One Day More

September 4, 2010

I’m going to Paris.  My cousin Genevieve and I will arrive there tomorrow.

Like Muslims to Mecca.  Like Jews to Jerusalem.  Like Christians to Dollywood.  The gay man is visiting the mother ship.

I’m not intending to gloat.  (That is an unintended side-effect.)  But I do want to forewarn gentle readers that Rubicon and Vesta-Ceres will be on a brief hiatus.  I will certainly find plenty to write about during a week in Paris.  But I won’t have time to edit anything more insightful than “Paris is beautiful!”  (duh), or “Wish you were here!” (not).

I have newly broken-in walking shoes, too many Euros, enough pocket French dictionaries to confuse myself, and a brick-sized paperback copy of Les Misérables all ready to go.  I’ve done some research, especially the Louvre online.  Once in a lifetime comes around only once, I’m told.  I don’t want to spend half a day asking, “Où est la Mona Lisa?”

I must confess that I’m committing one of the greatest sins of humanity.  I am not taking a camera with me to Paris.  Allow me to explain.

I walked through the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas in 2002.  Many of the public spaces are stunning.  The main lobby is majestic with its marble floors in a large-scale diamond pattern and ornate columns supporting a beautiful Renaissance ceiling (even if it is copied).  The air had a hint of vanilla—to inspire gambling, I suppose.  For me, the aroma inspired exorbitant spending.

Into this pseudo-opulence trudged a slob tourist with his camcorder.  He stood near me and aimed his lens up to catch the ceiling and the walls.  He slowly turned 360 degrees.  When he was finished, he walked away, mesmerized by the camcorder.

I hated that guy.  I still hate that guy.  He is exactly the tourist I don’t want to be.  He paid no attention.  He took no time.  He has no experience to accompany his images.  He may as well have sent a Mars rover to take video of Las Vegas.  He has only pixels on a screen.  Life is so much more than that.  A city is so much more than that.  I refuse to take pictures in Paris.  There are millions online.  I will be paying attention.  With any luck, I will bring back something interesting to tell.

Fortunately for everyone involved, my cousin will bring a camera.  So yes, there will be pictures.  They will speak the volumes needed to supplement my inevitably feeble prose.


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