a love locked on the seine forever

before and after my stay in normandy, i was in paris (again) with a dear friend named kate. we met in the virgin islands months back---only once---right before i left the island. but after about four quick foreign days together, we loved and appreciated each other like long-time best friends.

together, kate and i navigated french heartbreak along the crowded, yet lonely streets of paris. it was mid-august and tourists were crawling EVERYWHERE---even more so than earlier in the summer. and something about being there with her, among the blurry masses, each with our own dissimilar but connected issues, bonded us like you wouldn't believe. 

we spent hours in my favorite starbucks in paris---partly for the free wifi, and partly for the overpriced caffeine, but mostly for the comfy seats that overlooked the bustling boulevard saint-michel. we gave each other overviews of everything. controlling love, foreign flings, outside perceptions. her present, my past, our first-draft futures.

we walked all over, half the time with my heavy bags in tow, because there were a couple more nights where i had nowhere to stay until the last minute. i brushed my teeth in a cafe bathroom. she changed shoes on rue de l'odean. we stayed with a friend of a friend from pakistan. we walked along the seine, through the luxembourg gardens, and the entirety of the latin quarter.

we sat at cafes in front of notre dame, sipping cafe cremes and reminiscing about the caribbean. we calmed our minds with post-impressionism in musee d'orsay. and we stood on rooftops discussing the course of love, and when to know when you've had enough. 

and when night came, and we couldn't handle anymore introspection, we talked with strangers on the river bank. we had a final picnic on the seine, surrounded by musical strangers. we passed around bottles of wine until we couldn't be more honest. and we mused about the meaning of life beneath a full moon.

it was my 5th and 6th time in paris, but i somehow still surprised myself with how well i knew my way around the city---a city that once seemed like a distant dream world, painted in my mind by novels, half-materialized by romantic movie scenes.

i've now either walked through, been hosted in, or partied throughout almost every quadrant of it. i'm pretty confident i could find my way around with closed eyes---not that i'd want to. because i perceive paris in an entirely new light every time i visit.