Sunday, October 21, 2007

It’s a beautiful day; I decide to walk along the river. I find a great spot near Pont Louis Philippe and I stretch out with my book. Instead of reading I watch the Seine. I watch the garbage, which isn’t much, a bucket, a soft drink can. The big boats float by- their wake slaps against the stone embankment. It sounds like a dog sneezing when it hits. The blocks that make up the some of the wall are the same blocks that build the Roman Arena in the 5th - the blocks were removed before anyone realized or cared that they were part of something else. These blocks once protected the people from the wild animals on display, now they protect the people from the Seine. Another boat goes by, “Europa”- more dogs sneeze. I’m wearing my sport coat and scarf- sitting in the sun- it feels hot but if I take them off it will be too cold- that’s the nature of autumn in Paris- at least this year. My shoes are off. I’m sitting on the edge of the bank- leaning against the iron fence I climbed over. My legs are stretched out; my stocking feet hang over the edge. I half expect to see a bloated body float by. I‘ve been trying to get the statistics on the number of people that have committed suicide by jumping into the Seine- there is no information that I can find. I guess it isn’t something a city likes to advertise. Another boat goes by, bigger than the last two- I don’t catch the name. The wake is larger- the dogs sneeze louder. 350 people have jumped off the Eiffel tower, that number is published, almost in a boastful manner. They keep mum about the Seine- a family skeleton they don’t want discussed- protecting it the way you would protect a family member that committed a crime. They can protect the Seine all they want, I don’t care- I’m just enjoying the day.

5 comments:

paris parfait said...

I've lived here for nearly seven years and didn't know that about the blocks! Glad you are enjoying Paris.

Dyna Girl said...

350 off the tower...good tidbit. My 3 dogs are sneezing. I feel like I am being transported.

LDP said...

We have dead bodies right here in our very own Ohio River, mister. You wait all day in Paris and never see one -- that's what you get for being all highfalutin and whatnot.

william comparetto said...

Dogs sneezing is a great image. Lucid and original.

Polly said...

A perfect description of an autumn afternoon in Parigi. Merci!

Have you ever read "Secret Life of the Seine" by Mort Rosenblum? He may have stats on the dead bodies.