Drizzly darkness with a whipping wind. Leaves already fallen and trampled rising like ghouls and dancing a macabre tango. Intermittent streetlamps shining intermittent spheres of light in a labyrinth of the same twisted narrow street over and over again. Black-hooded strangers’ footfalls behind. Oncomers hidden by menacing umbrellas moving to the other side of the cobblestones, their silhouetted heads tucked into high collars. No glow from upstairs windows; no warmth from corner bars.
I got lost in the bowels of quartier St.Michel last night in a place between seedy and scary and too near the train station for ease of mind. It took a long walk and my phone gps to reach a familiar street. It took a much longer walk to release my heightened awareness and suspicious assessments of other night crawlers. I know I was only in imagined danger but I kept thinking of ways I could use my umbrella in self-defense. I also know that everything always looks better in the morning.