A Guide to Insignificance: Paris Edition

eiffelby Scott Pilkington

The children of Gaza were shelled into small pieces while I tried to create a vegan cheeseburger out of tofu and ketchup. Allow me, well, allow me to rephrase. I was in Paris and I was being tear-gassed due to the fact that I was innately curious. I walked across “Place Des Whatever” and finally got to the hotel, where I waited for a girl I barely knew to arrive. Because cows generally have more charismatic eyes than soy beans, that’s why.

I spoke to the hotel receptionist for a moment on the way back out. “Bonjour,” I said, which is French for “Hello, I like the cheese here, but I’m bored of looking in my phrase book now.” It was the evening, and I walked across Paris—it was very, well, it was very Parisian.

Did you know that my brain is saying clever things like that all the time? You probably didn’t, on account of not being me. Has anyone else ever been me? Anyway, I think it’s like magic—the brain that is. Thoughts and all that, I mean, they just appear don’t they? Kind of like magic. It’s pretty amazing, except most people prefer the stuff with rabbits. I know I do anyway. I mean if the magician turned up to your 10th birthday party, stood there and just thought something, well, your mum wouldn’t be re-booking him for your sisters’ birthday. You need to get some balloon animals in your life, pal. 

I walked to the most desolate train station imaginable: Paris Bercy. Four train tracks led out to nowhere. Two angry teenagers entered. One sat at the train station grand piano.

“Go on,” I said, tempting fate, “Try and make me feel something then, motherfucker.”

He played the “Simpsons” theme song on a loop. Paris is quite nice in the spring, before it’s full of tourists. And you can get there on a train that goes under the sea, but seriously—who watches “The Simpsons” anymore?

I wrestled with a European plug adapter. I bought a Paris metro ticket. It was the size of my fingernail. I looked down. The fucking thing was gone. I bought another. And when I looked down, it was gone again. The fucking thing was too small to exist. I bought several tickets in this fashion. And then I gave up. I gave up because I was too insignificant to exist. Sorry, I mean the ticket was too insignificant to exist. Yes. Right, that’s exactly what I mean.

So I walked instead.

That has nothing to do with my real feelings about my own existence in the world. It’s just a story about how the train tickets in Paris are really small.

We were married by December.


Scott Pilkington is originally from Lancashire, England, but currently resides in Washington state. In his spare time he enjoys supporting Blackburn Rovers and writing about himself in third person. He is an Editor and Contributor at Pear Drop literary journal.
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