Paris. Almost 27 years ago.
It was never a life-long dream of mine.
I never stared at a vision board every day mocking me in return with pictures of the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame Cathedral
I certainly had no patience to watch French language movies with those annoying subtitles.
I didn’t speak French.
I only took the bare minimum in high school.
And I really liked sex. Something I heard the French had a patent on.
The 7-course food finery was an acceptable mindfuck, but the psychotic chefs who’d prepared it could go fuck themselves in my culinary opinion.
But I was never in a white heat about France.
I never tried to “manifest,” or “attract,” or “co-create” a vacation there.
I mean I didn’t force it.
I didn’t TRY at all.
And I certainly didn’t need to go.
And barely cared if I did to be honest.
Plus I didn’t have the money to afford to go, or even a plan of how to get there.
It wasn’t logical.
So how the Hell did this EVER even happen?
It was more biological than anything else.
It was back in January of 1995.
I was laying there in a fetal position on my couch.
Writing break-up poetry (think Adele), crying profusely, and convulsively, and mostly oversleeping.
A few months earlier I had been freshly broken up with, walked out on, DENIED, VOIDED emotionally exterminated, and abandoned for dead by THE co-dependence of my life.
And I was a wreck.
My only recourse was writing about it.
But that’s when I made this irrational declaration (a proclamation deeper than any promise) to myself that I was going to travel through Europe, specifically Paris, in June of that year, that coming summer, six months later.
Why? Who the fuck knows? They say you have to know your why? I didn’t know my why from a what in the wall.
But I felt something when I proclaimed it with power.
I experienced a decision – viscerally.
In the words of Olivia Newton John, it was p-h-y-s-i-c-a-l.
I experienced “the drop.”
In that maelstrom of my spurn-ed-ness, I deposited a desire to go somewhere I had never been before and how, I didn’t know, and to even backpack (I am NOT a camper btw) through the damn place if I had to just in order to subsist there even for a second.
And then what promptly followed this profoundly fleeting solitary singular second of non-electric-bill suffering, this experience of DECISION as a verb, and not as a thought, this subversive act of stand-up on your haunches defiance of prevailing “reality,” this temporary victory of feeling over the available facts, was….
..was absolutely nothing!!!!!!
Couldn’t see the payoff folks. So I actually forgot about the whole thing.
Hurricane Bill had passed.
I went back to writing my revenge poetry, binge crying, and power sleeping.
But “something” had heard me.
In the weeks that followed, and in between looking for work to keep the lights on, I decided to look for someone else to date just so I didn’t have to carry all the water and all the weight of this emotional pain by myself for a minute.
So I called into this phone dating/personals line.
Precursors to “Online Dating” before that became a grand abortion of how to not find your Soulmate.
You know…the place where we all put our best false face forward in order to get someone else to like us because we sure don’t.
Anyway, Mandy and I exchanged a few voice mail messages, then decided to meet.
Mandy was in Houston visiting her sister on Spring Break. She was in her last semester of medical school in Ohio.
We clicked immediately. I was vulnerable. She was confident. I was annoying. She was well off.
I guess I made her laugh.
And it wasn’t stampede sex, but we got through it.
After this first, and less than a whirlwind of our first week together, the thing migrated into long d, as she returned to Ohio.
We talked by phone. There was some casual mention of her coming back to Houston at the end of her final semester at med school in a couple of months.
This was March/ April-ish. She was on a flight path trajectory to Mars, and I was in the process of gathering my unrequited resume responses into a compendium I later self-published under the title: “The Best Written Cover Letters Never Read.”
On the phone one night, Mandy asked me a random and rather innocuous question, conversation-filler really, of where would I like to travel to, if I could go anywhere in the world.
“Paris!” immediately spilled out of my mouth. Apparently my Soul was ready for this question, even though I was not.
And that was it.
Back to the monotony (the metronome) of survival.
In the following days, and weeks, we spoke more often. She said she’d be back in Houston at the end of May, and that she wanted to see me again.
During one of our calls one night, she asked if I’d go over to her parent’s house the next day because she was expecting a Fed-Ex delivery, and she wanted me to pick it up.
