The Parisian

On n’aime que ce qu’on ne possède pas tout entier – Marcel Proust

The bitter taste of pour-over cleanses my palette. I was staring out the window onto the murky waters. I had taken refuge in the coffee shop by the pier, and with a  book in hand, I tried to steady my mind. I made myself comfortable in an old leather armchair and pulled my sweater over my shoulders and sipped the hot coffee. The shop door opened with a chime, and a gust of wind followed suit, chilling me to the bone. The warmth of the heater was jarring in comparison to the chilled spring wind outside, but I could not help wishing I was walking alongside the water’s edge. Acting on my urge, I pulled my coat tightly around my body and exited the shop. The air was wet, and the clouds had formed into spirals of gray. The sea air was damp and chilly, but I nonetheless enjoyed the breeze and the long walk to the pier.

The waves were choppy, and I noted the gray waters winding tightly around the pier.  I lingered close to the edge of the dock and gazed out into shrouded waters.  The sight of the lake looked cold and relentless, and a stream of mist lifted from the waters and smacked across my face. With an open palm, I wiped the water from my cheek.  My mind started to wander – What would it feel like if I jumped?  What would happen If I let the wind guide me and I fell deep into the waters?  An elderly man was walking along the pier, gazing out into the water. Surely he would save me. I pictured the water piercing my skin, the ice cold current digging thousands of tiny blades in my body.

I noted the ferry across the waters.  The ship had exited the harbor like clockwork – every 30 minutes the ship docked at land and boarded new passengers.

I was using this day to busy my mind and to push away the sight of them together.  Seeing him happy hurt in more ways than it should, the truth acted as a mirror to remind myself what I had lost and what he had attained. Seeing the two of them together brought such an exquisite pain, one in which I never thought I would be capable of feeling.  I had to accept that when we let go of one another I was heartbroken, and when heartbroken, it is my first action to attempt to stifle the pain and push it beside.  I buried myself in work and micro projects in order to occupy my mind and eventually forget. I knew that I would never want to forget him, and I knew that I never could. His warmth took refuge in my body, I pictured his arms around me.  His hands over my eyes, the rose colored glasses illuminating the room, swaying my heart. His breath on my neck, and his hair tousling mine, I remembered him, and I would not forget.

I left my spot on the pier and headed toward the ferry dock. There had not been many crowds on the ferry dock around 8 am. It was easy to walk by without being caught in a crowd. Purchasing my ticket, I shakily stumbled aboard the vessel. I never did have sea legs, in fact, I bloody well hated being on open waters. Holding the handrails, I walked up to the first deck.The rumble of the engines shook under my feet.  If only I could have my emotions sail away this easy.

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