TO MY FRENCH LOVER.
I am thousands of miles away from you. And I sat tonight at a rooftop bar in Laguna Beach with friends I hadn't seen since high school. There I was, on the coast of California, looking out at buildings and tiny streets and this beautiful beachy way of life I have known since I was little, thinking, you might never see this.
My grandma has owned a salon in Laguna Beach since before I could remember. I was in a show in Laguna one summer when I was eleven. When I got my license I would drive to Laguna before school just to sit on the sand and look at the waves. I totalled my first car in Laguna.
You may never know Laguna. I kept looking at the sky tonight, thinking, in order to see you again, I would have to get on a plane. Maybe a plane could even pick me up from the bar I was at, I already felt above reality. Reality. When I am here, in California, which isn't often, you don't feel like reality.
Baguettes, fromage, soirées, boulangeries, my job, my European friends, and you, my French lover, feel like a motherfucking dream, a fucking delicious pink cake, but not, by any means, reality.
I can't explain to my friends and family here why I keep saying pardon and qu'est ce qui se passe? and quel dommage! and why I don't want to take the euros out of my wallet because I'll just be back to Paris in two weeks anyways. But more than anything, I can't explain you.
Because we don't have French lovers here in America we have boyfriends. And everyone thinks you are my boyfriend and when I tell them you are not they don't really understand. And for fucks sake I don't really either. And all of a sudden our distance feels very concrete. You aren't my boyfriend and I am in California and what the fuck are we?
If I just stayed here, just never went back to Paris, what would happen? It's like if a tree falls and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? If I went to Paris, but I just never took a plane back, did my life there ever exist?
Are you there, is my apartment mine, will my friends remember me? My apartment will be there, rent will be due, and my friends will be waiting.
But you, my French lover, je ne sais pas.
And I think I love you, because you give me space, and because I don't know if you'll be there when I get back. Even when I'm in Paris, I don't know if you're real. The only time I know it's real, is when we are physically together. When we're in bed and you look at me and I think nothing but how beautiful your face is. When you wake me up in the morning by going under the sheets and licking me so softly. When you tell me I am beautiful when you come over after work and I am making tacos for you, I have a glow from the steam of the black beans and tortillas that I cook in coconut oil, and you notice it and you like it. You are real when you take me to castles, when you make me feel like a princess, when you make love to me in a tent as the rain pours outside, when you cook me pasta, when you finger me in Palais de Tokyo.
You were real when I first got back to Paris at the end of this last summer and you immediately wanted to see me. It was a 100 degrees out and we met at some random bar and you touched me under the table and we shared a bottle of rosé and you carried me back to your apartment and you live on the first floor but we took the elevator to the seventh just so we could make out in it and we had sex all night long and we were sweaty from the heat and each other and we slept naked and didn't even need the covers.
And you were real when you took me to the airport so I could come home for Christmas. And I got off the plane at LAX, and you're not real again.
And I love you because there is no obligation. You are not my boyfriend and we do not have to FaceTime everyday and for all I know you're not even real.
But sometimes it hurts because in giving me my space and my freedom and my ability to be me, you are loving me better than any man ever has, and I should be happy. But you've just made me love you more.
You keep me at an arm's distance and I think I know why. I'm American. You're French. I'm 22, you're 28. I wear crop tops, you wear suits. I'm in school, you sell sound engineering equipment. My friends are in sororities, your friends work 9 to 5. My longest relationship was 7 months, yours was 5 years.
Perhaps you're scared to be with someone else again, to be defined in relation to someone, to have someone you have to be there for, make sacrifices for.
And I get that, because those are all individually really scary things to me. But we have been dating for a year, and I want nothing more than for you to call me on Christmas. Or send me a "bisous" or want to know about my trip. But you won't ask me until I'm back to France, where you're real. You will ask me to hang out and we will go to a bar and we will have mind blowing beautiful sex and you will get me a pain au chocolat in the morning.
And how long will this go on for? Will it progress? Will you leave me? Will I leave you?
I have California, I have my blonde beachy hair, my mom jeans, my rosehip oil, and three Virgin Mary candles. I have my friends, I have my ability to love, I have body glitter. And because of the way you have dated me, I would be okay if you left. I would be so damn sad, but I would be so damn grateful to have ever had a French lover at all.
And not just a French lover, but you specifically. There is a part of me that loves you so much, that wants you so bad, that misses you. And I can't tell you and that hurts and can't you just tell me you love me?
Our sex is so incredible, so spiritual. And I love cooking you dinner and sitting on your lap. I'll never forget our first Thanksgiving. I love you, I hate you, I miss you, and I really want to fuck you. And when I come back and you are real again I will go to that bar with you, and we will have sex all night. And maybe one day, you'll tell me you love me. Or I'll tell you or I'll leave you, or you'll leave me. But it's been a year and I'm frustrated confused angry and in love, but more than anything, I'm still interested and I keep coming back for more. You may never know my life in California, and how the sunshine hits my skin, or how the sea salt dries my hair, or how I look when I drive my Volvo station wagon down PCH, but we will always have Paris.