In college, my choreography professor used to talk about negative space. He would make a shape with his body and have us "fill in the negative space." We would squish into each other armpits and the space between your ear and your shoulder...we would curve into an arched back or sit in each others' laps. The negative space was no longer - the gaps were filled.
Paris is a mish mash of negative space just waiting to be filled in. And after just two month here I have learned to view space in a completely different way. It's valuable, I seek it, I yearn for it.
Space is so rare in Paris that any leftovers are quickly snatched at then sold at exorbitant prices. For 604 euros a month I could live in 56 meters squared in Cannes...and in Paris for 800 I get a measly 28.85 meters squared - enough to live, but you won't see me doing downward dog yoga moves in my living room.
My day is now punctuated by moments of searching for negative space - I run down the stairs to the metro, I skim through the turn stiles and wait on the platform for line 9 to arrive. I squeeze into the leftover pigeonhole at 8:32 in-between Madame ChicTillTheEnd and Monsieur CouldUseAShower. I breath through my mouth as the bell rings and the metro doors close in the space - only tiny gaps leftover for things like purses, scrunched newspapers and briefcases. We all glare at the stroller taking up three spots...République stop! I follow the crowd off the metro, the space widening between us and my eyes glaze over as I scan the tunnel for the negative space. Ah ha! Squeeeeeeze, cut off, zip, slooooope, yeeeepes, slide, curse! Currents of people push from one tunnel to the next and I plop plop plop down the stairs careful to avoid the slow waves...the grandmas and tourists taking their sweet time. I need to GO. The negative space becomes my friend - my escape plan onto line 3....and 15 minutes later, I am behind my computer, typing emails at warp speed, filling the negative space of a white screen.