paris, 2007

August 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

We sat on a stone bench outside the Sorbonne, a stone structure with tall windows that spanned blocks upon blocks of real estate, hardly allowing for interruptions in its architecture by streets, doorways, or crosswalks. It was a grey day, one in a long line that together comprised this typical Parisian summer. Around our feet, the pidgeons were pecking themselves into a tizzy. Conversation had been fitful for the last hour. As sometimes happens, we had decided on an impulse that it’d be a brilliant idea to explore the city together on foot, discovering only afterward that we had almost nothing in common.

Disastrously, we turned to talking about what we wanted to do after graduation.

She said she wanted to go by herself to live in England or Norway, one of those dreary, regimented northern European countries, get a work visa, wipe down bars with rags, rove restlessly through a series of occupations, live it up for a bit.

Earlier I had dropped my earbud’s rubber cap in the middle of the crosswalk just as the signal keeping a four-lane armada of gunning cars from running me over turned green.

“I’m not sure I’ve found that one thing that I want to do for the rest of my life,” I said, plaintive, nineteen.

She looked at me as if I were crazy. “Why would you only want to do one thing?” she said.


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