Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I Heart-Attack Paris

My alarm goes off and I groggily slap it into snooze. I lay in bed for 3 minutes trying to get back to sleep but realize this is futile as I have to pee. Sighing I switch the light on and swing my legs out of bed casually glancing at the clock. Wait what?! 6:48 a.m. ?!!!!!!!!

I'm the biggest idiot alive. My train is set to leave from the station (which thank god is close to my place) at 7am and I set my alarm for 6:45? Needless to say I tore my pjs off and yanked on my clothes at lightning speed. I threw my few toiletries into my already mostly packed bag and tore out of my room, neglecting to lock it on the way out and slamming into every wall and doorjamb on the way - sorry to wake you Lizandro.

All but threw my bag down four flights of steps, ran across the playground, up 2 more flights of steps, out the gate, which I did lock, and up the street. It was cold as hell and I was already heaving like a mother in labor at this point and ready to pull my hair out. The pain in my lungs was so intense that it was all I could do to speedwalk, pulling my over-sized luggage behind me. I had originally packed everything in my little red and white polka-dot bag only to find out that my prehistoric tripod was 3 inches too long to fit.

Then came the fun part. The day before I had decided to walk around the train station and decide the best way to get my bag up there and also just explore a tad. The longest way to the station seemed like the best idea at the time because it has the least amount of steps and the calmest incline. Had I gotten up at 5:45 like I thought I was, this would have worked out great. But no...I ended up having to take the "quick" way. Up 4 very long steep flights of stairs.

At this point I was practically in tears, my lungs felt like they were going to explode, and I was in the process of giving myself a heinous bruise on my right knee - a product of arms that are too weak to lift my suitcase without banging it against my knee to give it a little added oumph for each step.

As I heaved my bag up the last step I strained through bleary eyes to make out the little neon green hands on the clock-tower. 6:58 a.m. Gasping and sputtering I limpingly dragged my bag across the bridge and into the building - jaw slack and breath coming out in tremendous gusts - ignoring the stares of the gentle French people sipping their espressos - and lugged my bag down the last two flights of stairs onto track C, fully expecting to see it's caboose blinking happily in the distance already on it's way to Paris.

Somehow, and I don't know how, because it was surely past 7 a.m. the train was still standing on track C, doors open. With my last little burst of strength and heaved the bag into the train and pulled it into the car, plopping down without a care in the world if it was the right car or seat. I made it. I made it.

I was soaked in sweat. Still gasping for air. Palms violently red. Make-up rings under my eyes. Rat nest for hair. Strapless bra not sitting quite right. Clutching my chest.

I made it.

As the train started to roll down the track and the pain in my chest was still burning heartily, I went over all the words in French in my head that I might need to use should I be experiencing a heart attack. I sat slumped over in my chair - flexing my hands to try to dull the throbbing pain - telling myself over and over - just breath, it will all go away.

I don't know how long the pain lasted but it sure felt like a long time. Eventually the pain dulled, and eventually a wracking, croupy cough replaced it.

After a while I was able to get up and make my way to the bathroom - brush my hair, put some water on my face. Realize I forgot my toothbrush and bras in my room. Be ever so thankful that most everything was packed the night before.

I slept most of the way to Paris but I was awake to get this - early in the morning as we sped by.

Pretty glad I explored the day before, probably saved trip really.

This is my portal in and out of the city of Limoges. Built in 1929 it's name (Gare de Limoges - Benedictins) is derived from it's placement. It was built on the site of an ancient monastery.

It's said to be one of the pretties landmarks in Limousin.

Trusty clocktower that almost made my heart stop.

It's also kinda unique because of the way the station sits on top of the lines.

I really just went out because the light was so pretty.

So glad I scouted the day before!

If that aint enough for you! Watch this!

That's my train station!!!

1 comment:

Martin B. Cherry said...

awesome photos!!! it looked like it took the man three days to get to the top of those steps.