If you’ve followed my tumblr, you know that I visited Paris last spring and absolutely fell in love with the city. I met a number of people that quickly became great friends.
One girl in particular took a seriously liking to me. We actually kissed the last weekend I was here in Paris after I realized that my marriage was over. It was strange and wonderful. The first girl I kissed since I met my wife nearly fourteen years earlier. I had mixed emotions since I was still married, but at the same time I felt like it was the right thing to do.
After returning to the states in June, I applied for and received a visa to move to Paris for up to six years. Amazing. And just like that, in October, I moved here permanently.
Interestingly, for the first two weeks here in Paris I actually stayed with that same girl. And she was still very much liking me. We actually became very close but it was apparent that we could only ever be friends. Eventually she moved back to the US a few months later but we still are quite close.
At the end of 2011, I started actually dating somebody again. American and quite nice, we’ve had lots of fun together. We hang out, we go out together alone or with friends, and generally have a great time. We even travelled to Belgium together for a weekend. It was good.
But something wasn’t quite right. I never was able to become comfortable being with her. Really, it has nothing to do with her. She’s great, fun, and treats me wonderfully. Just something was not clicking 100% with her. So about a month or two ago I started thinking about ending it.
But then things got in the way. Travel and visitors for both of us left me with no good time to do anything about it. And truly, it’s not as if I was miserable…quite the contrary. We always have a great time. But again, something was just missing.
Around this same time, another girl that I was friends with started having problems with her relationship. And for some reason, when things became upsetting to her, she called me.
I was taken quite aback. I figured maybe since she didn’t know me that well, it was easier to open up to me. But in any case, I let her come to my apartment when she was upset and just held her while she cried. It was heartbreaking.
But then we started to become really good friends. We laugh and enjoy our company together. But she was still working through her relationship, and me through mine. But as friends we’d be together and talk and laugh all day long.
Then a month ago, something incredible happened. We were out with friends, but when the last Paris metro train came, she wanted to hang out with me more. And I wanted to see more of her. We came back to my apartment and watched television and talked until about 4am.
Somehow, when it was time to go to bed, we felt something real and unstoppable. I asked if she wanted to sleep in bed with me. She did.
But it wasn’t sordid at all. It was sweet and beautiful. We simply held each other closely as if we had been doing it forever.
Eventually, we shared a kiss.
So much of it seemed exactly perfect, but we knew there are a lot of complications. So we put that on hold. That was a month ago.
Last week, the other girl I’m seeing went away for a week. And I started spending a lot of time with this new girl.
I hate the fact that we both feel like we are cheating in a way, but honestly both of our relationships were over in our minds. We both knew that something was brewing between us.
We spent every day together last week. We held hands as we simply walked Paris for hours. One night, I walked her to her metro across the Seine, and we kissed on an abandoned Pont des Arts. It was perfect and incredible.
She is beautiful, smart, and funny.
And, suddenly, she is everything I want.
I was married for about seven years when my wife and I started drifting away from each other.
It wasn’t long after her father passed away under extremely difficult circumstances that she started pulling away. I think she was angry about a lot of things in dealing with that, and maybe some things I didn’t handle one-hundred-percent perfect through that horrible ordeal, even though I always tried my absolute best for her.
I had always thought that we escaped that situation together and bonded stronger than ever. But I think inside her, she started questioning things.
She started drifting off. She switched careers. She started to do things without me and become more independent.
I’m completely fine with all of those things…I’ve always encouraged her to do everything she wants.
But at some point a few months later she started hanging out with another man she worked with. Again, I believed we were secure enough that this kind of thing doesn’t bother me. And it didn’t.
Until I found some emails.
Nothing sordid really, but the tone was really quite inappropriate. I confronted her, and she assured me that nothing was happening. I took her for her word.
Years passed while we drifted further and further apart. I couldn’t quite figure it out.
In late 2009, she told me that she had kissed that man one night. I knew exactly when it was. She had gone to a work party, and he drove her home. She texted me to say that she had just left, which meant she would be home in about ten minutes. Forty-five minutes later she came home. I knew something was up at that point, but I think that maybe I just didn’t want to believe it.
In any case, six months later she moved out, to another city. I still supported that. I wanted to give her her time and space to figure herself out. After ten years of marriage, I can be supportive and forgiving. So I waited in our empty home, alone. Hoping that she would have and epiphany and realize that we were supposed to be together.
But it never happened.
So at the end of 2010, we decided to separate for real.
I had been working a full-time job and starting a business for over two years. And I had a need to get away. I wanted to give us a real, true separation as our last chance for her to understand what she could be losing. It was nearly impossible for me to leave her behind, even for a few months. But it felt like a last ditch effort, so I forced myself.
But where could I go? I wanted to go somewhere I had never been before.
Somewhere far away and unfamiliar.
Somewhere that I didn’t know a soul. Somewhere that would take me completely and utterly out of my comfort zone.
Then it hit me.
I’ve been missing from tumblr for a few months. It’s not for lack of anything to report…there is a lot to report. I’ll start a recap shortly.
But I’ll give away the ending right now.
I’m about to begin a relationship with a beautiful girl. And it has the potential to be amazing.
Look at the sky…
Sunday afternoon at Île Saint-Louis, Paris.
To live in Paris, you must accept some tradeoffs.
It’s Sunday morning, and I need to do laundry. For me, that means packing up my dirty laundry, heading down my four flights of stairs (there’s no elevator in my building), then walking a couple of blocks away to la laverie. It’s generally a pain but I’ve worked out a system where I put my laundry in, do some errands, return to switch it to the dryer, then sit in the boulangerie across the street with a pain au chocolat and coffee. Then pick it up, walk back, and up four flights of stairs.
But then something amazing happens. I open my windows and the bells of Saint-Sulpice (next door to my apartment) start chiming. It is beautiful.
I can accept this tradeoff. I have no washing machine in my apartment, but I get to hear the bells chime for 10 minutes.
And now, as I finish writing this, the bells stop, and the organ for this morning’s service begins. I can hear it clearly from my desk with my computer.
Malta…a weekend getaway from Paris.
La neige @ Rue du Cherche-Midi…aujourd’hui!