Sunday, July 15, 2012

getting to Paris

Since I've renewed my committment to writing fiction this past year - practicing writing fiction - some of my daily life gets translated in my head as a short story or chapter. And one day you may very well read a short piece about a train ride from Frankfurt to Paris and I'll call it fiction to spare embarassment and to justify some embellishment.

Thursday was our last day of summer school. This year was much better than last for me but the final week of any session is designed to make you really glad it's almost over. Everyone has a limit. We had to be at the airport that evening to catch a midnight-ish flight. I sat with Claire and Grant on the plane and Justin was a row back. I was exhausted. We slept and stirred, slept and stirred.

In Frankfurt we stored our checked bag and got our carry-ons to the train station. The whole point of the train was to sit and relax and watch the green fly by. Justin booked and thought we were getting seats that we did not get. Our seats were next to the smooth gray plastic panel that is not part of a window at all. At that point I was cranky. We may as well have been on an airplane. Except that a flight would have lasted a third as long. I pointed this out because that part of me is not yet fully refined and able to see that it isn't all smooth gray plastic but, yes, about four inches of window to see parts parts parts but no whole.

In Paris we had to figure out the metro. Everyone talks about how easy metros are, so easy to get from here to there, so easy to follow the colored lines to the stop you want, so easy. But I need to add that very little is so easy when you are tired beyond reason, your kids are tired (and probably hungry), and you are carrying luggage no one wants to carry for an easy ride on the metro. You know what? We arrived. And you would probably say that's the point: to get there. But the travel still sucks. And I'm not sure I'll ever romanticize that.

We went for a walk after we quickly settled our apartment. We ate a meal that cost more than it was good but we've eaten much better since. We bought a bottle of wine and some pastries. Later, the kids were delirious and hysterical, resisting the sleep their bodies and minds needed. And then I cried myself to sleep, so spent and so ready just to sleep that it couldn't come soon enough. Justin was beautiful because one of us had to be, and he carried his family with a good measure of grace.

So we are here, walking and walking and walking.


Steve said...

somebody took a picture of a couple of tired looking people. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry about the smooth gray panel. Those happen sometimes. Be sure to look up when you get inside Notre Dame; I cried there.
See you soon, Sweet Girl! Mom

Billie said...

Finally getting a chance to catch on blog reading (while Jackson sleeps in the tent...haha!). So happy you guys made it up here because I had a fantastic time with you all. It's funny how sometimes we meet people and only wish they lived a few countries closer. Best of luck on the travels and enjoy time in the US!!!