Pilgrims, this is a thing I like to call ‘gratuitous fiction.’
This is Paris, mind you. They were walking up the 5,327 steps to the Sacre Coeur. They were holding sweaty hands like they had just met because they had, and their hands were brand new to each other.
She was growing tired from the climbing. Her ass sat in her stretchy pants like pastries;
and he, from behind her, had long since found his favorite patisserie.
They had been walking all day. She had long since grown tired of carrying the flagpole she had purchased in the 11th arrondisement. Why, she did not know, and neither did he, but now, she had to carry it.
We’ll take it a little bit at a time, he said, and the steps began to vanish behind them.
The stairs and the sight of the Sacred Thing at the Top in front of them – visions of the Dinner they would later share, and the brand new places they would find to touch each other – this all made her nostalgic.
Remember when – She said, huffing to keep up – remember that time when you said, it was so wonderful, you said, Look at your goddamn eyes. When I close mine, I can still see them.
That was this morning.
I know. But it feels like forever.
Then they sat, and rested. She put down her flagpole. They continued holding hands.