This past week back in Paris has just flown by. Perhaps it's the start of classes and getting acquainted with a brand new schedule. Whatever it is...I hope it lasts. I've been so busy, meeting and enjoying the company of so many people...

And yet. There's still something missing.

Do you ever feel like no matter how busy you are you're never doing enough, that you should be doing more...? And so you do more. And the more you do, the more you feel like something's missing. So you continue to try and fill in the emptiness, to fill your time, to stay busy...to never have enough time to do your work (another form of procrastination...), but it all just seem to make a difference in the end. You can see through yourself...

Well, at least I can.

So it took a good day like today, to remind me that there is actually some meaning and purpose in my life. That I actually do get things done, have meaningful relationships and can accomplish things...

Granted the day didn't start out exactly as planned. I had just discovered a new route to the Seine, which would allow my "morning run" (hypothetically speaking for the moment) to be a lot more visually pleasing and prevent me from looking like the crazy American running on Parisian streets. "It just ain't done here, honey."

So that was the plan, drag myself out of bed bright and early after only four hours of sleep, and run my heart out...then come back and shower. Once refreshed meet the one Parisian man who can be "just friends"...and go for brunch. A splendind morn' indeed.


Dragging myself out of bed 45 minutes before the brunch date I dashed into my clothes only to find out that my co-bruncher was late as well.

"No problem. Don't worry about it. We'll set it for 11 a.m. instead."


An hour later, squinting into the garish sunlight I tried to soak up as much warmth as possible, standing near the snow/rain puddles left over from the former night's downpour...

He finally arrived 40 minutes late. Apparently he'd fallen back asleep and dreamt he was late. How apt.

Oddly enough I tend to spend most of my time in Paris waiting for other people...it's the weirdest phenomenon...no matter how late I may be running, someone is always running much later. Perhaps it's because I actually run.

Anyway, I didn't mind too much, other than feeling a little badly about missing my morning run and calculating the time waiting that could have been spent, instead, running. My friend and I had plenty to talk about...and the place we went to for brunch turned lunch, Le Pain Quotidien was quite charming.

Conversation eventually turned to the European Constitution, politics, politicians, Chirac, De Gaulle, Le Pen, Jospin, Gaymard...the European Union, the European Economic Community...

Well heck, I am a political science major...

Honestly it was an incredibly enlightening and interesting conversation. We discussed the chances of the Constitution getting a yes vote, of the corruption of politicians (always a popular topic)...the history of the European Union all the way from the 1957 treaty in Rome which established the French/Italian/Benelux countries' carbon and steal association to the more recent Union that we all know today established by Maastericht...(forgive me if my facts are not entirely correct here).

It was so interesting in fact, that I lost all track of time and we had to rush out of the restaurant so that I could meet up with the professor I'm doing translation work for...and so we walked over continuing our conversation. It was so great...and it's been such a long time since I've had a relaxed, indepth, intense and interesting conversation.

Sure, I've spoken with people a lot, but frankly I cannot stand the superficial, subject-less, trite conversations that take place in most bars and restaurants. I love debate, politics, understanding issues...foreign policy. Sure there's something to be said about airy flirting, it can be fun...but isn't it possible to have an intellectual conversation while flirting? Does it all have to be brainless?

Perhaps this is why I am single.

Anyway, after lunch I went to work with the professor on fine-tuning my translation of her paper. We worked for three full hours, and I didn't even feel the time pass. I love translation because it really makes me think about language, about specific words...the nuances within language--diction and even just structure...

And afterward I met up with a friend who was in town from Spain (she is also studying abroad). This was probably the highlight of my day. I am not a very "touchy-feely" person and so it can be hard for me to properly express my delight in something (unless it's a momentary explosive delight, at which point I just strangle the person nearest me in a very high jump/hug).

I saw my friend who I have gone to middle school, high school and now college with, and lived across the street from...for over 10 years...after at least a year. It was weird seeing her, hearing her voice...and so wonderfully comfortable and nice. Finally, someone who wasn't judging me or measuring me. Finally, someone who knew me as I was, am and can be. It was the nicest feeling ever...something I haven't felt in a long long time. It's very hard to explain...and I'm sure that I didn't express it very well. Though she continued to say she was very glad to hear from me, see me, speak with me...I was at a loss for words. I just smiled back. I hope she understood.

And though we haven't recently been that close, she isn't my best friend...nor have we remained that up-to-date with each others' lives...we have a shared history that goes back further than almost any other history I have with a non-family member in my life. She knew me as a slightly insecure, nerdy tomboy in middle school...we shared talks on the difficulties of social status and how to jump from one clique to another. She was the manager of my middle school presidential campaign, she sat behind me in 8th grade English class...we used to walk to school together in the morning, she'd stand in the kitchen watching me gulp down my cup of milk and grab my poptart out of the microwave before we ran to class...nearly late, we played prisoner on her front lawn running through the sprinklers of her neighbors' house in the summer and getting in trouble for ruining their grass, and we would go on endless bike rides together around the neighborhood...clapping hands and doing acrobatics on our bikes no-handed around our school playground.

So many shared memories.

"Do you know I've known you for more than 10 years?" I said to her earnestly today...somewhat amazed...

She laughed.

"I know, ****, I know..."

Yeah, she does know. And it was nice for once to have someone know.

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