Drained from racing to the top of a collective dream, we retreated into the refuge offered by the elegantly understated, Hotel Pullman. Our room is done in inoffensive shades of plumy gray. A wide desk, a leather lounge chair, and a generous floor lamp allow for serious securing of ideas and floating impressions, gathered all around The Eiffel Tower, and retrieved from memories of last night’s adventures. Our room is a perfect haven for two tired tourists to recover, before transforming themselves into rare, industrial strength, Urban Butterflies.

Ever competent, Hartmuth, is on his lap-top searching for “The Perfect Restaurant.” Reading reviews in FRENCH, with no difficulty, my husband never ceases to impress me.  (He found this, La Fourchette, a website, much like the trusty Opentable.com, website in the United States, where he made our reservation for the evening.)

We coin our affection for the gray on gray, plum room, our temporary HOME by giving it a fitting nickname. “The Womb Room,” embraces us.  Soon, we will be born from it, and ready to go out and enjoy what Paris has to offer.  At the moment we are content to each melt into our very own perfectly comfortable twin bed, separated by a trim twilight gray on dusty plum nightstand, stacked with Guidebooks and anthologies of short stories set in the contemporary French Capital, which I happily hauled across the Atlantic, in my indestructible, stand out peace-sign print, carry-on bag.

I doze with “First French Reader; a Beginner’s Dual-Language Book,” open on my belly, while my husband continues his intensive on-line hunt for “The Perfect Paris Restaurant.”

WE are hosting The Muse for dinner out tonight! She’d offered to come to our area, in the 7th arrondissement. The Muse! Coming to see us! Hurray! What excitement! Anticipation!

I can not tell you how much fun we had the night before. I really can’t. I won’t. I refuse to reveal just how splendid it was.  (I’m hoarding the story, savoring the lingering taste of the mind boggling pleasure of roaming deep into Paris, into the sweet Summer Night, in the quiet and refined company of pure Beauty and Handsome Strength.) In the same league of excellence as my husband, Ms. Crane is an amazing human. She positively thrills me with her keen intelligence and juicy observation skills, an avid people-watcher Ms. Crane makes KILLER cracks about The Audience.

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The Audience? Yes, “All the world is a stage,” after all… wherever we go, Ms. Crane and I experience… a surge in public attention, a blanket of external focus, which wraps around us, creating an interesting bulge.  Lumpy is the attention hurled at us, everywhere.  We only catch that which is useful, wholesome, deftly allowing all the rest to fly past us.  Undeniably, The Muse is so beautiful people crave to facilitate, to pave the way around her, and I benefit for this power she wields, without seeming to notice. Yet, from experience I know that THE MUSE notices everything. She is sharp, keen, calm, and alert.IMG_9093

Our friendship sprang from a mutual connection. Yet the force with which it grew, took us all by surprise, like the famous beanstalk, which Jack accidentally planted, our friendship immediately lifted us UP and apart from others. We found in each other a source of the most precious fuel. An immediate rush of mutual support and genuine understanding, which yields a bounty of frame shaking laughter, and truckloads of unmitigated earth moving, JOY!  Few times in life have I felt such a strong bond for another.IMG_9092

It happens to be that the first time I met Ms. Crane I was in the company of my very best friend. Having flown in from Manhattan, she is a secretive Muse, a blue-eyed lady ninja, who has always had my back.  She approved of Ms. Crane, immediately promoting her to “Someone Special,” status.  This New York Muse, being an apt judge of character, is always watching out to ensure that I’m aware, paying attention to who plants roots in the garden of my heart, she acts like a beneficent pesticide, killing weeds that seek to spring up and take over the ordered peace I cultivate.IMG_9097

Many are startled or envious of The Muse’s intense physical beauty.  The first response is understandable, the second unforgivable.  The Muse has green eyes to make emeralds jealous. She is a tiny mountain of dangerous Alpine Curves. What breasts! What body of knowledge!  The grooves in her brain must be very symmetrical, electric.  Her hair smells of apricot blossoms in ripe summer meadows. She is a living ideal of human perfection, in Frau Kolb’s humble estimation. The desire to climb to new heights in her arms must be universal!IMG_9087

I experience unparalleled pleasure each time she hugs me. Her hugs scoop me up and carry me away from all mundane, ugly, and sinister nonsense which threatens to invade the pristine landscape of my picturesque imagination. That Frau Kolb would gladly travel to the end of the cosmos, to have lunch with The Muse is no question. (The timing of my first trip to Paris is but a token of my commitment.) No friendship can compete with The One that gives you reason to forget all the HORROR and arrive at the simple hilarity of reality. Together, Ms. Crane and Frau Kolb laugh and laugh at all the minor league and rather pathetic, mean people, the two-faced hordes of Los Angeles Liars, the lame Game Players, Aspiring Professional Actors, and cheapskate Name Droppers. We laugh at the pretentious “Grand Dames,” and the cheesy, “The Mean Girls.” In short, we laugh at all those that try and fail to harm us, to damage our enduring sense that living is a worthwhile choice.IMG_3598

We laugh. Laughter heals. Over lunch, or our soon to be dinner, we invite the world to laugh with us and thereby heal itself, because we can not help but roll with mirth when we contemplate our good fortune in having found each other.

This feeling of LOVE is one I know intimately.  Yet it is not ROMANTIC in the way that I am thinking of now… I will never forget our first date, he made me laugh right away.  His humor cutting through my New Yorker attitude and introducing me to a new vulnerability I hadn’t been able to afford before his muscle and brains came into my life.  Thereby, my WHITE KNIGHT books the room for love and laughter, healing, and feeling good.  He secures the possibility of my joy.  He protects me and provides for me, the way that I always dreamed ONE would. He performs this service and many others promised and did not deliver, without prompting.  He is dynamic, active in his LOVE.  Because, LOVE is NOT A THEORY!  Love is laughter, support, understanding, and flowing fuel into the tank of one’s soul.  Love is reciprocal, life sustaining, and energizing on the cellular level.  It makes the world spin

NOW,  my German Genius has found, “The Perfect Restaurant.”  We are dressed.  I’ve changed into a long sleeved silk blouse with a coral collar, thick black tuxedo slacks, with a traditional side seam, and I’ve carefully stuffed my swollen foot into platform Prada heals.  I’ve applied a dash of make-up and we are ready to GLOW!IMG_3597 IMG_9072

Thus, we set off to Je thé… me where we met and established the greatest admiration and affection for the most charming restauranteur and entertainer: Jacky Larsonneur  He treated us like old friends on our first visit.  We arrived early and stayed well beyond closing, indulging in fabulous French wines and the after glow of a perfect traditional yet innovative dinner to exceed our expectations and etched permanent smiles on our newly adopted French faces.