The tables are bright pastel, and none of the dishes match. I order from the chalkboard and eat alone — it’s mid-afternoon, and last night I drank more than I thought I had. This is my solo hangover ritual.
Lots of kids here today, but one sticks out: he’s wearing blue rubber boots with sharks on them, pointy blue shark tails sticking out of his tiny heels. He scampers by my table, dressed all in blue with Thomas the Tank clutched in his fist, and I am startlingly thrust back to an evening in Paris last October.
I’m laying on the floor on my stomach across from the 4-year-old son of my airbnb host, and we’re working on a series of dinosaur puzzles. He’s chattering away in French, and I contribute what I can to the conversation, helping to build the sky above the gaping jaws of the T-Rex: “oui, c’est bleu!”
It was my last night in Paris. It was my last night in Europe. After two months away, it was my last beautifully present interaction before turning back towards my life held on pause, heavy hearted and homeward bound.
Oui, c’est bleu.