3.) The Mortal James "Imagining New Beginnings"


My second day.



I enquired about the lighning that I had seen the night before but the front desk clerk said he had not heard anything of the sort. So I shrugged if off and went out exploring again. This time I ended up at Notre Dame.



Notre Dame was...is as beautiful as they say it is. It was truly breathtaking. I took pictures and pictures, every part of it seem to scream out 'Look at me!' I even sat for a while listening to the silence and the occasional mumbling and shuffling of feet. It had been odd though, at one point, two men came running through, disturbing the solace of the church's peaceful atmosphere. A lot of patrons ran for the door, as the two men shouted obscene words to one another and ... it could have been my imagination, but I seen one of them carrying a sword. As soon as they left the building, I got up from where I had ducked down at and went out quickly. To my surprise, I was more curious than I thought and ran around toward the other side of the church, to where I think they would have came out at but there was no sign of either of them. The people around me did not seem to take notice and if they had, they quickly forgotten about it or just didn’t care.



I wandered along the river bank for a bit. I could not get what I had seen out of my head. Explanation after explanation crossed my mind. It could have just been two actors practicing for a movie but if that were the case, the church would have been blocked off ... wouldn't it? I would have seen cameras in place, they wouldn't have just let anyone in... right? Then I thought, hidden cameras, the director wanted to get a more real life look, real reactions from the patrons and so they didn't tell anyone and the cameras were hidden. That had to be it. As soon as I was settled on that reasoning, that explanation, I started back to my hotel.



On the way, as I crossed a bridge, I happen to look down on the river and seen what I think would be called a barge, docked at the river’s edge. There was a little man placing a huge sign that said, 'Pour Louer'. My written French was a little rusty but it was enough to get by on, I knew what 'louer' meant, so I went down to take a look.



It had looked like a pretty good sized barge from up on the bridge but once I was actually standing next to it, it was massive. From stern to bow, I could not imagine what the inside looked like, especially since I had never been on one before. The little man came rushing out, and of course speaking French to me. I had kindly told him that I did not speak very good French. He looked at me with the biggest eyes and smile and in his best English introduced himself as Martin and asked if I was looking for a home to rent. I told him no, that I was just visiting and was curious as to what it looked like inside. So he motioned to me to come in.



We entered on the starboard side, down through some stairs. When he opened the door, there came a musky scent, like someone had been burning incense. I asked him about that, he said that he had not burned anything of the sort and he had not cleaned it since the owner called him almost two months before. I asked even further about the owner, I had initially thought Martin was the owner. As we went inside, I was taken back, it was spacious, clearly like a studio apartment. On the other end, which was a few steps higher, by what looked like the back door, was the bedroom area. An empty unmade bed sat. I looked up, down, and around as I moved toward the back door. And for some reason, I felt like I could live here. I felt like I had come home.



I could hear Martin talking about the owner, some of it I had caught but once we were inside, I did not hear much of the rest. What I did catch was that the owner had been gone for quite some time, months from the sound of it, and had decided he wasn't going to return for a while. He and Martin's brother were very good friends and had left the barge in his care, but his brother had passed on years ago. So Martin had taken over looking after the place, he became the caretaker. Moving it when it needed to be moved. Apparently, the owner had released the barge to Martin to use as he wished and so he decided would rent it out for the extra income.



Martin laughed. I turned and looked at him and asked what he was laughing about. He said that the owner told him not to put the barge here, to let it dock someplace else but he said this is the best spot, they argued about it over the phone and then the owner warned him that if anything happens, to remember that he was warned. Martin laughed again. Maybe it had been the tone of the conversation that made him laugh, I thought it sounded a little odd. I took one last look around and we headed back out.



He was explaining that it was in great working condition, how much the rent would be, and that he had three others already looking at it. I stopped midway on the ramp and turned to him and asked how long he had the sign up. He shrugged and said a week now. Even though I had just seen him put the sign up just before arriving here, I went along with it. He gave me his name and number if I ever changed my mind.



It was dark out, I couldn't believe how late and how fast it came. I went back to the bridge. I stood up there looking down on the barge. I seen Martin leaving, I could hear him whistling. Surprisingly, it was quiet, so much I could hear the water rushing under me. I could hear music echoing from the street, I could even hear a couple laughing somewhere. I began to picture myself living here, for a short while that is or maybe for the rest of my life. Even maybe someone buying that barge from Martin or from the owner, whomever owned it now. As I began to think and imagine more on this new found concept, I headed back to my hotel. I decided to walk, it was a nice night and my path would take me by the Eiffel Tower, I would be able to take a picture on my way.

GIF

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