Last week I was in Paris, and while I was there I met up with an old friend. I had never met her in person. Never heard the sound of her voice. But we managed to cross a few borders and time zones to spend a day together. Let me tell you how we met…
When I first started blogging, I became enamored of a website called Ask and Yes Shall Receive. It was a site that reviewed blogs. The reviewers were tough and had a collection of rankings ranging from flaming fingers making rude gestures to the rare and prized “I @#$% Love You.” The reviews themselves were hysterical, and the comments that followed were equally scathing. The site had a huge following, and it wasn’t uncommon for a review to garner hundreds of comments.
I think it was through this blog that I first became aware of Ellie and her blog, The Daily Smoke. Back then, Ellie, an American, was living in London. Her blog was elegant–artful black and white photos of London scenes. Black type on a white background with a little red thrown in for emphasis. Content ranged from the ultra-casual–what she saw on the bus that morning–to the deeply poignant–sexual abuse at the hands of an adopted brother.
There was always something about Ellie’s blog and writing that connected with me, and vice versa.
She’s now living in Madrid. I told her I was coming to Paris and that if she’d come see me, I’d buy dinner. And she took me up on it.
We started talking at 11. We talked as we walked. We talked through coffee. Through a bottle of wine with lunch. As we walked through Le Marais and crossed the Seine to the left bank so I could retrieve my sunglasses at my hotel. We talked as we walked up the hill to the Pantheon and down the other side to have a beer at a small cafe. We talked as we walked through Jardin du Luxembourg and through the Latin Quarter before stopping for one last beer.
Seven hours (or was it eight) of nonstop talking.
I suppose what we did is a little risky. We could’ve taken an instant dislike to each other, but instead the opposite happened.
Thank you, Ellie, for a great day. It’s nice to finally have a face and a voice to go with the name.