And that really resonated profoundly for me. This is a topic that is rather hard to write about in our culture because there is no grey area or middle ground for patriotism. Either you love America or you’re likened to a terrorist. This isn’t fair because the more you grow to love something, the more cognizant you become of the flaws. Travel has allowed me to see my home nation with a different perspective, from afar and from the eyes of others around the world. When we let ourselves escape our comfort zone and throw ourselves into something new and out of the ordinary, we are capable of incredible realizations.
And then the city appeared. We were miles and miles from the heart of Mexico City, but the extreme edges were densely packed. It was wonderful to pick out the roads and soccer fields and parks and bigger homes. I barely dared to blink. And then we touched down and I felt the most extraordinary sense of calm. All of the tension that I have been carrying around with me lately melted into my pleather premium seat. I could breathe. I swear my back unclenched. I could have melted. It was divine.
The other people watched me go with a mixture of shock and awe. They were more than willing to wait the rain out, and as I reflect on this day, I don’t know why I was so unwilling. I was determined to get home for some reason. There was probably some food for me there that I was looking forward to gorging myself on. That’s really the most reasonable conclusion. So I stuck my poor little suede boots outside of the protection of the Palacio and nearly gasped as the weight of the water crushed me.
I walked up and down the street where he allegedly lived. I lingered in the bookstore that he launched to sell books of his images. I found lists of shops he liked and visited them. I went to exhibitions that he put on. And when I was lucky enough to be in Paris during a Chanel show, you would know exactly where to find me, lurking around the Grand Palais. Let me tell you, reader, for a young fashion lover, there is nothing so intoxicating as an obstructed glimpse of the Chanel runway. I waited in the rain, longing for Karl to come out, but I never saw him.
Every year, I write one of these blogs about the past 365 days. I would go all out and do a detailed month-by-month recap that exhausted me and undoubtedly exhausted […]
Little Chiffon came over for treats, and she was so wonderfully sweet. She hopped in my lap like it was last year and made herself comfortable as she coiled up. After a while she wanted to explore the apartment and she found Jessica absolutely fascinating. I couldn’t blame her, she did present an interesting spectacle, sprawled out on the couch, snoring so loudly that it was occasionally unsettling. Little Chiffon jumped on the couch and then jumped onto Jessica and then did her best to apparently wake my sister up. Jessica didn’t move or acknowledge Little Chiffon, who was not at all amused by this lack of attention. She decided she had better things to do than waste her time being ignored, so she headed out the door.
I’ve never been able to eat pea soup without thinking of demonic possession. Do you know anybody who has ever been possessed by an unholy spirit? It happens so often in the movies and television that you’d think we’d all know of at least somebody. I’m in a coffeeshop right now back home, watching the rain fall — like in Mexico City, it won’t stop — and this idea has quite suddenly enraged me. Every week there’s some new show on the Travel Channel about some possessed child.
Mexico City was just as wonderful as when I’d left it, and all my feline friends were with me. I honestly couldn’t have been happier. But I could not sleep to save my life. It turns out Jessica snores at about the same decimal level as a fighter jet taking off. I don’t know how she slept through the racket she was causing. I certainly couldn’t, and you might remember that I’m deaf in one ear. Just imagine how awful it would have been with two functioning auditory nerves.
Since I left the airport last year, my soul has been aching to return. And finally I’m back and I can’t even begin to tell you how wonderful it is. Nothing has changed, if anything, Mexico is better. But I’m jumping ahead. I need to start at the very beginning. Hopefully — and I just learned in one of my university courses that that’s not an acceptable word but I don’t give a hoot — you’ve missed my lengthy reminisces of travel. As one of my long-dead heroines, Lady Lucie Duff-Gordon, an Englishwomen who gave herself completely to Egypt and died in Luxor, once said, “I long to bore you with traveler’s tales.” Let’s get started.
I couldn’t believe how fast time had flown by, how two weeks were gone and how I was about to go back to a place that I’d be fine never returning to. In the modern world we don’t always need proximity to our loved ones, we can just text or Facetime. Technology is a blessing, but I could never send Little Chiffon a text. I don’t know if she can read. And I doubt she has her own phone.