On Life

My Days Inside

At nine in the morning, the sky above Paris is blue. Great, I think, today I can make a sunny walk on Boulevard Raspail. From my past experiences in trying to find sunlight, I know that this street guarantees unobstructed radiation from eleven till two. Skies in Paris might be cloudless, but with all the narrow streets and tall buildings, the winter sun is eluding.

By ten thirty the clouds have moved in. Too bad, I think, but I could go out later for a pleasant round in the park. No sun, but also no traffic. It’s a second winter favorite.

Around two my stomach is growling. When I am writing, it is often impossible to tear myself away from my book. I decide to have lunch first and go out later, but before I’ve finished my salad, it starts to rain. I comfort myself with the thought that it won’t last all day.

I continue my writing again and get absorbed in my story. In the back of my mind, I must notice that the rain has stopped and patches of blue are calling me. Still, I’m not willing to let this chapter go unfinished.

At five thirty I make some tea and realize: it’s now or never. Within an hour the sun will set and the whole point of the walk, receiving some daylight, will be obliterated. I open the door and stick my head out. The temperature is mild, the clouds are dark. New rain is eminent. I sigh and close the door. This is why I spend my days inside.