Paris day 1: staying awake

The guy sitting across the aisle from me puts his blindfold on, slumps over his blanket and doesn’t move until we touch down about 10 hours later.   I have no idea how he does this as we get on the plane at 1:30 in the afternoon.  Maybe he’s taken a sleeping pill.  Whatever he’s done, it is impressive.

Ed sleeps for good chunks of time equaling the vast majority of the flight.  I start off pretty good, maybe an hour and a half, and then that’s it.  Everyone around me is snoozing.  I’m reading the sequel to the “Waiting to Exhale” book written by Toni Morrison.  Take a break to work on a powerpoint presentation.  Go back to the book.  Walk back to drop off some garbage.  Sit down again, pull up foot rest, push down foot rest, stick legs out in aisle, wiggle toes, get up, come back.  Dig in purse.  Adjust headphones that are digging into my earrings.  Fold ears over trying to get earrings to fit inside of head phones.  Repeat this multiple times without success.  Eat food I’ve brought which is a good thing.  I like the fruit and cucumber cups at Dish D’Lish since they are hermetically sealed and won’t leak.  Back to book – quite a lovely soap opera.  Look at movies on the back of someone else’s chair further up and try to read George Clooney’s lips.  Wiggle toes.  Stretch calves.  Try to close eyes.  Give up.

This means by the time we land, I’m so alert that as we’re waiting for the Taxi, Ed notices I’ve forgotten to pick up one of my bags on the luggage carrousel.  He has to go find it.  Get in taxi, driver doesn’t speak a lick of English but knows where our little hotel is. Drops us off.  Room isn’t ready.

It is a whimsical little boutique hotel called the Recamier located just off St. Sulpice in the 6th.  We are in time for a late brunch, eat an embarrassing amount of food (we had already eaten the hard roll and fruit cup allotted by Air France).  Go for a walk.  Freeze due to wind.  Return.  Wait for room.  Am fighting the urge to close my eyes when voila – room is ready.

It is small but perfect.  Fall asleep with the promise it will only be for an hour.  Ed keeps the promise.  I don’t.  He is valiant and unwavering and it only takes half an hour of effort to get me up.  We go back out, the weather is a little better.  Still freezing.  People smoke everywhere.  I hold my breath each time I pass someone who’s smoking.  I feel like when I was a kid practicing to see how long I could hold my breath under water.

The rest of the day is spent being tired, being ok, being tired, being ok.  We get dinner at the Brasserrie Vaganese which is lovely.  Except midway through, Ed’s eyes begin glazing over and I think his head is going to drop onto the table.  Survive that.  Find a late night bakery.  Get sugar.  Which means right now it’s 12:00 am in Paris, 3 pm in Seattle, Ed’s asleep and I’m still awake .