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the heiress of nothing


The weather was pure shit.

It was one of those rainy Parisian winter days, with unforgiving winds that occasionally slap you in the face. Ruthless automobiles ransacked cobblestoned roundabouts, spraying lame pedestrians with tidal waves of dirty rainwater.

That morning, I treated myself to the esteemed Ilya Répine exhibition at the palatial Pétit Palais. The exhibition was, in fact, an infinite amount of no-nonsense portraits of Russian intellectuals with labels that read like mini Tolstoy novels. Every one of them sneered at me like Dorian Gray. I kept thinking, “After a few years in the Gulag, that dead Russian managed to do all that. What’s your legacy, Sarah?” I dragged my feet across the marble floors and exited the museum, “Surely they won’t let me back in this place when I’m homeless.”

I quit my pedestrian job working for a software company two days prior. My decision, of course, arrived after a sleepless night and manifested in a curt e-mail at five o’clock in the morning: “I’ll give you three months, then I’m out.”

It was time to face the rain, dodge a bunch of cars, and continue the sad but sophisticated date with myself to the restaurant.

Months before, at the end of summer, feeling particularly proud and impulsive, I decided to treat myself to a three-star Michelin restaurant. Only the earliest reservation was in three months: December 1st.

I sat regally in the corner.
"Madame, would you like to try the white truffles?"

"Okay, pourquoi pas?" I replied, oblivious of the price of this decision.

I’ll tell you right now: “farm-to-table” makes no sense in the wintertime...especially if Jerusalem artichokes make you feel sick to your stomach, you just quit your job, and you have no idea what you’re doing with your life.

I received the bill. "480 euros."
I simultaneously calculated how many months of rent I could pay before going broke.

The rain let up. I decided to walk home - an hour-long walk. The sun peeked through the clouds; the Eiffel Tower poised in the distance under a breathtaking dance of shadow and light. My Jerusalem artichoke nausea and my wounded pride decided to subside.

Then I heard an inner voice

my inner mother,
my inner summer,
my inner sun,
my inner god.

She shook me by the roots,
sprung out of my head like a fountain
and proudly proclaimed,

“There is only one way to walk, Sarah, with your head up, your shoulders strong. Each step is a reminder that you’re exactly where you are supposed to be.” © 2023
(there are other sarah rose’s, but this is the new one)