That was the thing. That was the thing about Paris. Initially, on day one, I’d expected to fall in silk and the more pleasant moments of Romeo and Juliet. My heart was waiting for a soft landing made of feather down those birds once a rich rich brown feathers a shimmery brunette with a hint of blue ink just at the very ends.
I ran into white stone. “And who are you,” she seemed to say. (And my hand mid-gasp à la les heroines de Alfred Hitchcock.) God those stones were white. What tomb had I fallen into? The buildings: hard, administrative, imposing… a statue where I’d thought stood blue veins. Where, oh where, was the blood?
With some sadness I lingered in the gardens, the most palpatory parts… the same might be said of Central Park… and looked for a crack in the plaster where surely the artist lived.
What happened was: I kept getting lost. My mind learned to grip to each landmark, there a rung in Notre Dame, another for La Musée D’Orsay, another pour La Place de la Bastille. A little archeologist’s brush revealing first the tops of things, Le Tour Eiffel, various domes. Walking, walking and steadily brushing away time’s sand. Now the facades, now les balcons, les rues suivantes. Le metro.
I’ve got you now. The streets that had heretofore remained inexplicably inaccessible asked me, “Voulez-vous un café?” What I saw was no longer plaster. That rough skin had melted off. Or perhaps it’d been taken with the soles of my shoes. At any rate, une statue fondant, je pouvais voir ses yeux brillent.
So this is romance.
(Brief note on the photos: they didn’t scan straight.)
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