A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a French post called “Vous êtes ici”, which means, you guessed it: “You are here”. It was a piece about how I felt I was taking my French friends and loved ones from all over the world with me on our vacation around the United States.
As I now walk the streets of my French hometown, as I fall back into my daily routine on the other side of the Atlantic, the time has come from me to tell you all, my American buddies and family, how you are here, beside me, in these odd moments when I find myself a little bit of a stranger in my own country.
Rochelle, my bold and audacious friend, you are here when I walk across Lille’s Main Square, like we did together a year ago. Your laughter rings still in my ear and I miss you hugs.
Paul L., my ever so talented friend and amazing artist, you are here as I hum and sing “For Good” and go about my day. I often speak of you, of the dream you live, of the amazing show we saw, of the gift it was to be taken around backstage and of the wonderful time we had with you, your husband and your friends.
Cathie H., you are here as I prepare myself to get into our adoption plan ; I hear the pride in your voice as you speak of your kids and I hope to be as great a parent as you are.
Sara, you are here too, by the way. Seeing how happy you are, listening to you telling us about your boy made us want to go through with this process even more. You will hear from me soon for advice, ma chère!
Barb and Adriana, you are here on a daily basis, because of my everlasting connection to K, of course, because of the special bond we have, Barb, but also because I cannot wait to show you guys around and I can’t stop picturing AJ’s face when she’ll discover France.
Alexis/Tamsin, you are here whenever I need the strength and the discipline to sit down and write ! I envy your determination and character, my friend.
My dear Michael V., you are here as I wait for your stories to impregnate my mind and give birth to another movie. What can I say? Your stories inspire me!
Cathie, Rich and Susan W., you guys are part of me, that’s a given. Mom, your love, strength and indestructible sense of humour are my fuel. I try to see the world through your eyes and I laugh!
Holly, Lisa and Brad, Kelly and David, you guys are here because you should be here already! I want to spend more time with you all, here, and share some more moments, simple ones, with wine, as friends do when they get older. So get yours asses here, for Christ’s sake!
Janet, Shay, Atis & Lisa, Paul, Mary Kay, you are here with me as I plan my new foolish project of starting a rep company. Your combined energy, passion and determination inspire me. The friendship you showed me by being there, that Sunday, meant the world to me.
Michael F. and Michael G., you guys are here whenever I look at my husband and wonder what I did to deserve such happiness. Your love for each other, the beautiful thing that is your couple is inspiring to me.
Mark, my beautiful (bearded) friend, you are here with me as I try to find a way to balance work, health and creativity. You have shown me it is possible and I thrive to be more like you everyday.
Cara, you are here as I plot my next book, which means, very, very often! It was fantastic to meet a fellow writer in an old friend and to discover how alike we think and work. I can’t wait to read your next novel!
Pauline, Charles, Rita, Poppy and Evelyn, you are here as I walk around the house we bought specifically to welcome our friends. I can totally picture you coming down our stairs for a hearty breakfast made of croissants and other French delicacies. Granted, we may not have parrots on our porch, but we’ll be able to take care of all of you like you took care of us.
Diane, you are here as I write these words, as a sort of new digital version of the written correspondance we use to share. So many things to tell you from my life here!
You are all here, I tell you.
Even you, who I did not have the chance to see again, this time around. My bro John, Aimee, Gunna, Scottie, Nicole…
You all have heard me speak about my life here in France, some twenty years ago when we first met. You probably heard me during this trip talking about it again, complaining about this or the other, how French people don’t react the same way you guys do, how being enthusiastic, positive is not part of our culture.
Some of you have come here, and some of you I even had the chance to guide around or introduce to my family. Some of you I will get to see here pretty soon, I should hope.
But in the mean time, I want to keep you in my pocket and carry you around as my life here unfolds. I want to share the great moments with you, and small ones too. I want to share stories, encounters, victories and defeats, with texts, photos, sounds and videos.
So do come back here. Because I’ll be here, and a little piece of you will too.