an american in paris: day 10 – au revoir

After dinner Thursday night, Jeff and Khloe put the baby to bed. Nobody was especially sleepy. So while Jeff and I surfed (yes, the apartment had wi-fi, thank jebus), Khloe flipped idly through various channels, looking for something for all of us to watch. Khloe found The Hole, this totally awful yet creepy thriller starring a post-American Beauty Thora Birch and a pre-Bend It Like Beckham Keira Knightley.

Basically, Thora was an outcast at an English boarding school where Keira, playing her roommate, was less so. Thora got a geeky pal to get them and some fellow students (read: boys) out of a class trip to Wales. Yeah, why go to Wales when you can spend that time stuck in an abandoned bomb shelter? I won’t give away the plot but suffice to say fucked up shit goes down, drugs and violence are involved, and that’s pretty much the last most of us have seen of Thora Birch.

And then there was Poltergay.

What is there to say about a movie that is what can only be the result of combining Beetlejuice with The Village People? I am being for serious. A young couple buy an old mansion that, 30 years prior, had housed a gay disco in the basement. YES. I KNOW. A fire in the disco killed five revelers, whose ghosts inhabit the mansion but are visible only to the male half of the couple. The woman leaves when her boyfriend’s weird behavior freaks her the fuck out. As it would. Of course, then the ghosts feel contrite and scheme to win her back. In a word, Poltergay was amazing and you must see it.

But back to vacation. Friday morning, I stayed in (I know!) while Khloe and Jeff and Coco shopped or ran errands. I’d gotten the croissants that morning but I didn’t make it to Korcarz (where we had lunch Thursday) for pastries. It was just too cold. I was too tired. It was so early (the moon was still out!). I got some croissants, but Jeff still ended up having to go out for another pain au chocolat. Boo to me.

The afternoon was a bit better. We visited the Musee Carnavalet, a museum devoted to the history of the city itself. Housed in an old mansion, there were all sorts of ballrooms and corridors, full of models and pictures and the occasional bedroom. Like Marcel Proust’s, his furniture staged in a nook in a larger room. I wanted to sit at his desk, lie in his bed, which I know sounds super morbid but I swear it was kind of romantic.

After the museum, Jeff and Khloe and Coco walked to Sainte-Chapelle (all previous attempts to visit this beautiful space having been thwarted) while I tried to shop for presents for the family. I walked around the Marais in circles, getting lost sometimes and sometimes even sad. Mainly, though, I was cold. I was missing home but not wanting to go home, either. I focused on shopping. A pair of boots at Ted Baker didn’t zip over my calves. The jewelry at Culotte was adorable but maybe too similar to what my sisters could find at Fred Flare in Brooklyn. The streetwear at Kulte was cool but maybe too cool for my brothers. Euros were burning a hole in my pocket. My funk broke when I stumbled upon Monsieur Poulet, which I can describe as a French counterpart to Threadless. I loved the bright designs, the airy space, and the fact that the dude at the store spoke English. I bought stuff for the boys, then let the cold wind push me home to the apartment.

Dinner was takeout sushi and leftovers from the last few days. A serving of poulet au vinaigre Khloe had cooked a few days ago. Part of a sandwich from lunch. Rice and salad. The last of my Coca-Cola Light Sango, aka blood orange Diet Coke, aka my new favorite thing. Khloe had been able to get in touch with an old roommate, so she and Jeff headed out into the cold to meet her in Belleville. The baby slept, I packed, and wondered if I’d get enough sleep the night before flying back to America.

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