I step out of my apartment in San Diego and immediately feel my ass on fire. It is mid-January, but the sun is shining brighter and hotter than in any day in August. I get a strong urge to go back inside my cold apartment and try to recall what 30 degree weather felt like. In Paris.
The minute you step into Paris, you start to have strong feelings for it, and to take it personally. The Reverence for the city and for its abstractions disappears and turns into something else as the experience becomes more and more concrete and romantic notions slowly dissipate. I was there for the daily miracle that writers and artists long for and was expecting it to be even more special than the ones at home. Where else could you live more inside yourself than in Paris? Standing by the curb side, waiting for the shuttle that would take me there, I watched my breath hit the cold air. I waited and waited and I did not mind because I was also on the look out for the daily miracle that would enable me to tell what was inside me. I had to be patient. Could it come at Charles De Gaulle airport or did I have to wait until I was finally in Paris? I took out my micro-cassette dictator and held it close to my mouth. I started to speak, but the thoughts were not worth recording. Not yet.
The shuttles came and went, picking up their respective passengers outside Exit 8 of the terminal. I had been very fortunate and did not get airsick, but now I had to endure the shuttle ride from Roissy and to fight my natural inclination for carsickness. We passed an area that closely resembled Orange County and then what I could only guess were the Projects. The Projects are the Projects wherever you go: dilapidated, dirty buildings with clothes hanging off the window sills. I was not worried. I was very aware that this area was not Paris and it had nothing to do with Paris and that I would be in Paris soon enough. However, I was not prepared for the glaring and critical eye of Paris. I knew quite well that I had set myself up.