You are the voice in my head
Here in Paris, John, you are with me in a new way. When I panic reading the stops as le Metro whizzes through darkness, you calm me. You tell me maybe I miscounted the number of stations before mine. And if I am going in the wrong direction, no problem, get off at the next stop and cross over to the opposite platform.
Paris was the first place we came when we began to travel “across the pond.” We never went anywhere that you didn’t figure out the public transportation from the trams and buses of Krakow to Berlin’s U-Bahn. How you loved studying maps and finding the way. I could not take this journey now had you not taught me how to travel.
You also learned the most economical way to buy tickets. I didn’t do this here in Paris and am spending twice what I should have. Forgive me. I saw the photo booths and knew they were for buying one-month passes, but I never have time. I am always hurrying from one destination to another. Life calls to me again.
I told our friends at home I was going to sit at outdoor cafes, drink lattes, and write, let Paris come to me. But you know I am not that laid-back. I have crammed in as many museums, monuments, and shops as possible. My favorite hours were spent with a new friend in a lush park off St. Germain de Pres. As a silver dusk gathered around us, we told each other the histories of our hearts, who we had loved and how we had lost them. Of course, I spoke of you.
In bed at night in a new place I long to put my face in your hair and send tiny kisses down your spine. You used to tell me to turn around so you could do the same for me. How wonderful your prickly face felt against my skin. Now you come to me in my sleep, and we are together, lovers and friends. Then I wake and lose you all over again.
Soon I will be off to Krakow, the city we discovered together, the place we loved so well. Come with me darling. Continue to be the voice in my head.
Ellen Herbert lives in Falls Church, Virginia