Paris, France

June 30, 2019

Welcome to Paris

I walked the last stairs out of the metro, and all at once, the smell hit me.

That distinctive mix of cigarettes, sun-baked stones, fresh baguettes, decaying piss, several strands of excellent perfume, and whispers about the sea, far away.

Paris.

Home.

Coming back here feels like sliding on that favorite coat from the closet, the one that just fits, and the inevitable 'ahhh' that slips your lips without your consent.

Home.

I'm in my tiny studio now, writing you while looking out over the rooftops - grey metal sheeting pocked with clay vent-pipes, angling down to shed rain they won't see until September.

Above the rooftops, pigeons and ravens swoop off in the distance, playing and perching in this strange stone forest they've chosen to live.

Below, to my right and hidden behind stone buildings flows the Seine, constant, carving, tamed and still wild.

Everywhere, silence permeates. Sound punctuates. And the giant list of shoulds I came here with melts into coulds.

It's nearly noon.

Shadows cut down the building facades at the slightest of angles, separating the have lights and have nots.

Plants lean for a better angle. These are days for basil, happiest with an excess of sun.

The click-click-click of a bicycle derailleur catches me, and I realize I've been caught in a haze, drizzling senses into letters with the idea of sending them to you.

I don't think too much more. I press send.

Welcome to this, my favorite place on the planet.

I can't wait to share it with you.

-Steven

p.s. The best thing I saw all week was this fascinating look behind the scenes of how diplomatic translation works. It also gave me a punch-line I've been using with friends all week. :)

p.p.s. I've you've written in on the reader roundtable and haven't heard back yet, hang in there! There are a ton of responses, but I'll eventually get back to everybody. If you haven't shared your thoughts yet, feel free!

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