I’m starving, so I stop at Le Zimmer on the place du Châtelet. This café is next to the Théâtre du Châtelet. I have no idea whether this café is good or bad; it’s here and I just can’t walk anymore. Standing at the entrance, I pray that I won’t have to stand here so long that people begin to look at me. I hate it when a group of people turns and looks at me.

A waiter is walking toward me. He comes into my personal space, his dark eyes on me. I can barely breathe. He’s about three inches shorter than me.

Bonjour, monsieur,” I say timidly.

Bonjour, madame,” he says with a smile, then quickly he turns and walks away, expecting me to follow him. He stops at a nice table at the window. He’s standing there, waiting for me. I try to look blasé as I thread myself through a very narrow aisle between the tiny tables on this enclosed sidewalk cafe.

I go slow and take small steps so if I do hit something, less damage will be done. How in the world did all these people get in here? After I finally arrive at a table the size of a laptop, he gives me a sideways glance with a coy smile.

Une personne?” he asks. (One person?)

Oui, monsieur, merci,” I say.

I’m sure he knows English but since I started this game off in French, he’s going to play along.

I slide my rump down onto the small, straw-woven chair, negotiating my belly around the tabletop, praying that I tip nothing over. I put my purse down and pray I don’t forget it. I take the menu from him. He nods and moves away. I exhale. I may never be able to get out of this tiny chair, but I’m here and I’ve got a wonderful place at this window to watch the parade of people on the sidewalk.