Saturday, December 31, 2011
When we were in Paris, we came across these padlocks along one of the bridges. I forget which bridge. Anyway, we were interested in them. I mean, what's with all the junky locks marring one of the most beautiful cities in the world? But we forgot to ask people about them until we got home and talked to our friend Alby, who is something of a Franco-phile, or at least a Paris-phile.
"Lovers write their initials on the locks, clamp them to the bridge, and toss the keys into the Seine," he informed us. "Eternal love!" he added with a smirk, but only a little one. Alby loves Paris. Everything about it makes him gush. Now that I've been there, I understand. Paris isn't perfect, but somehow this only makes it more beautiful, rough around its gilded edges.
I like the idea of this kind of punk rock romance. Take something beautiful, strip off the gloss, put it in a hard and ugly package, and somehow it's more authentic. These padlocks of love are no less romantic than a heart reading "John loves Sue" carved into a tree.
We neglected to add our own lock to the bridge, maybe next time. The Californian in me frets about throwing a key into the river; that's littering, no? I suppose that's the point though, in a way: toss your inhibitions into the water along with the key, for no other reason than it's fun to do, and because you are, at least in that moment, deeply devoted to somebody.