Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Paris and Nina

Two months left to live in a privileged, dreamlike world of long walks, tall drinks, good company, and an unbeatable space to write in: Paris. It's spring showering outside today, and the trees are heavy with sodden pollen. I've just become friends with my downstairs neighbor, who is a Spanish anthropology student from Zaragoza. It is the first time I've even known the name of any neighbor, much less socialized with him, in years. It's a nice change, even if it means that I sometimes get an unexpected knock on my door and have to scurry for a pair of jeans. I've relished total anonymity a little too long, maybe.

I'm moving back to the States this summer, which fills me with trepidation, comfort, and, occasionally, panic. The hard part of having lived abroad for four years is that 'abroad' has become home; departures and homecomings are all mixed up and constantly evolving. I think I don't want to go back. I want to either stay where I am now or move forward somewhere new. I should stop thinking so linearly, e.g. I've already lived in NY, so if I go back there, I am not moving forward. Bull. Because it isn't so much the place as your spirit which determines whether it is new. I've learned that. Unfortunately, I've learned it by moving around, and the fact is that I want to keep learning things this way.

I've just discovered Nina Simone. A friend yelled, "I can't believe you've gone this long in life without knowing her!" Well, I guess one nice thing about not knowing everything already is the immense, novel, childlike pleasure when you *do* finally get with it. 'Do I Move You?' [yeahhh...!]

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