Chased by a passing rain shower, I walk on the stone pavement at a quick pace.
Soon after this next corner, I arrive at the hotel.
The modest scale size hotel is located in the alleyway near École des Beaux-Arts and
it has been open for quite a while now. At a glance you cannot tell that it is a hotel. As I
enter the nondescript door, the sweet aroma of decaying flowers fill the air.
Brass keys are lined up on the wall behind the elderly front desk man who does not
smile. As I approach the counter, the grey-haired man hands me the key without saying
a word. Key number “16.” I put it in my pocket, and walk up the spiral staircase. As if
reaching to the heavens, I take a long walk towards the top floor.
I opened the vintage door with the number plate “16” on it. The main owner of this
room is the bed with the black iron railing around it. I dive onto the velvet bed
coverings in my still damp coat, and close my eyes.
As I lay in the bed, I hear all the happenings that pass through the walls of this
room. From the main street outside I hear a voice selling roasted chestnuts, screams of
kids playing against the northerly wind, sounds of the car running on a rutted road, the
church bells of Saint-Germain- des-Prés, the engine of a vessel on the Seine, and the sigh
of a woman who seem to be waiting for someone at a cafe. Moments of scenery that
just passed by, strangers, and things with no strings attached.
I wonder how many years it has been since I moved to this city. Being overloaded
with work, time, and the wind, I arrived here.
There is nothing I need to protect or lose, but there is a tremendous amount of
freedom in this city. If there is nothing, create. Create what you want ; whispers the
I am sleeping tonight, wrapped by this warm coat. When morning comes, I will
open the window to see where I am. Perhaps, where I am might be the center of the
I barely hear the lightning far away. Waiting for the coming of the winter storm.
Quietly, and gradually, I fall deeply asleep.