Juliette in Paris

The street sign says, Rue St. Honore. I don’t know anything about Paris, streets or even where I am for that matter. I’m going to begin by walking around the block across the street. The sidewalks are wide, and I see a beautiful hotel with a colonnade in front, so I’ll begin there. Hotel Intercontinental. Classic huge building with a nice classy cafe in front. I decide to explore by circling the blocks and going further afar as I get my bearings. The shops are all well kept with windows displaying everything inside. Handbags, perfume, lingerie, shoes. I pass a boutique, YSL. It’s a sign! I will go in there, but not today. Today, I’m just tired and wondering “What was I thinking? Stupid and pigheaded, and now I’m here by myself without a clue. It looks like the taxi driver brought me to a nice area though. I’ll pick up a map if I see any, to navigate from where I am.

I don’t go into any shops, just walking around and gathering notes to myself. The way it looks to me, is that this taxi driver plopped me down into the middle of “dream” Paris. Eiffel Tower, Champs-Élysées, Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris Opera house are nearby, Madam’s little lodging is smack dab in the middle of everything. This doesn’t make me happy right now. I’m lonely, hungry, and miserable. I decide to go to the cafe in front of the Hotel Intercontinental for lunch. It’s lush, with wood and velvet. The waiters are expert, efficient and very professional, but not so much so, that after looking me over, and making a mental assessment of my clothing and single condition act a little bitchy? Is it a look of pity or disdain? Not sure.
The menu is in french, but I try to decipher it and act like I know what I’m doing. I order a few things, he does a little eyebrow twitch thing, so I know I did something cloddish. Everything I ordered was perfectly made and cooked, so I enjoyed tastes and textures I’ve never had before, plus sparkling water, espresso, everything! The waiter brings me the bill in a wallet and I place the VISA card into it. I think to myself, Paris is not a good place to be a single woman alone. I hate my husband, I hate myself for my stupidity, and I hate the French for making me feel pathetic and oafish.

I head back to Madams’ with stomach ache, a sick head and sick heart. I shower, crawl into bed and call home full of deep misery. Shouldn’t have bothered. He just tells me to go to the Hotel Intercontinental for help.