The original of this story has apparently disappeared.
By Harry Buschman
My leg was getting stronger every day. There was still one smooth piece of steel as big as a dime behind the patella. It was left there to remind me of November 11. Who could forget getting hit on the last day of the war.
But I could walk for hours now with no pain, and I was almost anxious to accept the challenge of the walk from North Station to the hotel. The taxis weren’t running yet on that side of the Seine, and even if they were, I couldn’t afford one.
But I would be there! On my own in Paris––fresh in from Le Havre. There were at least 50 or 60 novels in my head, any one of which would make me famous. All I needed was a quiet place to write and friends to talk to. Yes talk … real talk, something other than the bull shit in the hospital ward. I would be in the company of lions now, not sheep.
I could feel the rush of adrenalin as the train slowed down. My senses were more acute than they’d ever been. There was a girl sitting in the window seat next to me and I couldn’t help making some inane remark about getting to Paris before dark. She was nice enough not to ignore me, although I’m sure she was well aware I had been looking past her face at the window for the last half hour. But it was Paris after all––a few short months after the war––and I was still in uniform.
Now, in the growing dark, her face was reflected in the train window, through which I could see Paris passing by; one image superimposed over the other. It was a moment I shall remember forever. In all its simplicity it seemed to be a metaphor of the last four years. I made a mental note to include this moment on the first page––of the first novel.
She was met at the station by a man my age, a well-dressed civilian untouched by the dirty work of war. They walked arm in arm to a blue Citroen parked at the curb. I didn’t want to make assumptions. I didn’t want to spoil the moment that had just past. You don’t see a metaphor every day.