacre Coeur under rainy gray Parisian skies; the book I meant to write would, of course, have been a novel.

It would have been based loosely on the early years, before Cristina left me for that bond trader named Ralph. It would be a classic tale of love lost and rebirth, offering plot twists that, even in repeated readings, delivered surprises.

Perhaps it would have taken the reader walking through the ancient cobblestone streets of Montmartre, inviting the reader to stumble upon a hidden cheese shop run by Monsieur Joee LeBlanc. Monsieur Joee would offer a taste of a nutty, ripe old cheese, first made centuries ago in the Alsace-Lorraine by a forgotten band of monks.

Alsace-Lorraine would have been Cristina’s ancestral home. That she was really descended from a lineage of royalty, and that she was in fact a bona fide princess, were things she wouldn’t tell me until the morning after that all important third date.

I would stumble out of bed to throw open the shutters and let in waves of Paris street sounds and sunlight (hey – this was my book, and I’d cliché all over the place if I wanted). I would see Cristina, sun-drenched blonde hair flying, marching regally down the street with our coffee and croissants.

Then, listening to her footsteps on the stairs, I would be thinking of the walking we’d do that day, the bookstore visits, the hours I’d have to write, and she would make her entrance into my little room to proclaim, “Roger. I’m a princess. I thought you should know.”

This being fiction, I’d make her funny and wild. A minor TV actress, from a suburb of LA. Looking to be the next Lucy, but still a princess. At least until we took that trip to Paris and Ralph the bond trader, who would likely take her away forever, showed up at a smoky jazz joint in Montmartre where it was said that Picasso, Einstein and Steve Martin used to hang out.

Across the years, across all the gin joints, facebook mutterings and tweets, in all the world, I would try to get her back from Ralph.

And in all those times I got knocked down, all those times just looking for a “like” or a smile at a song from an absent friend . . . all those times I would stand right up again. Just like Paris. I would stand right up again.

Find the story. Sing the song

That was the book I meant to write.

And just like Paris?

I will.

One Response to “Just Like Paris”

  1. pastorcarol22 Says:

    When Wendy and I turned 40, we went to Paris and I vividly remember visiting Sacre Couer. We climbed the many, many stairs up, up, up to Montmartre. An unseen choir was practicing when we went inside and the music flowed around us like cool, sweet water. I swam through the harmonies and the music poured through me even after the choir stopped singing. The stones themselves continued to hum and sing the music of the ages. I walked out of the shadows of it’s ancient walls into the warm sun and felt filled to the brim….with the holiness of music. Find the story. Sing the song. Amen, Roger, Amen.

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