Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Normally, I return to Florence late Friday evening; however, this week, I returned on Tuesday at 6pm. I was initially going to spend a few more days in Paris even though I had already spent two weeks there, but cut my trip short so that I could see my soccer team play our archrival at the stadio (stadium) in Florence. The soccer season has only begun, but with my work schedule, I realized that the first partita (match) I could attend would be in December.

Read More

Saturday morning I woke up and saw the light blue sky outside. I was suddenly filled with high hopes about what I could do. On the one hand, I wanted to stay at home and write, but on the other hand, I wanted to scour the city for more things to experience. After writing a little bit, I decided to go out and enjoy the day. I began to imagine my possibilities: I initially thought about taking the metro to the Opéra, then I thought maybe I could go to Jardin de Luxembourg or even some other area of Paris that I could discover. By 10am, I decided instead to get breakfast before making a final decision.

Read More

Wednesday morning when I went out for my morning run it was darker outside. The sky was a dark blue and the only thing darker were the shadows of the trees on the beige gravel paths of the Champ de Mars. The Eiffel Tower appeared a dark brown instead of its usual greyish tan color. The only lights were the red ones at the top and the elevators that were slowly going up and down.

Read More

My time in Paris is intense. A week goes by rather quickly and at the end of it I am surprised. It’s almost as if I’m in a vacuum: work pulls me in on Monday morning and spits me back out on Friday night. My life is completely different in Paris than when I’m in Florence. In Paris, I wake up early so that I can write and go running before my workday begins. In Florence, I rarely set my alarm and let myself wake up naturally. Even though I still write and go for a run most mornings when I’m in Florence, my time is not as condensed as it is in Paris.

Read More

Integrating myself a bit more in the Parisian life is key to creating a life for myself in Paris. Last night, I was invited to a birthday party for a young French philosopher and author by one of my girlfriends. My girlfriend grew up in Paris, lived in Florence for over 10 years, and moved back to Paris last year. We met at a party last year and started seeing each other in June. It’s already a strong relationship since we both lived in two cities (she commuted to Paris every month for five years) and are now adapting to life in Paris.

Read More

I am enjoying my time sitting in cafés and writing this weekend. Part of my separateness from others is not by choice and part of it is. I could easily fill my day seeing other people, but I prefer to be alone. Before arriving in Paris, I contemplated staying in Florence this weekend instead, but I knew that it would be better for me to spend some time alone in Paris. I thought it would be good for me to focus on my writing projects. I felt a need to drop down inside of me, listen to my inner voice, and simply write.

Read More

This morning I woke up early to enjoy the beginning of my day on the Ile Saint-Louis. Even though the sun was still not up, I was eager to get ready. I smiled when I heard the street cleaners sweeping the streets and sidewalks and the garbage men picking up the trash in the narrow street below my window. I felt comforted by the noise because it reminded me of Florence. Normally, I find Paris rather quiet in the mornings.

Read More

It’s interesting how life throws you a curve ball and at first you’re stunned, then you just go with it. I had different plans this weekend, but when I found out that I had to find a place to stay in Paris on Friday night, I decided to treat myself to a nice hotel on Ile Saint-Louis. Many years ago, I had a friend who had an apartment on the île (island). I loved the area and have always dreamed of living in an apartment on the île.

Read More

Every day this week, I went out shopping for food and other items at the negozi (shops) I go to around town. After living in Florence for the last eight years, I have come to know a few of them quite well. Shopping and chatting with each one is one of my favorite pastimes when I’m in Florence. I a so happy to see them and it brightens my day when they are happy to see me too.

Read More

When I left Paris, I felt a bit melancholy. It’s always difficult for me to leave behind my beau. Living apart isn’t easy on me, but right now it’s the only solution we have. When I arrived in Florence and the tassista (taxi driver) took me through the streets of my beloved city, I wasn’t as happy as usual. I felt even sadder that I was so far away. If I could’ve gotten back on a plane and returned to Paris, I think I would’ve done so.

Read More