I had no problem being Mandy’ s last minute package mule I thought to myself. Least favor I could do for her. In fact, my ex had a cottage business of selling marijuana by mail-order, although I didn’t find that out until later. I’d always wondered how she could afford to feed her horse.
I remember arriving at Mandy’s parents’ house the next day and seeing the Fed-Ex envelope bulging out of the letter box next to the front door.
Mandy instructed me to open it for some reason.
And I was stunned!
This is what I found:
An Air France ticket to Paris in my full name of William Scott Bayha with a random departure date that she chose of June 1st, 1995!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
She had surprised me with a trip to Paris! WTF!?
ALL. EXPENSES. FREAKING. PAID.
And on the exact date I had said to myself I would be there!
I wondered to myself at the time, “Was God rewarding me for surviving my previous relationship with a Narcissist?” (You know they can be women too, not just Presidents of the United States!)
Or was this whole Paris thing just an interesting coincidence?
Regardless, I felt like the prettiest girl at the prom at that moment!
Fast Forward: Some six weeks later, in JUNE, I find myself staring at a snow-capped mountain in Switzerland from the window of Mandy’s parents’ vacation condo in Aigle above Lake Geneva, as we are about to jet off in her parent’s spare Mercedes with me at the wheel speeding toward the border with France, and to Paris beyond.
That is the BEST of the story.
The actual rest of the story is that my Brand wore off.
Apparently after two solid weeks of being alone with me in the Swiss Alps and the Sixth Arrondissement she couldn’t escape me fast enough.
Was it the 10, 000 pictures I took, and re-took, and re-re-re- took?
Was it her embarrassment over her temporary boyfriend ordering Salmon fume, and then when smoked salmon incredulously arrived, I attempted to return it for the grilled salmon I thought I had but had obviously not ordered?
[Have you ever tried to return food at a French restaurant, in fucking France? Well don’t. Unless you have a serious humiliation fetish.]
Maybe it was her resentment because I left her alone at the hotel room in Paris to nurse her period, while I decided to walk the streets of the Sixth A. and the Quartier Latin (pronounced “Kat-tiay Lat-tan” I still love the lyricism of this name all these years later) and along the Seine until 4 in the morning?
(My thinking was, she’s rich, she can do this anytime, but when the hell will I ever be back here again!?)
Anyway, I must have annoyed her to the point where she almost left me alone on the side of that mountain and nearly boarded the cog train without me to go back down to the village below and then to the airport in Geneva, nearly abandoning me to the symphony of the bucolic cow-bell clanging in the cool air above and the tyrannical soundtrack of all those voices I was hearing within.
But she did not.
She was gracious enough to wait until we got back to Texas in order drop off her baggage, meaning me, for good, before receding into the mists of Legend, and her post-graduate medical residency in the kingdom of Arizona.
What I realized, though, of course and as usual, and all too late, was that I was HER revenge against a previous boyfriend who had suddenly broken up with her!!
That storyline sounded vaguely familiar for some reason. Had I imagined it?
I thought she took me to Paris to change my life, which in fact, for me, she really did.
But to her I was just a temporarily kept boy-toy, to get back at her boyfriend, not to get him back.
I went from writing revenge poetry in my lonely garret to becoming someone else’s real life ex-lover spite.
So in listening to Mark this last week speak about reading our DMP, etc, and et al., with ENTHUSIASM and EMOTION, and in a V-E-R-Y pronounced cadence, and impregnated with ELECTRICITY and FEELING, all in order to seduce “Subby” into believing what is being read IS really REAL, the facts aside, it really clicked for me and brought me back to how that trip to Paris so long ago may have actually found me.
So I just want to re-create, consciously this time, that experience of visceral-magic-before-the-fact feeling, “the drop” I’ve heard it called, once again in my life, but without all the drama, and the vagina withdrawals.
This masterclass-to-master-yourself is reminding me of what I may have done in the past to get what I didn’t even know I wanted.
It is a wonderful kind of un-forgetting. And letting.
Being pregnant, without even trying to be.
Thank you for the reminder!
Next week I’ll write about the best orgasm of my non-life, my OBE, or out-of-body experience, and how that may relate to why I am still here, To My True Life’s Purpose.