Adieu, Paris


One day, I was finally buying a plane ticket, flying me across the Atlantic and landing in my dream city. In pictures live the aerial views of all the monuments that stand, but in my dreams, they burned an opening of hope. 

I was going to Paris one day.

Over a span of a few years, I managed to immerse myself in Parisian influence to strictly feed into my vivid obsession. I wanted to live in the authentic photos that hung on my wall as decoration; though masked in a black-and-white filter, I saw myself standing on the secluded roads in the Latin Quarter.

My dream isn’t bright enough yet. Brighter, brighter.

I even went as far as having the Eiffel Tower sketched on my walls in dirty charcoal. It reached across my wall and stood tall, but it was short-lived after I moved rooms because it was coating everything in a layer of black dust. 

My carpet, clothes, cats, furniture, bags, everything, and all of its surroundings was dusted black just a little bit. The charcoal dust spread across my room, leaving it looking a little dirty and shadowed. 

All because I wanted to go to Paris one day,

I forced this obsession to become my life and consume every aspect. I was going to Paris one day where the chocolate croissants and strawberry shortcakes sat enclosed, waiting to be purchased. I was going to walk in there, beret and all, and order every one of each, and then wander the meandering streets listening to its glamor. 

Since day one, I thought French people sounded the funniest. The language sounds heavy, and there is no romantic tinge to it at all in my opinion: slurring words, emphasis on oddly specific consonants, etcetera. 

It was tricky figuring out how to start learning the language. I sat myself down one day—tablet, pen, and some loose paper in hand—and began to memorize phrases one by one. 

However, I didn’t know what these French speakers were saying. They were speaking their adult language to a desperate ten-year-old, practically living and breathing in a cloud of charcoal in the name of Paris.

I couldn’t wait for this new adventure. 

After a while, the charcoal had rubbed off. It transferred to so many other things that it’s not nearly as bold as it used to be—but I am going to Paris soon and can see the real structure. 

In Paris, I could be in my hotel room and have a view of the Eiffel Tower, and not just a drawn-on one, ruining every little thing with its fallout. Charcoal particles infected just about every square inch of my Grand Rapids home, but I could be a few blocks from the tower in Paris, and I could be sitting back and enjoying its attraction and buzz.

But if I finally end up in France, I’m staying there forever. 

I wouldn’t actually stay one day honestly, but I would’ve if the city hadn’t lost its glitter. I probably would have kept my French strong and dreams advantageous if I knew that I would actually make it there one day, but I had destroyed the opportunity for myself by trying to be a Frech expert.

All because I had to be in Paris. 

To be honest, I feel like I’ve been there all my life. I’ve already seen what the city’s got to offer me through all the intense phases and internet rabbit holes regarding Paris and its many secrets: the catacombs, arrondissement deep dives, and historical conspiracies and legends. When I actually arrive in France, what beauty of it is left? 

I know the layout and structure of Paris better than my own city—I love this phase in my life though, being so oblivious to my own fairytales and unrealistic view of my adult life, and I just can’t see Paris the same again and can’t bring any part of me to redevelop a deep love for the city again. It’s too familiar and boring now; the streets are drained of their disparate color, since it washed away the little glamour the city had.

I wonder when it washed your glamour, but all you are to me now is knowledge and an old sense of nostalgia. Adieu, Paris.