Place Monge. Tuesday morning back to work after a long weekend. Dashed down the métro stairs in good spirits and spotted a poor schmuck in the glass cubicle wearing an RATP shirt and a hang dog look. He must have the most ungrateful job in the world. This forlorn metro station in the 5th arrondissement sees tourists and students and old people but hardly anybody ever gives the guy a glance unless they’re lost or pissed off or both. So I slowed down at the turnstile and flashed him a winning smile and called out “Bonjour!” Just then I tripped and stumbled — then looked up to see him grinning from ear to ear.

And probably thinking I was flirting with him…

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