The Right Steps

If I had turned right instead of left…

I may have ended up further west along the Seine than on the east.

I may have stumbled upon the swing dancing on the banks of the river before I ever would have made it to the salsa, and I may have spent the night Lindy-Hopping instead of shimmying. And I wouldn’t have danced one bachata…and then another…and then another…with that fellow spectator whose steps had also led him there that night.


The burden of finding a metro station alone late at night would have remained, instead of being lifted by my dancing partner-turned guide.

Ah! My French would have been just that much weaker, having not exchanged stories and sentiments mid step. The conversation ebbed and flowed, the lines between French and English blurring. I think the night would have been less eventful, were it not for scrunching my face when the words flowed by too quickly for me to catch, or feeling a rush of excitement when I understood or delivered things well.

And the next morning, if I had gone south instead of north, I wouldn’t have stood in the presence of a Sacred Heart.

I wouldn’t have walked among people whose fingers are likely perpetually stained with paint.


And I wouldn’t have seen another artist’s love letter to the city plastered on its wall.

If not this, then that. I could have done so many other things. But, as I swayed from side to side in the bachata on the Seine, or found a steady pace as I climbed another stair leading to the Sacre Coeur, I felt it: I was taking the right steps.

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