joie de vivre

[Originally published September 2008 in another blog]

Have I ever mentioned that I lived in Paris for a short while?  Well, more like the suburbs, but it was still The City of Light.  I loved the quiet residential neighborhoods away from the frenetic tourist spots.  Every day seemed supernaturally perfect.  Instead of finding the differences between American and French cultures grating or annoying, I appreciated them for what they were; new experiences to be savored.  During my time in Paris I was absolutely the happiest, the most fulfilled, the most complete I have ever been.  I was living a dream.

When I left it felt like my soul had been ripped away.  The pain was almost physical.  Holding on to the dream was like trying to hold onto a fistful of sand; the harder I tried, the more it slipped away.  Eventually I was fully awake, cocooned in the same comfortable sheets that had a few weeks earlier conspired with the universe to cause me to sprain my neck.  I replayed that dream over and over trying to recapture the feelings, the emotions that went with the facts.  All I found were ghosts.  The disassociation between me and absolute happiness was almost complete; joie de vivre will remain foreign to me.

That said, this dream was also puzzling.  I have never wanted to visit, much less live in, Paris.  Or France.  Frankly speaking, there are many places higher on my list: New Zealand, Australia, Puerto Rico, Scotland, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and there are others.  Many others.

On a related note, I have begun to entertain the notion that my most comfortable sheets are possessed.