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It Is Winter And My Heart Yearns For Paris


Tonight, my body sits in cold, damp Pennsylvania, but in my dreams, I sit at a very nice Parisian bistro on the corner of rue de Seine and rue Callot.

Though the coffee before me tastes like it was strained through Balzac's sweat-stained linens, it is hot and the steam creates a perfect effect as it wreathes around my face.

Behind me, the lights of the Eiffel Tower points toward the night sky, the stars lost in the perennial haze that blankets the City of Lights.

Tonight is a night for toasting young lovers as they walk by my table, oblivious to my glass upraised in tribute to their happiness. It is a night for friends to gather at the bistros, a night for arguing Voltaire and the perversion of eating snails and other inconsequentials.

Later, I dine on delectables at the Café Le Procope while on the stage a woman clad in black sable croons about lost love and a broken heart.

I turn to the lovely young thing dining alone at the table next to me. I nod in appreciation of her young beauty and then nod toward the singer. "Everything sounds much more romantic in French," I say to her. "I swear the French could sing '100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall' and they could make the most cold-hearted listener burst into tears."

Alas, she speaks no English and interpreting my comment as an insult dashes her glass of wine in my face.

As the bouncers ignominiously toss me out into the street, I lay dazed on the sidewalk while mimes act out putting me onto a stretcher for the ambulance.

Overhead, the mocking face of the cold moon stares down while laughing at my despair and I jerk awake in my cold office back in Pennsylvania, my neck painfully sore from falling asleep in such an odd position.

Forget Paris. I hear Bermuda is just lovely this time of year.