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You can scroll the shelf using ← and → keys
And a padlock with your names written on it to prove it.
And to throw the key in the river for luck, otherwise you’re screwed.
Okay, okay, I’m not that bitter, I promise. This is Paris, the city of love, and I love it! I don’t know what it is, but somehow seeing couples make-out in Paris isn’t annoying the way it is in Toronto (I always found couples to be repulsive in Toronto, even when they were friends of mine—sorry, friends). But here? It’s so romantic and cinematic! Hands on butts, hands in butt pockets, hands here, there, and everywhere when it comes to couples in the park… it’s all good!
This positive view of love is exactly the attitude I carried on my visit to the Pont Des Arts.
It’s certainly not the only bridge or structure covered in padlocks as a symbol of love (there’s the tower in Seoul, or the iron-made tree in Moscow, or the Ponte Milvio in Rome), but it’s Paris, and somehow that means there’s a higher expectation of a payoff. It’s certainly not a payoff that’s available for a single person (since a “proclamation of love” location is not the best place to “pick up”), but that’s okay, I was there to observe the magic, and reflect on couples past who had pledged their love on the spot.
As I approached the bridge it started to glimmer from the locks, and just like that my heart felt warmer on this chilly Paris day. When I made my way onto the bridge, I could see that it was buzzing with couples. Before me the twosomes crouched, awkward as ever near their freshly fastened locks, which they’d only just purchased from the Indian vendor for a cool five Euros a pop. Oh how they smiled when the photo was taken, but oh how the smiles disappeared as they rushed to check their camera display, wanting to make sure the lock was clearly shown in the photo. If the photo didn’t turn out right, it was back into position for “take two,” bitches.
I reminded myself this was Paris, and any place that could express people’s love was the grandest of places, wasn’t it? And surely the photo would help them share the moment with their grand-kids some day, but of course!
So I joined the awkward crouching, and started to examine the locks for inspiration.
Any last hints of cynicism quickly faded, as I imagined the enamoured hand that had messily scrawled out two names with a black marker. The simplicity of that gesture was like carving out initials in a tree, and I couldn’t help but smile in this moment.
But then I saw this:
There was really no stopping the thoughts that immediately followed:
-Where did Kevin and Dona get this lock engraved? There’s no way the Indian man with his locks laid out on a towel for five Euros each had an engraving machine in his jacket. Why was the image of the Eiffel Tower necessary? I mean they already said they were in Paris through the text, so now they’re just being redundant. And they came here on Valentine’s Day? Really Kevin and Dona? REALLY?
My on-the-spot analysis brought me to a not-so-great conclusion: Kevin and Dona had planned to come to this bridge to do this very thing, or worse, maybe it was something they’d prepared before they even came to Paris! (The font on that lock seems very American). It’s the sort of pre-meditated “love” that reminds me of processed, factory-sliced, lunch meat. It’s bologna love, y’all.
I somehow convinced myself to keep on looking, in the hopes of seeing something good to restore my faith in love.
And that’s when I saw the following:
If I were to give you my uncensored thoughts from that moment, they’d be bursting with colourful expletives. Instead I will give you a less vulgar summary:
-There is NO way the Indian man selling locks on the bridge had these heart-shaped monstrosities in his inventory. Another point deducted for pre-meditation
-Why’d they have to draw a heart on their padlock when their padlock is shaped like a HEART? Seriously, what’s up with couples and redundancy?
-Using my understanding of surface area and my best estimate, the heart-shaped monstrosity is covering up approximately fifteen of the humbly-sized golden locks. That’s fifteen couples whose symbolic love will never see the light of day thanks to Julien and Alexandra.
Conclusion: Julien and Alexandra are total dicks!!!
I was definitely done with the crouching by now, so I stood and leaned against the bridge, all padlocks gone from my view. Instead I watched the sun streak down on the Seine. I stood like that for a while, as boats passed by and laughter rung out from behind me. I started to wonder if the romance of Paris was only an illusion, one that couldn’t really hold up if you looked too closely, and found yourself staring at an expertly-engraved lock of “love.” Or maybe real love was all around like I’d seen in the streets, those hand-on-butt moments that are way more organic than a bridge screaming out “this is romance!”
I started to feel okay with this conclusion, and though slightly disillusioned by the experience, ten minutes later I finally turned back around.
And that’s when I saw this:
Paris, the city of love? Yeah, I still believe it.
ahhh love..we all fall for it, eternally, hopelessly, always hopeful and always grateful that it has touched us for the briefest of moments ❤
So, so true.
Love will always win over cynicism. At least, one hopes 🙂 As for you, my dear, your heart is open so I can’t wait for the day love walks in and makes a home 🙂
That’s so sweet, I can’t wait either, haha 😉
People say ” Love Doesn’t Make World Go Around” I say Its force that operates everything I mean What can make these Silly Lock look so useful for the first time…..
That’s true, it’s a very powerful force!
[…] re-established, I will swiftly dive back into the cynical world. Last year in Paris I wrote about my experience at the lock bridge, where couples affix a lock on a bridge to guarantee their love will last forever. Or something. I […]