Spring 1948 • Vol. X No. 2 Fiction |

The Shared Bed

There was nothing romantic about Paris when I first saw it in 1938. It was on an early March morning, chilly and gray, and I felt as tired and hungry as a little girl lost in the woods. The feeling had started the moment after I crossed the Austrian frontier as a refugee and knew that I might never return. It was the sort of nervous hunger and weariness that fills you like food, yet makes you hollow at the same time. Ears and eyes and nose absorb everything in a state of quivering alertness. The huge stone body of the city bulged over irregular streets and steep lanes winding uphill. Little streams of water flowed over cobblestones in the gutters, bearing fleets of orange peels, bread crusts and withered flowers, which the street cleaners brushed into them with lazy strokes. I saw a black alley cat fishing in the gutter for his breakfast. At the next corner a stove was steaming and a woman in Salvation Army uniform was giving out mugs of coffee to the ragged shadows that emerged

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