Sitting on the steps outside the student dorm for a cigarette at around 2 am is one of the few moments I really felt like I’m in Paris. Seeing the Eiffel Tower the other day and walking the champs eilysees did nothing for me. I wasn’t expecting a moment of awe at the sight of the tower but I guess it’s just something you have to do when you are in Paris for the first time. The Parisness of the tower is diluted with the many tourists and the thousands of replications and distortions they satisfyingly create with their cameras. The garbage they leave behind after ordering food and drinks from the street vendors that profit on the millions of sightseers is different from the vomit looking crap I see outside this building where I stay. It could be some other international student’s trash who thinks they can get drunk and be reckless because they are in Paris. But I choose to romanticize this piece of crap I see before me and associate it with the thousands of people that tread the streets every day to walk to work, go to a café to read or write, buy their groceries or walk simply because it’s a beautiful city for walking. The wetness of the streets after a day of pouring rain brightens everything with reflection, and increases the sound of life in passing cars and exhausted footsteps. The damp, cold blocks of cements giving me a pleasurable chill, the streetlights piercing through the trees aligned along the road, the wet bedraggled building from across the street with the marks of shootings that were never painted over in memory of a WW2 veteran shot and killed against this wall, the smell the rain brings of trees and gasoline combined with cigarette smoke… the surroundings that I can feel with my senses make me “in the moment;” a moment of being. Existing in a different time, being a part of it because it seeps into my present and I be in it.
Book I'm reading: Selected Essays by George Orwell
Song I'm listening to: I'm throwing my arms around Paris - Morrissey