It’s like looking for a piece of hay in a haystack

So you may or may not know, but I have this somewhat regular habit of misplacing things. I’m totally big picture oriented…can look at a mountain of work and assess within a few minutes exactly how long it will take…can make a six item dinner for 12 people and have everything done at the exact same time…can knock out two days work in 6 hours without resting. But I can’t find my keys most of the time and I often have no idea where I put that very important “thingy” I’m looking for RIGHT NOW!

This often results in moments of panic, more so for my friends or my partner when I startle and say, “I can’t find my iphone…oh wait it’s in my left pocket instead of my right.” Sorry guys! It’s just one of my things.

Over the course of this trip I’ve “misplaced” my apartment key, my credit card, my money belt, the camera, a rosary pouch that was my Grandpa’s and a few other things. At this point CJ has uttered the words, “Are you doing this on purpose Jim? Cuz if you are I’m going to kill you” more than a few times.

Well today we found the most amazing little book store. It’s called The Shakespeare bookstore and it’s just off of the Isle of Notre Dame on the banks of the Seine. It opened sometime in the 1920’s. Over the years it has housed an amazing collection of prose and poetry, but more importantly it has rented tiny rooms to aspiring writers so they could live in Paris and hone their craft. Hemmingway, Pound, Stein and others are all said to have lived there at one point or another. Seriously? It makes “George Washington slept here” seem like child’s play. This place had an “energy” that was indescribable. Makes you want to sell all your crap, move to Paris and become a starving artist sort of energy.

After spending about an hour perusing old books, I started back downstairs and noticed a Henry Miller title. I knew right away I needed to buy it for a friend. As we were checking out CJ said to me, “Do you have the Paris guide?” I felt up my jacket pockets, looked in my hands, gyrated a bit and then declared, “I must have left it upsatirs. You better go look for it. We’re going to need that.”


Seriously Jim? Sending your girlfriend to look for a lost book in an almost 100 year old bookstore that is divided into 5 floors and maybe 30 rooms is akin to looking for a piece of hay in a haystack. The hell with the “needle looking” cliche! And just then I reached around to my back and said, “Oh wait, it’s in my back pocket.”

Louder than the bells in the belfry at Notre Dame, I can hear “I”M GOING TO KILL YOU JIM” in the back of my mind.

Well at least we’ve gotten to that “letting Paris happen to us point” in the last couple of days. We are going to the Palace of Versailles tomorrow. It’s 1 a.m. in Paris and Michigan is playing Northwestern starting right now back in the states. I think I’m going to tune in to the WGN application and listen to some of the game while I doze off. If I could only find my iphone…


About Jim Herbert

I've been wanting to write my whole life. By age 45 it had amounted to nothing more than a storage locker of half full journals and a lot of unfulfilled dreams. Then Paris in the fall of 2011 happened. It was the catalyst I needed to consistently blog. At first I had a hard time hitting the publish button, but now two blog sites and over 300 posts later I'm hitting my stride. I'm also a budding speech writer. I've recently been heavily involved in the Chicago Storytelling scene and have also won the Chicago Toastmasters Area 66 International Speech Contest. Check out our website at for more details about the amazing things that are happening in my life. A book or two are nearing completion. With another Paris trip on tap for Easter of 2015 I can only imagine that there are Infinite Possibilities on the horizon!!!
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