Monday, June 1, 2015

Gentleman Caller

Every once in a stunningly brilliant blue moon, people surprise you for the better. That is not to say that I travel through life assuming the worst of folks. But for those I already know and love, I have pretty well-researched expectations, and my general intuition for all the newbies I come across is pretty darn good... That being said, men are almost always a profoundly befuddling wild card... the kind that laughs like a madcap joker from whatever deck you casually pull it from. As jaded as it may sound, I don't often assume they will do much of anything but enchant me into amour then swiftly discard me when they realize I actually have human feelings... shocker. Despite all, however, I was born with a magically romantic and idealistic soul that is incapable of sinking beneath the waves of the defeated. I am a phoenix... I rise and shine, spread my wings, breathe firey rambling word vomit, then explode into a burst of ash and anguish, only to repeat the cycle again and again. Yes, exhausting. And yes, even if I had the slightest inclination to sound less dramatic, I would not... Unicorns, hobbits, and fairy sprites, tra la...

But I digress... The point of this rambling prelude is to present the norm so as to contrast with the rare. Last year during my Eastern European trip with Hot Blonde Cousin, I met a man while partying in the Pub Ruins of Budapest. British, quirky, sweet, totally my type, he and a friend approached Cousin and I, which led to one of those ridiculous nights I so often engage in while trotting the globe. The next morning when he escorted me from his abode back to the hotel, we discussed future contact, but off I went to Vienna and Prague right after and got distracted by all manner of habitual nonsense. Over the following months, we chit chatted here and there on Facebook, but it wasn't until early this year when I tipsily decided to say hello after a long interlude, that we began messaging again more consistently. Through jokes and banter and general weirdness, he began mentioning the possibility of coming to Paris for a bit of springtime frolicking. And no, he did not use the word frolicking per say, though he is quite good at keeping up with whatever word vomit I bury him alive in on occasion. Despite all that, however, and despite the fact that I had little expectation he would actually make it to Paris, the idea remained strong and at long last a weekend was planned.

In all honesty, it wasn't until the very night before that I really truly believed it, mainly because boys will be boys and for some reason the thought of sending me flight times and locations never seemed to be the obvious impulse I kept expecting. In the end, though, are timetables and transportation really that important? Or the effort put into them. Well yes, one does need a plan if only for the guarantee of actually finding each other in a giant metropolis, but what can I say, sometimes it really does just all work out in the end. Tragically, it was quite a deluge of a weekend, constant rain showers and cloudy skies. Such is Paris in the springtime. But that can rarely stop such dedicated adventurers from pursuing their weekend dreams.

He spent two nights in Paris with me, one crashing in my tiny little studio where he was made privy to the torturous circumstances of my living situation; aka screaming teenagers who never sleep and schizophrenic ladies who have no boundaries. For the second night, I had found a sweet little hotel in the Red Light District, specifically choosing this area because the Moulin Rouge and Montmartre are my absolute favorite neighborhoods. 
For just a moment or two, I could pretend like I was in fact living in the giant wooden elephant of my imagination. Of course, for some reason the concierge seemed to be thoroughly bewildered that we wanted to check in at the oh so early hour of 5pm, as there were apparently no rooms ready yet, but that just gave us some time to get the lay of the land. We spent the weekend drinking wine, eating food, wandering the streets, and just generally enjoying each other's company. He got to meet one of my closest French friends, which was only tragic because it resulted in just a tad too much alcohol at a bar opening where she knew the owners. But Mr. Budapest made sure I survived the night and I was happy he met one of my good friends.

It was quite a whirlwind weekend, utterly bizarre and normal and wonderful and weird all at the same time. Perhaps having a bit more faith in guys wouldn't be a sentiment gone amiss, but at the same time, it's always nice to have a gentleman caller break free from the shackles of expectation and add a beautiful weekend to this girl's Parisian fantasy.

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