Quite cozy looking aren’t they? The yarn is really beautiful–the photo doesn’t do it justice. The colors remind me of a foggy early morning–dawn pinks and misty blues and grays, and dewy greens. Paul’s mom and dad gave me the yarn for Christmas, and some double-pointed needles. It had been a while since I’d knitted socks, and I’m not an expert knitter by any means so they took a while. Mainly because I kept reading the pattern wrong. Next time I make socks I am going to retype the pattern with only the numbers I need to make socks in my size. Probably other knitters already know to do this, and I am just late to the party, as usual. I am self-taught in just about all of my crafts, and so I just figure stuff out as I go, through trial and error and much perusal of YouTube videos made by people who know what they’re doing.
These are my Lazy Morning at Home socks now, and that’s what I’m having at this moment. Paul is breakfasting at the kitchen table, Edgar is in my lap, Gladys Knight is on the iPod, and I have a little cup of hot espresso and milk made with the moka pot Paul gave me for Christmas. I love that thing. It takes me right back to the little kitchen in the tiny apartment we stayed in when we went to France in October. I remember when we arrived at our Airbnb apartment, exhausted of course, and surprised at how chilly Paris was even though we’d been told, and slightly overwhelmed at the bustle of the city and the jarring sensation of suddenly hearing French everywhere for the first time in many years…and feeling such relief that the key we were promised would be under the doormat was, in fact, actually there, and that we were able to get it to turn and unlock the door (I am not good with keys and door handles, so I worry about these things), how we stumbled in, dropped our luggage, and I saw the moka pot and a little bag of coffee on a shelf, and little tins and boxes of tea, and I was like, “Okay, we made it.” There’s something about the prospect of a hot beverage that just feels like home, even when you’re halfway around the world.
Throughout our time in France I made us coffee or heated water for tea in that little moka pot, and it was such a nice way to wake up or wind down. I kept saying to Paul, every time I was filling it with water, “I want one of these,” having no idea that he was actually paying attention. It’s as if he loves me. Sometimes I say that to him, when he’s done something really thoughtful. “It’s almost like you love me.” “Yes,” he says back, “it’s almost exactly like that.” One of our little refrains.
But I’m still always surprised. Even though I knew there was a good chance of his proposing to me in France, it still surprised me. Even though he’d taken me out a few months before to a jewelry store to look at rings so I could tell him what styles I liked, it still surprised me. But then on our second night in Paris, tucked up in our cozy bed (that futon was one of the most comfortable beds I’ve ever slept in, amazingly) with just one lamp on and the sound of Parisian traffic three floors below us, I noticed that Paul was breathing more heavily than he…normally does when winding down for sleep. He was evidently nervous. For one horrible moment I thought, “Is he about to break up with me?” This seemed unlikely though, since we still had the better part of a week stuck together in France. And then I thought, “Is he about to confess something awful?” “Did he lose his passport?” “Did those wannabe pickpockets near Notre Dame today actually get his wallet?” My anxious brain came up with every possible scenario to explain his agitated state except for the totally obvious one.
“Marry me,” said he, without preamble. And I said, after a romantic pause, like I might have to consider this request for a second, but really I was just savoring this moment because I know they don’t come along often in a lifetime, “Yes.” Of course I did.
The one and only regret I have about his proposal is that we probably will never be able to revisit that little apartment. Number 82, Rue du Faubourg du Temple in the 10th arrondissement. The metro stop is Belleville. The address is engraved on my heart. There was a butcher shop on the ground floor, and then three floors up, second door from the right, was our little place, where we got engaged. If he had chosen a more public, touristy…venue for that moment, the moment itself wouldn’t have been so intimate, but we would have been able to go back there one day, on an anniversary trip maybe, and relive the proposal. I am a little sad about that. I’ve even said so to him a few times, that it’s too bad we probably can never go back there. The girl who lives there and rents it out through Airbnb is a student, and when she moves on, whoever takes the apartment after her might not be inclined to rent it out to strangers.
But I feel like I have a small piece of the apartment somehow, in the moka pot Paul gave me for Christmas. It’s not the same one–it’s bigger, and silver instead of red. But it still reminds me of our little Paris apartment. Maybe Paul knew, without my ever telling him, how much I wanted a reminder of that place. He knows things sometimes without my ever telling him. He surprises me that way, often. It’s almost like he loves me.