A Story About Paris

A STORY ABOUT PARIS….by Jonathon Lipsin
” We will always have Paris”
It was the cheapest hotel ever in Paris on the Left Bank and i would stay there whenever i was in town. This was many years ago in the late 70’s . Sure you had to walk up a few flights and the room was bare essentials,a single bed a lamp ,a table and most importantly a shower in the room…It was clean and convenient near all my spots like Shakespeare and Company Bookstore . A couple who looked like students ran it and the downstairs was where they lived with their baby. It was also about 18 dollars ….
So one time i returned coming in from Israel once again and i had some 5 days booked in Paris to wander and eat and visit the Louvre.
That night i was awoken terribly by an incredible cry that pierced the night. I thought wildly, was someone being murdered as I crept up to the hallway and made out what i can only describe as pain ,unadulterated ,bare and ugly raw pain in howls and gulps coming from the door next to me .
It was a woman sobbing and crying unconsolably. Even though i was somewhat in a stupor from my deep sleep i attempted to offer her in my broken French some words of comfort but to no avail. After a long while she stopped but then after i finally fell asleep she started the caterwaul once again. I never saw her face .She never came out but stayed locked in her room sobbing . I got up at dawn very badly rested and i shrugged at the one time bad night . Or so i thought.The very next night again i was woken up by the crying . This time i was angry because i need my sleep and this was too much. I banged noisily on her door and yelled Arretez !!.This was to no avail.
Once again with little sleep i straggled downstairs to complain to the management and have the mysterious woman thrown out !
The manger assured me she will be told she can no longer stay there.
I went back upstairs and i heard a door open next door and i flung open my door prepared to see who the mysterious woman was.
I fell back. There coming out of the room was the most beautiful woman i had ever seen as if from a dream .She was simply lovely. Her long black hair hung over shoulders elegantly.. She was a vision.
She apologized in French ,she spoke no English and i gallantly asked her out for a cafe au lait at the cafe downstairs on the Rue.
She accepted with a smile. I wanted to hear,from this stunningly beautiful woman ,her story . I was in love after all and this was Paris and i was just about to get on my white horse to save her. Maybe we would tell our children this story someday. My french was very bad but i learned she came from Brussels and it was all about lost love .
She refused to tell me more . We chatted flirtatiously and amiably . We seemed to share a private joke .For a time her sadness had abated as i somehow made myself understood in my high school french. I regretted not being more studious in those days.I wanted to promise her the moon.
I suddenly realized i had got her thrown out of the hotel. She was homeless because of me.I was mortified .
I i bravely and sheepishly informed her that she no longer had a place to stay and i was indeed the guilty instigator being the cad i was.
I had hoped that would not get in the way of her bearing my children.
With a tres sad smile she shook my hand and gave me a little kiss on both cheeks and went up to get her bag ….
I never saw her again .
I wandered Paris the next few days bereft ….
What is interesting is i am reading a book called The Little Bookstore in Paris and the main character is woken up where he lives in his apartment building on the third floor by incessant crying and sobbing by a woman who is mysterious to him.He rises from his sleep and goes to the door to console her……..
And that is what reminded me ….

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