Sunday, November 15, 2009

From the Eiffel Tower

On the Eiffel Tower.

After we had walked up all those stairs we were rewarded with a view to the whole of Paris. I had just met Katie, Piper, and Jess. I barely had spent any time with Alicia. I had only known Claire and Alex for 9 weeks. I had only known James for a little under two years. Yet we all were happy to be together. On the second floor of the Eiffel Tower. Americans huddled together. Abroad students looking to mutually enjoy the once in a lifetime experience. All of us independent for once, adults seeing the world. But all of us children on the inside, just as insecure, unable to see the world right side up.

Quite literally.

“Do this, it's so much cooler this way,” Piper said as she leaned her back over the edge and watched Paris upside-down. I followed suit. So did Claire.

A deep blue emptiness with pinholes of yellow greeted my disoriented body. I was falling into nothingness, holding onto the railing of the Eiffel Tower. I leaned back a bit more and terra firma, a black and orange city became my ceiling. Paris was beautiful, but this view was surreal, and somehow it felt like the real view—the correct one.

I slowly rotated forward until the Eiffel Tower, shooting into the night, appeared. It was a mess of beautifully lit steel, a ramp from the edge of the earth into nothing. The spotlight swept across my view. It illuminated nothing.

“Wow,” Claire said. We looked out on the city for a while. Soon our whole group had seen Paris in its correct form. And we made our descent through the steel carapace, the symbolic soul of Paris.