Issue 1, Spring 1953
The end of the day is at hand. A siren proclaims the closing of the factories. The changing flames of the burning rubbish piles are brighter in the twilight. Large birds, crows perhaps, reassured by the nearing solitude, appropriate the tombs: each one, I imagine, has its customary perch. At the Porte de la Villette, turning left, I took the Boulevard Serurier, deserted at an hour when the rest of the city hums with life. To my right, the railroad, the frightful trains leaving, the marvelous trains arriving, the reddish squalor of the slaughterhouses dominated in the background by Montmartre’s pearl-gray basilica. To my left, the wan facades of the last buildings of Pantin and Bobigny and the high smoke I remember from thirty years ago, when I used to play soccer in these suburbs. Everywhere, in the leprous green of the place, the stones propping up the corrugated roofs, tow-headed kids, tin cans, dog excrement. Below, the dreary network of canals and a pale child as still as they, fishing endlessly for the unknown in those soulless waters.