So he may not be my soul mate, and our relationship may be doomed to an early demise, but much as I suspected all along, it is really nice to have a boyfriend in Paris in the spring. We've been having some lovely, relaxing times together the last few days, due in no small part to the gorgeous weather of late. In a nice coincidence, we both have Thursdays off, and so we took an ambling walk along the Canal St. Martin (where Amélie skips her stones in the movie, if you're into that kind of thing), and sat down to snuggle on a bench for a while. At this point, though, I hadn't yet told him of my more and more imminent departure, and I was starting to feel a bit guilty about it. I was feeling more and more like I was keeping something from him, but I still hadn't found the right moment yet. On Tuesday, for example, I met him and a couple other teachers after work for dinner in Paris. "So what did you do today?" was the first thing he asked me. I started to say that I had spent all day e-mailing resumes and cover letters in order that I may be a gainfully employed individual come fall, but then I realized that my reply would surely be followed up with questions regarding what kinds of jobs I was applying for, and where I was applying for them. This would have been a natural time to tell him about the recent purchase of my plane ticket, of course, but it was a conversation I didn't feel like having in front of his friends. And so, "Oh...not much," I replied, as they all secretly judged me for my laziness and lack of productivity. By Thursday and our promenade along the Canal St. Martin, the need to tell him became stronger. It just felt wrong not to. And yet, we were having such a beautiful day together, and I didn't want to ruin it with reality. And so I decided I wouldn't say anything unless he asked me directly about my plans or if it came up naturally in conversation. And a couple of hours later, it did. We were talking about teaching, and I talked about getting your licensure in the States, and he asked if that was what I was going to do, and I said yes. "In any case," I said, "I'm leaving on June 30." And if I was worried about dramatics, or ruining anyone's day, I shouldn't have, because he just said, "Awww," and then he kissed me, and that was that. I think really, he knew all along, that it was inevitable, that it was impossible for me to stay, and that he was just waiting to hear it. Afteward he was just as chipper as before, and if I had secretly been hoping for one little "I don't want you to go," I'll never tell. Instead we had lunch at an adorable little restaurant with the windows all open to the street, and then we went to see Star Trek.
On Sunday, with skies once again blue and cloudless, we fulfilled my weeks old dream of packing a picnic and walking the length of the Promenade Plantée: 4.5 km of an old railway turned into a walking path and planted with flowers, flowers, and more flowers. I even took some pictures:
When we reached the end, we hopped on the métro and went to the Bois de Vincennes. Passing by the chaâteau I spotted this bizarre group. Hours later when we returned, they were still there, shooting away:
I think here the poor thing is actually melting from the heat.
And so back we went to Hervé's apartment, finally collapsing on the sofa in a tired, sweaty heap with some cold beer and Ben & Jerry's. It was a good day.