Paris: a Story of Love and Disappointment Part II

A man that can serenade me can have my heart anytime.

A man that can serenade me can have my heart anytime.

This isn’t titled A Story of Love and Disappointment for shits and giggles.

Ah, love….the concept I perpetually struggle with.

His name is Thibault.

We met in Prague. We talked. We smoked. We drank. We danced. We looked for my “lost” travel companion. There’s alot of other things we did but I’m not telling you about it.

Well…I guess I am telling you about it because it wouldn’t be titled as such without this story.

Going to Europe, for me, was about the culture, the sights, the people, the food…not the romance story I had heard so often. Or even the hook up stories. Shagging was the second to last thing on my mind. Falling in love was definitely the last thing. I was done with love at that point. All it had brought me was pain, dashed dreams, and innumerable nights of crying. It felt good to be someplace where there was no way in hell I could fall for someone. Someplace where I could forget…

Thibault was hilarious. He made fun of Texans (“HOOOW-DEEEE! My name is Chaz! I like George Bush Senior AND Junior.”). He asked questions. He organized people to have fun. He was passionate and full of spitfire. He talked with everyone. He spoke intelligently not only in French but also in English. I found myself liking him. And then I found myself dancing with him. He was kind and caring. He was optimistic…I found myself liking him even more. We sat up all night and talked and waited…and waited….and then he said “would you like to see my suite?”. We stared at the stars on the roof top patio and then time went out the window along with the last two things on my mind.

He smelled of crisp spring water and ferns.

His eyes burnt with so much want.

I melted under his fingers tips.

We made plans to meet up in Paris.

Yeah, yeah, yeah…it all sounds like a cheesy romantic movie. All those movie writers get it from somewhere!

Paris with my travel companion was disappointing. I admit, I didn’t research Paris as much as I had the Czech Republic and Prague. My original plan was to spend 2 weeks just in Czech so I was under prepared. All the same, it’s hard to realize half way through a trip that maybe…just maybe… chose the wrong travel companion. That’s something you can’t take back. Trips like that will either make or break a friendship. It broke ours.

But there was Thibault. He was like sunshine after a month of rain. All I wanted to do was bury my nose in his neck and breathe him in. I didn’t want to admit to myself that he was amazing. He lived in France. I lived in America. And I SUCK at long distance relationships. If you’re more than a 4 hour drive from me, it’s probably going to go south at some point. I was still hopeful and thought I could overcome my own character. Maybe I could move to France?

We enjoyed Paris. We had a picnic on a bridge with hundreds of other people over the Seine. We drank wine in a cafe late at night. We kissed in the streets Paris. We saw the lights of the Eiffel Tower. We hung out in Montmartre with his friend and got pulled over by the police. We napped next to the canal in soft, late summer grass. We made love. We promised to call. I cried when he left to go back home.

That day, the sky cried with me.

Dikeou Collection

I know when I’m in a good art gallery when the weird creations that are before me represent the inside of my head.

How’d they do that?

On a sunny late summer day, I had the very odd opportunity to visit the Dikeou Collection in Denver. Located just off the 16th Street Mall at 1615 California on the 5th floor, the building gives you nothing as to what is inside. Having left the heat and sunshine behind, my friend and I were greeted in the foyer with this:

Is that a moon-scape?

Is that a moon-scape?

I love whimsical art. This  one took the cake. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone take such great care and apparently a massive amount of time to do what was on the inside of this thing. Seriously, look inside it and take your time looking. It’s brilliantly crazy.

What are those guys doing to that...fuzzy...yellow...thing?

What are those guys doing to that…fuzzy…yellow…thing?

This is getting weirder...

This is getting weirder…

Wait a second...calm their hair...?

Wait a second…calm their hair…?

This is just the beginning! There is a whole FLOOR of artwork like this just waiting for you! I should have taken this as the precursor to what was going to happen. I walked around the whole gallery thinking, “Who makes stuff like this? And WHY am I not already friends with them? This is AMAZING!!!!!” Especially upon walking into the suite to be greeted by this:

Resist the urge to jump on them.

Resist the urge to jump on them.

The complete wonder that overtook me as we went from room to room was overwhelming. It felt like my head exploded. Some of the art is interactive:

I don’t want to give everything away, so you’re just going to have to check it out for yourself. Unfortunately, the gallery is open for just a short time, Wednesdays-Fridays from 11am-5pm. It’s worth playing hooky to see it.

Bittersweet Changes

October holds the holiday Halloween which most Americans, especially little kids, associate with trick or treating, candy, pranks, and the good old horror movie. Halloween, also known as Samhain (said like sow-en), is also know as a time where the veil between the worlds is thinnest. If you want to get connected to a loved one that has passed on, this is your holiday to get the best reception over the inter-dimensional cell phone waves. I find that this has become a time where I start to “lose” people. Friends move or tuck themselves in for winter. Summer flings suddenly fall away with the leaves on trees. Fair weather acquaintances go back to driving cars instead of riding their bikes. Everything and everyone slows down.

And if you don’t have a summer crush secured as your winter cuddle buddy, then it’s going to be a very chilly, lonely winter. At least according to one of my good friends…but he just left for San Francisco.

Which is part of my reason for writing today. Bittersweet changes. Summer is definitely gone as of today in Colorado. Denver had its first snow of the year. Mr. Ireland has headed off to the west coast on a new adventure of an awesome new job. I’ve been dealing with another injury that has taken me away from my work and looking at what I can do for a living until I’m healed, but also looking towards the future and where I need to go with my career instead of where I want to go.

Then there’s the loved ones that have passed: my grandmother, Jose, uncle Joe, even Augie (once upon a time my Maltese). I feel fortunate that death has left my loved ones alone for so long, but that won’t last forever. With ever year, I feel the press of time more and more and how it wears on us all.

Then my mind wanders to all the lost loves and friends. I hope they are happy and healthy in their lives. Sometimes I wish I could express to them that I’m sorry for whatever fucked up thing happened between us. Or even just the “I’m sorry we lost each other in the shuffle of life”. Sometimes, it’s better to let it go instead of rehashing what you can’t fix or apologize for.

For me, this month is a time of remembering loss and doing a little healthy grieving. Whether it’s a deceased loved one, a friend that has moved far away, or a lover that has fallen out of love: I still love you all. You have taught me lessons and given me love that has shaped who I am today. I am grateful for it all, even though at moments the lesson was so painful.

On Samhain, the Sun God dies and we all wait for his rebirth on the Winter Solstice. We wait for the warmth of spring sunshine on our skin. We hold on to the memory of summer to give us hope through cold winter nights. Just like we hold onto the memory of loved ones, in hope that we might see them again.

Love unconditionally…