Turn of the 19th-20th century postcard of St-Merry, site of Charles Jeanne’s barricade. This is the location of the tocsin that rang through the events of 5-6 June 1832 and gave heart to the republicans at the rue de la Chanvrerie.
No matter what I say, All that I really love is the rain that flattens on the bay, And the eel-grass in the cove; The jingle-shells that lie and bleach At the tide-line, and the trace Of higher tides along the beach: Nothing in this place.
View of the Beach at Beverly, Massachusetts, John Frederick Kensett, 1860
There is a river. People look at it wistfully and say its so beautiful. They dive into the dirty water and never return.You gaze into the churning, writhing, aching depths and cringe. There is something watching you.
The streets are grids. You drive and drive and cross the same streets over and over again. 1st Ave, 4th Ave, 20th Ave, 1st St, 4th St, 20th St, repeat. You don’t know where you’re going anymore. It’s hard to remember where you came from.
You get on a bus. You sit. A man gets on after you with his bike. The driver ignores him. The beep of a card being swiped. A man gets on with his bike. A beep. A man gets off with his bike. A beep. A man gets on with his bike.
The bikes are everywhere. Green and obvious, you never notice them until someone nearly runs you down. They stop, apologize. You ask about the bike. They gaze into the distance wistfully. Usage fees, they murmur, usage fees. You do not ask again.
Where are you? Your friend asks over the phone. You look at the house numbers. They are all four numerals that do not match the streets. I don’t know, You reply, and your friend laughs.
The Guthrie Theater is showing A Christmas Carol. The Guthrie Theater is always showing A Christmas Carol. You have seen it five times and can never remember any details but the rattling of chains. You never mean to end up at The Guthrie Theater but you find yourself there anyway.
You get on a bus. A woman gets on with a cane and three people offer their seat. She accepts none. She pays in nickles and grins a toothless grin. She sits next to you, tucks her cane between her legs. She has no eyes and you avert yours.
What can I get you to drink? Your waitress intones, a emotionless smile on her face. Could I get a pop? Your friend asks. The waitress doesn’t ask what kind. You order the catfish and fear embeds itself into your gut. It arrives with the eyes intact, staring at you. You choke it down anyway.
The light rail is brightly lit. You sit on uncomfortable seats and wait. Please do not put your feet on the seats, An announcer pleads. Be considerate to other passengers. There is a screaming child. Be considerate. A man leans against the doors, falling through them as they open into the sky. Be considerate.
You stroll downtown at night and feel someone watching you. You turn around, the people hurry past you with their heads down. The shadows are full of things you do not want to think about. You turn around.
The Green Line is under construction. When you called and asked when it would be open, the man on the line laughed nervously and replied Soon. It is still not open. Sometimes you wonder if it ever will be. Soon.
Nice weather today. A stranger comments at the bus stop, rubbing his blue hands together and shivering. It’s always nice here. He nods to himself. You’re not sure if hes trying to convince you or himself. Nice weather today.