Prince Charming

March 29, 2012
As I walked down the broken, cobble stoned pathway I could make out the distinctive signs of the busy city of Versailles: the grueling noises of the taxis stopping and going, almost in rhythm; the delicious aroma of the crepe street vendors; the worn, yet comforting, sidewalks almost groaning under the weight of my body. As I rounded the last corner of my ever so familiar shortcut, I made my way to my favorite bench in the Gardens. The blazing sun warmed the familiar, cold bench, making it a more comfortable seat. I liked this spot for many reasons, but the main reason was always its view. This particular bench, out of the hundreds of benches in the park, overlooked the magnificent Palace of Versailles.

Ever since I moved to Versailles, I have made it a habit to visit the Palace at least once a week. How grand it must have been to live in that time of Kings and Queens! Being invited into the Palace was a privilege not a pleasure. Walking through the gold studded gates, and being welcomed into this very definition of Baroque style of a home, was exhilarating. The name: grand ballroom, gives no justice to the actual site. It was not only large, but also oozed of luxury. No one in this Palace could have guessed the amount of turmoil occurring in the lands of France. No; in the Palace, it was all about stature.

Entering the halls, I am intimidated by the complexity and size of the gateway. But once I make it pass those golden-bronzed doors, the true magic awaits. The music crashes over me like a giant tidal wave in the sea. Women, both past and present, flutter on the arms of handsome men like delicate butterflies. They reek of fragility and poise in their one of a kind expensive ball gowns. One of these gowns could feed a family of five for a fortnight! The men are distinct noblemen of honorable families; a requirement not a suggestion. Their petticoats crisp and fresh and their speech well rehearsed, almost robotic. As I take in this luxurious site, I cannot help but feel a little overwhelmed; but this is natural. I simply walk calmly towards the table of refreshments. I expect to get a small sampling of whatever frivolous rations are there, but that would be underestimating the monarchy. In Versailles nothing is ever simple! Why “simple” is an unknown, unspeakable word for these people!

At the scene of this feast, the tables are groaning under the weight of the extravagant dishes. There are a number of different types of meats, cheeses, and breads. Each different in their own ways. As I make my rounds, a number of foods entice me; as if they are screaming, “Eat me! Eat me!” The meats are various shades of red, the cheeses vary from whites to yellows with the occasional blue. The breads are in every shape: round, square, twists, and more. While surveying this delicious display, I bump into an attractive man. As I stutter out an apology and gaze at him, I realize that the words: attractive, handsome, striking, all pale in comparison to him. His deep brown eyes are like pools of chocolate that reflect on his hair which is like the ocean on a calm, sunny day. He brushes aside my apology and asks for a dance as we move cautiously. His left hand goes on my waist while my right holds on to his shoulder. Both other hands meet and cling to each other. We begin. To call the Waltz just a dance, is to call Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita just a book. These tasteless words do not even begin to describe the very artistic form that has been integrated into the future generations of literature.
The music continues, as does our dance, enveloping us in a blanket of comfort. We cling to each other like lifelines in a sea storm. We move closer and closer, not caring about image. As I tilt my head up, he tilts his down, leaning towards me. We move closer, trying to eradicate the space in between our heads when suddenly I am looking at a black, metal object in front of my face. My dream is gone, like a bubble that has been popped, and I am thrown headfirst back into reality. A tourist is waving a camera in my face, asking if I would mind taking a picture of him and his wife. I shake the dream out of my head and accept his offer. As I walk out of the park, I look back at the Palace with a sense of longing I can never fulfill. The day dream is all but a fleeting memory as I turn to walk back to my old life. I am nothing but an ordinary student, still waiting for her Prince Charming to sweep me off my feet.

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