Happiest Moments in Paris This Year (Part II)

Les exceptions qui confirment la règle ?

The nicest family I tutor for has two kids. Super charming family, the sort of thing where even if I was having a tough day, I would look forward to teaching these two students. Some of my happiest times in Paris, just the nicest people.

Once, the girl injured her back and was somewhat paralyzed. I was so worried about her because I have had back troubles my entire life and the injury really limited her, very scary. Somehow, a week or two later her back was good as new because she was pulling all her trademark stunts — interrupting class with dance moves, showing off the various pins and tackles she would use to subdue her brother, and excusing herself to belt out Adele and hammer the piano with the passion of a true diva.

I was so relieved to see her unstoppable self back to normal that I asked what had healed her back. Their chiropractor had done the trick and yes their mother would get me in to see him, what with my yoga injury from 12 years ago that had never been treated.

So it began. Jean-Édouard would adjust my back and I would languorously prophesize about the French institutions and persons responsible for my back muscles being in such a fever pitch tizzy. Once I told him he had an ear like Sartre, because I felt I spoke my best French around Jean-Édouard.

There was that time when he did an adjustment to de-compress my spine. I felt like I was 6' after he did that, I had never felt tall before, but he made some space between my vertebrae and it made a difference, that was one of my favorite impressions.

I would tell him my thoughts, almost like I was saving them up.

And whenever I went to the chiropractor’s office, I would feel like a pampered pet for a change. I would think maybe Jean-Édouard’s French touch was not only allowing me to speak French more naturally, but also that maybe, just maybe, he was purposely instrumentalizing me to succeed. That his fingers were plug and chugging any challenge I might face, putting my back in order, which may be the most important thing after all: spine.

I would arrive feeling like I had been hit by a cement truck and leave feeling like a forest fairy, and I would go to my favorite place in the nearby floral parc to reconnect with my feeling of god, which is nature. Shaded by trees, surrounded by flowers, feeling the supreme generosity of the give and take of life. We are dependent on all manner of green things, without them we could not breathe.

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