It was not enough to pack all black for Paris. My husband and I checked into a boutique hotel in The Latin Quarter in which everything was designed to be as dark as night. Black carpeted floors, black upholstered walls, window treatment: black-out drapery, of course. And a night sky ceiling for all the time one spends in bed.
This is the reason women should make the reservations.
Every day we go out, we experience difficulty finding the hotel again. It’s not that way with other sites in Paris, we return to the Orangerie and the parks and markets again and again. But The Seven Hotel, I suspect, moves around by day. It makes sense.
The couple beside me at breakfast converse without words. I suspect everyone here is a spy. My husband, a James Bond fan, has to be in heaven. From now on, for the duration of our stay, I will call him James.
While I grope around with night blindness, James has the lighting mastered. Intricate overhead switches, over the bed, turn on the lowest possible level of light in stars in the sky (our ceiling), and with a little more intensity—all low, mind you—the Lucite “floating” furniture. The bed floats as well. Small room/ big bed. Picture yourself in a spacecraft at night, when the sun is on the other side of the earth from your craft.
Mirrors help enormously. Stepping out of the shower and unable to find bath towels, I looked up and spotted them in the mirror. But how I do my make-up daily is anyone’s guess.
James turned fifty-eight here this week. We were quiet about it, of course.
The last time I was in Paris was with my sister right after college. I won’t tell you how many years ago. But this I know in Paris: I am still the same age here, with all of my life before me. Didn’t need make-up then, and maybe I don’t now.
Now how many places on earth can make you feel like that?