Noises from the restaurant at the bottom of the courtyard came. The comforting sound of china being stacked. Pigeon sounds, the scratching of their claws on the rain gutters. Getting up would make the floor creak, and risk waking her. She was steaming under the heavy comforter, hair sprayed across her shoulders and twisted at her neck. Admiring, I pull hair from her forehead and stroke her ear.
I work first one leg then the other from under the blanket, heavy as sod. Standing and going to the window, eyed by pigeons that do not scare easily. Dressing in my only shorts I gingerly open the bedroom door, its latch loud as rockets in the stillness of the stone wall room’s dawn. I let myself out of the apartment thinking, “There is only this key, I must not be gone too long.”
I descend the spiral red patterned carpeted staircase that has an ancient creak I have come to really love.
The air is sticky with late summer; light traffic collects like leaves running down the curb at the first sign of rain. I cross, hearing the soft whir of the rolling billboard. A chandelier comes on in the window above me suffusing yellow light on the opulently adorned ceiling.
There are lovers sleeping among empty green bottles and twisted blankets. The vendors move wearily with giant rings of multicolored trinkets that pierce the morning with an oddly incongruous jingling. There are joggers silently moving under the trees. I cross carefully through them and looming there is the tower. I walk under her, unable to not look up. I cross the river under the watchful eyes of statues. The Trocadero resembles a ship made of stone. The fountain here is mute at this hour. Security guards in bright green jackets smoke and talk to street sweepers, radios crackling at their hips. I start to run, up the steps, down the steps. Last night there were a thousand people here. I drop and begin to do push-ups. Last night I saw a man rollerblade backwards down this very staircase. Amazed.
I am alone save the workers, who don’t seem to notice me. I’m unbelievably happy.
- ▼ September (8)