a-os

“Memory”

[ This text follows the photo in here: https://pixelfed.social/i/web/post/636996303874614548 ]

In the past three years I've come to this place quite often, usually with a book and my camera, and if I don't forget it, something to eat and my coffee. I sit almost at the same place, open the book, read some pages and then look up to the scenery: the Denon wing of the Louvre, the pyramid, and a bunch of people passing by, taking photos, skating, talking, laughing, drinking, and even family members getting mad because other members are walking slowly, or because they didn't take their photo as they had idealized it.

I then resume my reading until I need another pause or something gets my attention. I look up to a group -or a couple- recording a dance, a tourist guide speaking spanish through a speaker, a photographer suspiciously wondering around in search of a target, a some-country flag, a batch of bikers finding their way among the people, or a wedding couple preparing for a photo shoot. I look around for a couple of seconds and then I continue my reading.

Pages later I look up again to the same building and the same pyramid. I hear different languages and complains, and I see different faces, and different flags. Different photographers, and different guides with different tourists. Different skaters and bikers, and different brides with different grooms. Everyone is different from twenty minutes ago, but they fill all the empty slots the previous visitors left. I close my book and look around. I put it back in my bag and I wrap my camera's strap around my wrist. I get up and start walking away. I take few steps and without any suspense someone fills the slot I left behind.

Another day.

I come to the same spot, I open the book I brought and start the reading until it is the moment to look up to the scenery. It's been days -weeks and months- and the visitors haven't left any vacant slot. I wonder what the previous visitors could be doing now, and if among all the sea of people I see, if someone I've vaguely seen previously has clocked in at the same time I did today. I close my book and look around. I don't feel like reading so I sign up for a different position. I take my bag and walk around.

Someone smiles at me and I smile back. I keep walking. Someone asks me to take them a photo with their cellphone and so I do it. We exchange some words and then I keep walking. I try a different scenario, I go to Jardin des Tuileries but I might also go to Musée d'Orsay or l'Orangerie, so I stay away for a couple of hours.

Before the day is over I come back to fill the slot that by now someone else was occupying. I sit and before opening the book I brought I look around just to notice everyone is there: the tour guides, the bikers, the kids, the dancers and the annoyed visitors. I take a mental photograph and I proceed to open the book and read few more pages before my journey ends.

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