I have often walked this world alone. Young and unafraid. Full of renewed passions. As if it were meant to be. Loneliness like a mission statement, worn upon my sleeve.
Wandering alone through the streets of Paris one night, I stumbled across a vision. Halfway between the playhouse and my guest apartment, overlooking La Saine, I took a seat not far from a homeless man. My dinner was still in hand. A simple baguette and some hard cheese. I held my breath at the sight of everyday lovers, weaving in and out of synch with one another. I had happened upon a meeting place where dozens of couples gathered. They were covered in shadow, yet all of them dressed in decadent, timeless suits and gowns. All fully absorbed in silently dancing the Waltz by the water's edge.
It was magical. What a senselessly beautiful scene that never would have occurred had it not been Paris. The music played softly, heels clinked, an occasional bateaux mouche passed by, and a row of gargoyles played audience from the perch of a nearby bridge. The Eiffel Tower and a handful of lamp posts were all that lit the dirty sky.
I imagined I was one of them. First a lover. Then a gargoyle. I hadn't felt alone in Paris until that moment. I'd been too preoccupied. I must have sat there for almost an hour, listening to the music and dancing with gargoyles in the mixed dreams of the night. And I thought to myself, If I ever fall in love..
I have traveled to so many foreign places, taking brisk walks in the night, completely alone, just to feel my own heart race.. But Paris. I have never witnessed so much romance as I have in Paris.
When I finally stood to leave, I intentionally left my baguette and cheese behind. I avoided even the slightest nod to the homeless man sitting just a few yards away. My only company. It would've spoiled the moment. He'd know well enough it was meant for him.
That night I walked with untouchable purpose the rest of the way home. That night I fell in love with Paris.