"You look good, Jen; you look happy."

I immediately trusted Katie's quiet declaration of my own happiness on a rooftop bar earlier this evening. Maybe because of the trust you accord someone who hasn't seen you in a while, the impressive ability one has to pick up on the changes that go unnoticed by others. The last time I saw her, in Paris in mid-July, I was a different kind of happy. I felt a giddiness of beginnings more strongly back then; today I attribute my happiness to the gritty aftermath of endings that I wrote about yesterday.

It's really exciting for me to plan a long weekend with her, showing her the places that I think she'd love in this city (my city? has it become a version of that?). Listening to the stories of her first afternoon in NY (a man selling postcards, so charmed by her British accent, begged her to take some for free), I am relieved to hear that my fellow city-dwellers have extended her a warm welcome. Then again, her enthusiasm for exploring a new place is contagious enough to counteract even the most grouchy of New Yorkers.

"You know, we've hung out in three countries now, counting New Year's," I say with a mouthful of Pad Thai, as we curl up on the couch with take-out. Our conversation is punctuated with French expressions; from time to time we slip into our second language, recounting a conversation that actually happened in French... or not. I spend so much of my time with anglophones these days that it feels luxurious to have two whole vocabularies to choose from, two entire languages to arrange conversation around.

French, I miss you sometimes.

1 comment:

Suffragettes said...

Sweet Jen, French misses you as well. Jen, tu manque au fran├žais et aux Fran├žais.