Don’t I wish.
But I can pretend.
Use my imagination.
The grey sky and rainy, chilly day sure help.
And sitting in a little café where the walls are the color of Dijon mustard does too.
Where the menu is written (mostly) in French—jambon, maison, saucisson, plate du jour…
Avec l’atmosphère différente
Where the waitresses have a not-from-here-accent
And the coffee is perfectly smooth (no need to add sugar) with a milky foam on top
(As soft as whipped cream)
It’s warm and cozy and lively inside
But every time someone opens the door a chilly brrrr-eeze blows the napkin from my lap
A house-made, hot right out of the oven quiche with leeks and roasted tomatoes—the filling so fluffy, how do they do that?—that sells out in 10 minutes, warms me up
As does the view of a hot skillet with salt cod, potatoes, and cream sauce
Or a perfect paté
It starts to feel as if it’s not only pretend
I’m in Paris
When we take a brisk walk in downtown grey
On our way to the musée to see l’exposition de Gauguin
(No photos allowed inside)
Just like it was in Paris, 15 years ago—I will never forget.
(Back then I had a un chapeau rouge (red hat), now a coat)
A morning that started with café au lait and fresh, made that morning, croissant, followed by a visit to Musée d’Orsay on a gray September day
All I have to do is wait a few years until the kids grow up enough to appreciate a trip to Paris…
Kids! Grow up!