The violinist

Paris: night moves
Paris: shelf with old photograph

The evening lamplight warm-glows a romance; herein lies the deception: the old narrow streets, dark, edged in gold, made more romantic still: the broken line of iron-high chandeliers: reassuring, blurring, softening; so – the old streets of Paris as if a painting: but, but by whom? By Georges de la Tour.

It’s the last day of February, 2015. Paris is bright by day, chill by night; you’re chilled to the bone; the lamplight a masquerade. From my window, high up, the chill is imperceptible – but beggars die, quietly, in the silence of the night.

On the last day of February I look through my high-up window across the zinc-grey rooftops – to the west. The sun had set long ago. The street lamps whisper far below.

A window opposite: I notice a silhouette – black; it moves against a glittering white light, framed. The window is cut into the walls of a crumbling apartment block in the Rue Notre-Dame de Recouvrance, Paris 2eme.

The silhouette glides; after a while I realise that a girl is playing the violin. She arches, rises, bows and draws cadences in the night. She shapes a melody. What melody? I open the window to listen – but no sound comes. She plays and plays and suddenly I hear ‘The sounds of silence’ and the lines ‘Hello darkness my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again.

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