Newton’s first law of motion: a body at rest tends to remain at rest; a body in motion tends to remain in motion. During our weeks of settling in to our new place, I was looking forward to living a static life; a life at rest, at least for a while. Taking the time to get a feel for living in Montpellier again. Setting up the life support system scaffolding : new doctors, dentist, optometrist, hairdresser. The check-ups and the how do you dos. Then I got a message from a friend who’s been going through a rough patch saying, it would be nice to see you, and we went. Some things you don’t postpone.
The trip to see our friend is a long one from Montpellier: train to metro to train to bus to boat. We spent a night in Paris to break it up. An afternoon train, dinner with friends who were visiting, a night in a hotel by the Montparnasse train station.
It’s still dark when we lug our bags to a cafe terrace for coffee and buttered baguettes. The town is quiet, yet buzzing and the air is cool. Our bags are packed and at our feet and I have our passports in my pocket. Mark says, you know, all we’d need to add is a jacket and another pair of shoes and we could go for months. I find the idea enchanting. I always do. Now I have a body in motion. Anything feels possible. It doesn’t get better than this. I pull out the calendar and start talking travel.
Maybe it’s Montparnasse that is responsible for these ideas of horizonless possibilities. We were staying here 6 years ago when we decided to move to France in general and Paris in particular. Our friend Denise, who is one of those people who can change your life with a couple of sentences said, I figure if you have the chance to live in Paris at some point in your life, why wouldn’t you? You don’t have to stay forever. We did, and we didn’t.
This answers my question of whether having a nicer apartment will curb my desire to be away from home. I think it’ll take a bigger push to get me out the door, but once I am, I’m gone. Our new place is newly relegated to back of my mind.
We go to catch our train to Brittany. I eye up all the other trains’ destinations. I do the pat down: phone, wallet, sunglasses, passport. And house keys. I’m good to go anywhere, and I can always go back home.