Aaaaaaarrrrrrrgggh! cried the Charlie Brown in my head. There it was, big and bold, a realtor’s sign posted on the widows of the apartment next door. VENDU, it boasted: SOLD. What? Whaaaat?! I had to read it twice, even consulted my translation program hoping “vendu” didn’t mean what I knew it meant: At some point between my stay in early December and this one, six weeks later, someone—not me—snatched away my dream, like Lucy yanking the football out from under poor ol’ Charlie Brown. Too late, sucker!
That apartment was supposed to be mine. Everyone knew I wanted it. Everyone. Cramped in my tiny 258-square-foot nest, enduring three different neighbors in rapid succession—including “Le Rockstar” with his 1AM jam sessions—that apartment was the cure for what ailed me. I’d buy it, break through and—voilà!—a bigger and better home. I had a foolproof plan to get it, including people on the inside to alert me: my neighbor, for one, and my friend who looks after my place when I’m away. But somewhere, something broke down. I was foiled by my part-time Paris life.
In a desperate act of denial, I phoned the realtor in case the sale was not final or, very possibly, had fallen through. No luck; it was bien vendu. Done and done. To drive in the knife yet deeper, I learned the apartment would have more than doubled the size of my apartment—and at a price that would have made it a bargain to do so. Argh, indeed. I walked around sour-stomached that whole day, gnashing my teeth and grumbling. Why didn’t I contact the owner proactively? Always out in the cold. You lose.
Later on, I had lunch with a friend who is in Paris real estate, and while she sympathized with my loss, she reminded me of my original plan: to use my current place as a starter and work toward something more central. Then she showed me the possibilities beyond that place next door, a bigger dream that was totally within my reach. I realized I was wrong to shake an angry fist at “bitch” Fate. When it comes to Paris, she’s been on my side the whole time. Nothing I need is ever denied me, and it’s delivered right when I need it. Everything on this journey in Paris has come easily, and if this apartment was meant to be, it would have come easily, too. I wasn’t too late for the place next door; I was right on track for something that would make me happier.