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I want to go to Paris.

It is my husband’s and my favorite city. Every day we are there we walk miles and miles between museums, and take trips across the city on the Metro.

We always stay at the same hotel in the Latin Quarter. Every night, I buy a crepe filled with Nutella, and eat it while curled up in a cramped hotel room that we find charming.  In the morning a ring of chocolate circles my mouth.

The bathroom has a window and the elevator only fits two people and even then it is tight.

I buy phone cards and call my mom most nights.  Last time we were there, a pay phone was right down the street.  We often spend an evening or two in an Internet café to catch up on our e-mail.

We always stop in coffee shops and order cappuccinos.

Why do cappuccinos taste so much better in a café in Paris?  It’s one of life’s mysteries, but they do.  They really do.

I’ll have to settle for a walk to a museum near my house, and a café where I can sip a coffee and write something in a notebook.  If the music is loud, which is almost always, I will read a few poems from one of my favorite poets instead. I can’t write when there is noise.

That is as close as I’m going to get to Paris for a while.

The long trip, the medication, the anxiety, the paranoia…I’m not up to crossing the ocean even for a glimpse of Notre Dame, even for a walk along the Seine.

The jacarandas are in bloom.  There are whole streets lined with purple flowers.

California is beautiful from the deserts to the mountains to the Pacific.

I can keep my windows open year round.

The food is fresh, because of all the agriculture.

There are songs about the place I live.

I am satisfied with my surroundings.

I may dream of Paris, but I have a little bit of paradise right before my eyes.