Above All

It's been a while since 2009. I remember, because in 2009, fellow degenerate c. was living in Paris, squatting in a gorgeous, two story, free-standing stone house, with all power, water, gas and electricity bills taken care of by the city. And i. was dating a parisienne, so would naturally spend his weekends eurostarring over to Paris to spend time ignoring his girlfriend and exploring with us.

I remember 2009, because each week, we'd be out at least three evenings, catching the last metro into the depths of the system, skipping off the end of the platforms, skirting workers, and catching the first metro home in the morning. Our reward was an intimate knowledge of the parisien metro; its tunnels, the metal cacophony of trains squeeling past each other as we cowered between the tracks, faces down. And the backwaters. The billabongs. The oaisies. Forgotten corners where the flurry of the metro became a muted vibration, the only sound discarded newspapers teased by the ebb and flow of an warm breeze.

While winter was metro, summer was devoted to rooftops. Anything with scaffolding, and many things without were climbed. The cuban ballet was admired from above, our leftover champagne bottles next to the billowing flag atop the Grand Palais as a token to the next visitors.

And while many monuments shared our company, there were a few that we'd been unable to visit.

And so, it was befitting that 5 years later, i. would spend a weekend in Paris, and we could render visit to a masterpiece in architecture, previously unknown from above. Despite the near gale-force winds, with their biting edge, we sat upon its marble pews and admiring the view, ate salt and vinegar chips, sank a beer, and reflected upon the time gone by since 2009.

At 3AM, we curled up in a dusty, forgotten side corridor, and buried ourselves into our sleeping bags for the night, the escape plan for the morning only a vaguely formulated sketch. As it so turns out, as morning dawned over the Parisien rooftops, we were alone to admire the view. The sun bled scarlet over the checkerboard haze of flightpaths etched into the dawn canvas, as we slipped from one world into another.