I was in no condition to talk about plans or think about them, and yet an hour later there I was thinking as I sat in an RER train car rumbling toward a northern suburb. While I stared out at the grim prison blocks of apartment buildings and tried to hold myself together, I wondered if it was true, if the Eiffel Tower was just a Gallic erection thrusting forth from the supine French body, shooting off bursts of clouds, seen and invisible at the same time.
Was it so obvious that it was not obvious?
Was the French empire simply exposing itself for all to see?
Was the Eiffel Tower any different from the Washington Monument, the white missile erupting from the American capital, foreshadowing all the nuclear missiles buried in silos across the American landscape?
My neighbor got up and moved to another seat.