5 am, Paris. Stumbling out of an apartment on the Left Bank after an incredible night of enlightening conversation, delicious wine and beautiful people, we somehow managed to hail an available cab. Huddling for warmth in the backseat, Mr.Hollywood tried to locate the address of our hotel on his Blackberry. The driver meandered through narrow streets, insisting the entire time that there was no Rue Christine, that Rue Christine simply did not exist. Since I was the only sober one of the bunch, I made an executive decision. He was to drop us off at the last restaurant I could remember and we would find our way home from there. Almost too happily, he obliged. We waved goodbye and he sped away leaving us (or rather me, due to the total inebriation of my partner-in-crime) to navigate our way while the sky lightened subtly above us.
I began to walk in one direction, my Mr. Hollywood in the other. He insisted he knew the way, and rather than arguing into the abyss of his inebriation, I consented to let him try. Patience is a virtue, so they say. After many wrong turns and not a familiar landmark in site, I began to dream about our room. Not just because of the safety and warmth of the bed--which was reason enough to dream--but because it was the most exquisite room I have ever had the pleasure of staying in.
In St.Germain, the hotel named simply L'Hotel--a small boutique hotel that you could only really find if you knew where it was. When we arrived our room was not ready. Finally the concierge decided to give us the only available room, the Oscar Wilde room. I thought 'oh great, a theme room'. Visions of cheesy props and a full-framed picture of Oscar above the bed began to taunt me. On the way up to the room Mr.Hollywood and I got into a whopper of an argument, a must when any couple spends endless hours traveling together. I was seeing red, so upon entering the room I headed straight for the washroom to take a shower and calm myself down.
Twenty minutes later I opened the door into this vision of a room. It was like emerging into a fairy tale, a magical wonderland. No theme room, this was the actual room that Oscar Wilde stayed in while in Paris, in fact it was also the room that he died in.
Hand-painted walls, antique mahogany furniture, a private garden terrace---all with this air of mystique that I could never adequately explain. In a word? Stunning.
Emerging from my reverie on the back roads of Paris, catching a chill and physically supporting Mr.Hollywood we bumbled lost on streets that all invariably looked the same--and you can imagine why I was yearning for some symmetry.
We found a patch of early-morning pigeons roosting in a doorway and I decided to create my own beauty. Hoping that he was drunk enough to oblige, I convinced Mr.Hollywood to chase the pigeons and make them fly. Without hesitation he ran at them full force and giggling like a schoolboy, swung his arms towards them. They all took flight into the early morning light and my heart expanded to three times it's size. I was in Paris. Paris. A city I had dreamt about since I was 7 years old, sitting too close to the television, watching Gene Kelly woo Leslie Caron.
If I had been in Toronto maybe it would have excused my ornery nature. But seeing the sun-rise in Paris after one of the most fulfilling nights of my life?
We cheered out loud when we found the hotel, the overnight concierge chuckling at our glee. Falling into bed exhausted, I couldn't help but wonder if the Gentleman Wilde was around.
I called out his name. And to my surprise, he answered.