Steps to Nowhere

seine stairwayThe other day I was feeling crowded. It felt like people were trying to congregate around me, elbow me and make me want to scream. It was, of course, nothing personal, but anyone who lives in an urban space can relate. I was near St. Michel (the worst of the worst if you ask me) and I bustled my way onto l’Ile de la Cité. I tried to take refuge in the Marché aux Fleurs – nesting between spaces in the plants, away from human bodies. Not good enough. It wouldn’t do. So, I huffed off toward the other side of the island and found a staircase. Yes, the one above. I thought to myself, oh goody, I shall be unshackled along the quais of the Seine. 

There was a guy standing at the top of the staircase whom I passed as I hurriedly headed down. He looked at me funny – I could feel his quizzical gaze following me. I kept obstinately on. Down the second tier of stairs. And then, I opened my eyes and there before me was the Seine. The water. The staircase led to no such quai. Just directly into the waters of the Seine. I stopped. For a little while I looked at the inky water and scolded it. How could you do this to me? Just end with no explanation? Then I turned back around, sheepishly, and smiled a little smile at the gent when I passed at the top. His eyes mocked me, “Not in such a dash now, are you missy?” Curses.

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