How do I say goodbye?

Metros will run tomorrow, from Malakoff to Saint Lazare, ebbing with people, making tides of people. The man playing on the out-of-note violin will still sing an adopted song. The centre will brim with markets and half-rotting tomatoes and the farmer will still make a joke about his wife. He will laugh, before his joke even ends, and everyone will laugh before the sarcasm has time to unfold.

You will have forgotten that it is Wednesday and that the goose might be running around with all the gossips. The newspaper stall will be out of Le Canard again. You will swear, everyone will swear, because everyone swears. There is a nice bakery just across the street though. The smells of margarine that replace butter in cheap croissants that they make here will rise in the air, even faster, even better.

The lunch hour will come too soon. The dinner too late. In between, there will be an infinity filled with seasons that will change, of skies that will go from purple to grey. The little spaces between the apartments that are doomed forever to walking men and dogs will be filled with an audience from behind their windows. Cigarettes will be lit, half burnt cigarettes will fall. Someone’s hair will burn and everyone will complain that there are too many immigrants. But the men will keep walking, with their dogs.

The night will fall too late, too early. Everyone will laugh in the bars tomorrow night, looking down at their shadows that move in lines and circles in the Seine. You will probably drink so much that you will need to let some water out at the corners where people are still moving and still blind because they need to catch the metro. They are running – it will be the last metro before the sun rises.

But then the sun will rise again, and metros will run from Malakoff to Saint Lazare and I will not be there to complain that this city smells of piss.

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About Shreya Parikh

I am Shreya. Project Rethought is my attempt to rethink my own observations as a brown woman of Indian origin. I currently live in Paris where I teach at Sciences Po Paris and Parsons Paris-The New School.
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