Monday, December 08, 2008

A very local day

It's crazy hard for me to get motivated to do anything. It is cold, dark and often damp outside, which contributes, no doubt. While I don't actually feel sick, I have a lot of symptoms--runny nose, frequent sneezing, the occasional cough and tiredness. But no headache, congestion or that run-down feeling I usually get when I'm sick, so I'm at a bit of a loss there.

The uncertainty about my future doesn't help. Going back to a job I've never particularly liked, excepting the challenge it presented when I first started and the good, steady pay. A relationship that has rather more challenges than prospects, despite the fact that it's the best, most positive experience I've had in years. This is a man with whom I've spent more intense together time than I have with anyone since my serious grad school boyfriend and with whom I've had many fewer conflicts. A relationship that started out easy and has only gotten hard because of our separation. I don't know how or if we'll work it out and that certainly contributes to making me a little blue.

When I say "blue" though, it doesn't feel quite right. Yes, I'm pulling some of my old tricks--waiting for email, hoping for some certainty--but the degree to which I've indulged myself in these bad habits is trivial compared to the past. Overall, if I think about Kent, it makes me happy because what I have to think about is the happy times we've spent together. I can get gloomy about the future but since it's a blank blur, it's hard to focus on it.

I do have this fear that the next time I hear from him, he'll tell me we're through and that I shouldn't bother making another trip to London. Yet, even if that were to be the upshot of what he said, it's not how he'd say it. He'd have a reason and he'd be sad too. He may not be as expressive as I am, but he has expressed himself. I know that my feelings are reciprocated. What I see is too much good to let the relationship go easily. I want to try…something, even if I don't know what it is.

The hard part is that we still need to discuss how we're going to face our future together. We will be going our separate ways for the immediate future but over the longer term, it would be possible to find a way to be together--if that's what we want (how can we possibly know? That's where I keep getting stuck). We don't have to decide anything long-term now but I think we do have to decide if we're going to make an effort to stay in contact and what form that effort would take.

What I started out to write, before I got sidetrack into a dissertation of angst, is how I've spent my day so far. Yesterday, in my morass of lethargy, I stayed in ALL DAY. Argh. I was feeling very sniffly, so I justified it as a day of rest and warding off more serious illness. Who knows if it had that effect? I managed to write two paragraphs on the novel idea. I talked to Pele. I called Kent and we had a very awkward and short conversation where none of my questions (should I come for another visit? If so, when and for how long?) were answered. Sigh.

Today, I knew I had to get out. And I had to bring the computer so I would write. I forced myself to sleep by 12:30/1am. I figured I'd wake around 9am and go for coffee at 10am. Heh. Instead, I woke and drowsed until 11:30. I took a bath and got out of the house a little before 1pm. Possibly I needed the sleep because even on my lazy days I often don't get to bed until very late and still wake early.

I went to a little local place for lunch. I would make it a regular place but it's so tiny and the tables placed so closely together that you can't spread out, making it unsuitable for computer use. But, the lunch is decent and cheap. I may go there again this week and get one of the sandwich/salad deals for six euros.

After lunch, I walked around looking for a shop that I was pretty sure sold packing boxes (in case I decide to ship some things home). I found the place and the boxes are, as expected, overpriced but not insanely so. I didn't buy anything but took note for future reference.

I walked a little further down the street, on a block I haven't been before, and found the "Telecom Institute," which is some kind of scientific college (it didn't seemed limited to telecommunications judging by the books on display, but who knows?). I wandered in and tried to find their restaurant (these kinds of eateries are usually very cheap) but failed despite following all the signs. I did see a little café at the entrance, a possible place to perch and write.

I left the school and headed over to the Monoprix. I was looking for yarn, which I found. I bought a blend of acrylic and wool (ick!) but it's for stripes on a hat and the other yarn is 100% wool, so ok, it will do. I also got some shampoo and a couple of food items.

When standing in line to pay for my food items, something happened which I've read about in other Paris blogs but that was still out of my experience: a little old lady broke in front of me. She was tiny and Asian but still qualifies, I believe. She quite unabashedly stood right in front of me and put her items on the belt. I was so astonished that I didn't argue with her. She smiled at me and said, "Merci." I reminded myself that I wasn't in a hurry and tried to remain calm and resigned. The woman behind me in line saw it all go down and was none to pleased herself but didn't get upset.

The best part was that when it came time for the old lady to pay, she didn't have enough money--she was about 70 cents short. I watched the back and forth between her and the cashier and finally, I fished a euro coin out of my pocket and handed it over. The cashier gave me the excess change and the old lady insisted that I take a half dozen small coins (two and five cent pieces) from her. She thanked me again, I said, "de rien" and that was that.

After leaving, I stopped by a good bakery and picked up a couple of cookies for later--I'll save one for tomorrow, they're quite rich.

I was determined not to go home until it got dark (or later) at 5pm. But since I had a few bags of stuff and I was still quite close to home. I risked the trip home to drop off the things. I did check my email (nothing!) but I made it out in less than ten minutes.

The next stop was the little tea shop/restaurant near my place that has a knitting night on Wednesdays. The proprietress is American and should recognize me. I was looking forward to seeing a friendly face and hearing a few kind words. I figured I could safely stay there at least until 5pm or even later if I were on a roll.

Unfortunately, it was closed. Harrumph. It's supposed to be open everyday but I can't begrudge such a small operation a day off…oh well. Instead, I went down the street and around the corner to a little restaurant that is new. Inside, there is one guy working on his computer. He served me coffee. A few tables are set and others, like the one I'm using are bare. The walls are lined with built-in bookcases full of books. Soft music (Nora Jones?) is playing. A tiny Christmas tree sits on a table next to a post in the middle of the room. The walls are painted a custard yellow and some red-hued abstract art covers one wall. It's quite pleasant.

4pm. Not sure I can squeeze out a full hour before I wear out my welcome. We'll see.

4:50pm. I wrote for a sold 40 minutes on the "novel" such as it is. What I wrote was crap and doesn't even scratch the plot. But I'll call it a start. Why not? It is a start, even if not a great one.

I'm going home now: cheese is waiting.

Grateful for: my remaining days of freedom.

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