L'Amour Posted by Hello
I fell in love with her almost as quickly as I fell in love with Eric. He had a picture of her taped up to his wall from one of those awful see fifteen countries in a week tours that his mother was so proud she took him on. I saw her, her hip upturned, despite her nudity, her ankles crossed, a touch of demurity, the clearly intentional nature of the pose ( the block beneath her hips to raise them) jaxtaposed with her sleeping unconsciousness.
All he could me about her was that she was in the musee d'orsay. He didn't know the title of the piece or the year or the artist who created it. ( You would think an artist would pay more attention to details.) He promised to take me to Paris to see her.
That was how it started. I met Eric a week before I saw her. The first time I went to his dorm room he promised to take me to see her. To sit on the banks of the Seine and eat bread and cheese and drink wine. To be lovers with no money in paris.
In the beginning we talked about it often, staying in hostels, only bringing a backpack, I would brush up on my french. But we were worried about money. I was trying to get a job. He was going through school. We put off Paris for sometime in the future, sometime before we got married. Other fantasies took up more room, moving in together, getting married, and having children. There was no rush, after all, to get to Paris. I was the love of his life. We would always be together.
Always is apparently a much shorter period of time than anticipated. Two weeks after september eleventh, I awoke to find him taking a box of his stuff and leaving a note. We agreed to continue to "date" but shortly after that he showed up to a date with hickeys all over his neck. Later that night he told me he wished he taken me to Paris. He meant to. He had meant to stay in love with me too. But he hadn't.
And so I gave up on going to Paris in the same way that he gave up on loving me.
It wasn't until UDR said the second time that we met "I should take you to Paris," that the idea that I could go to Paris without Eric ever seriously entered my mind. I didn't realize that UDR was giving me his Standard Seduction Line. But it was UDR's ex wife who absolutely insisted that I go to Paris, that I could do it alone.
What made me buy those tickets in the end after all this time? I can't say. But I knew one thing. No matter what happened I was going to see that statue.
I went into the Musee D'orsay not knowing how I would find her. I didn't have a time period or a title. But she was at the end of the main hall: La Jeune Tarentine named after an Andre Chernier poem the sculpture was created by Alexander Schoenewerk and presented in the Salon of 1872.
On the main floor were other stunning works like Delaplanche's Eve After the Fall and Clesinger's Femme Piquee par un Serpent ( Cleopatra).

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