– from the archives – written while living in Paris –

Honest to God, I’ve never watched someone sleep so much in my life.  My friend Iris is here in Paris, all the way from Las Vegas, which has a 9 hour time difference.  I should have been tipped off to her exhaustion when she walked into my apartment and asked, “Where is the bedroom?”

Evidently I have a 200 square foot apartment, and not the promised 600 square foot apartment.  I was never good at geometry. Or geography.  I’m pretty terrible at anything that starts with “geo”.  But I’m really good with a clock.

So here is our schedule so far this week:

Saturday night: Iris falls asleep at 9:30.  (In her defense she had been up for 36 hours).
Sunday afternoon: Iris wakes up after a 14-hour snooze.
Sunday afternoon (later): Iris falls asleep at the movies. (In her defense, it was rainy and cold that day, and the movie theater was dark)
Sunday evening: After being awake for almost 8 hours, she heads to bed.
Monday afternoon: After just sleeping 12 hours, she groans and wonders whether I could bring her some tea. (I do). I’m thinking it’s a little extreme to sleep so much, but also that she’s making up for all the lost hours and still adjusting to the time zone.
Monday evening: Iris is revved up in Montmartre, drinking champagne and coffee.  She wants to walk home after dinner with some friends.  I start thinking “okay, good, she’s adjusted to the time zone now”.  She makes plans to do a day trip to Versailles.  I’ve got a meeting and can’t go along.
Tuesday morning:  I wake up early, expecting Iris will soon follow.  9am: She stirs. I open the shades. 10am: She rolls over. I turn on the TV. 11am: I hear a sigh. I turn on the lights. Noon: She gets up, after a restful 12 hour nap, and tells me she feels awake for the first time since she’s been here.  I roll my eyes and make her tea.
Tuesday night:  We decided to go home early.  Iris’ recollection is that it was rainy and cold.  (Seriously, it’s Paris, it’s almost always rainy and a bit cold, so she’s probably right).  Along the way, she theorizes that now we’ll able to get up early and do some touring in Paris.  I suggest we go out for breakfast and grab croissants.  She suggests that I go get them and bring them back.  I counter with a different idea.  There is a little cafe near my place that has a great ambience and tons of cute bankers that stop for breakfast before work, and I’ve always wanted to go.  She agrees and we decide to wake up early.
Wednesday morning:  One of us wakes up early (me, obviously).  Iris gets up to get some water around 8:30 and mumbles “What time is it? Oh, it’s so early, I’m going to go back to sleep”.  9am, 10am, 11am… 11:30am…I wake her up and tell her she’s slept another 12 hours.
“We missed the bankers at breakfast”, she says.
“Yep”. I reply.
“Well,” she ponders “maybe we can catch them at lunch”.

And that’s how this week has been going. 🙂

Post-script:

Just wanted to provide an update that Iris did wake up, and once she woke up there was no stopping her!

We found time to drink champagne on the top floor of Printemps department store, to drink champagne at Le Meurice hotel for Thanksgiving with friends Nicole and Bristol, and to drink champagne during a river cruise down the Seine.

Of course, it’s easy to find time to drink champagne.

Believe it or not, we managed to fit in some actual activities – a museum, a church, a graveyard, a trip to the Hammam, dinners out, a jazz club… lots of stuff!

Her secret was coffee.  🙂

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