Along the River Bank
25th October 2016, Paris, 13.39pm
A young boy with thick brown curls, wearing a red puffer jacket passes me on a scuffed skateboard near the Seine on a grey afternoon. In reality, I spot the red of his coat before I spot him. The colour is unmissable in the grimness of Paris. His indisputable speed leads me to think that he is currently missing something (someone).
Perhaps he was expected somewhere.
Perhaps someone was waiting for him.
Perhaps a girlfriend.
Two girls both wearing thick, black coats are perched on the very edge of the river bank. The blonde one breaks off a piece of golden baguette, borderline aggressively, whilst the other dips a cracker into some brie. Feeling excluded, I begin to wonder what they were discussing. Hopes, dreams, boys, bosses or maybe other frivolities of modern life and youth. Knowing I’ll never know leaves me feeling tense.
On the other side of the Pont Royal, a group of teenage boys are busy smoking, backs against a wall. One boy hops onto the low wall and continues to smoke from there, perhaps asserting dominance? One is involved in what seems like a deep conversation with another as he rolls up his sleeve showing off his new tattoo waiting for an outburst of admiration and approval. The youngest seems solitary with headphones in both ears, staring at the Eiffel Tower.