On Life

My Days Inside

At nine in the morning, the sky above Paris is blue.

Today I will walk on Boulevard Raspail in the sun, I promise myself. From my past experiences in trying to find winter sunlight, I know this street delivers unobstructed radiation from eleven until two. Skies in Paris may be cloudless, but due to tall buildings lining narrow streets, the winter sun can be eluding.

By ten thirty, clouds have moved in. Too bad, yet I can still 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’m writing, it’s often impossible to tear myself away from my work. I decide to have lunch first and go out late. Before I’ve finished my lentil soup, however, it starts to rain. I comfort myself with the thought that it won’t last all day.

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

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