“Park” was probably overstating it.
“Slightly-taken-care-of-weeds-and-one-lone-bench-beside-a-disused-railway-track” was more like it, but probably too long to fit on the regulation Mairie de Paris sign.
The name didn’t matter, though, what mattered was the fact that dogs weren’t forbidden here. Gleefully we trotted down the iron stairs, Noisy leading the way.
I was hopeful that day, you know. I thought maybe finding a secret park was a sign that things were taking a turn for the better.
You were early. I liked that about you.
We were supposed to go to a bar but filled with new-park-promise I took you there instead. I wanted you to feel what I felt. To see what I saw.
The unexpected beauty in the midst of everyday despair.
We sat on the bench and tried not to laugh at the passing foot traffic.
“Drug dealer?” I ventured, as a well-dressed old lady hobbled past.
“Hunting Pokemon more likely,” you replied.
It was warm, that summer seemed endless, didn’t it? But then I guess all things do, until they end.
But where I’d brought hope, you had only resignation. Where I was vulnerable and seeking, you were distant. You sought nothing.
I blinked back tears and you swallowed words. You always did. A breath. A start. A stop. A change of course. Your truth (or something else?) buried, not for general consumption.
When there was nothing more to say, we stood. Me, reluctantly.
On the way out I noticed a sign, rusted and half-hidden in the overgrowth.
“No Dogs Allowed,” it read.