Pictures

Jane Dougherty Writes

800px-Bordeaux_Place_de_la_Bourse_de_nuit

Looking through a tourist brochure, I admire the pictures, the snaps of familiar places, monuments I walk past every day, and I think, yes, it’s an attractive town. But the pictures lie, because they are just pictures. They show what a place looks like, not what it is. They show the fountains and the happy children splashing, the riverside walk where the skateboarders, cyclists and strollers cohabit. It looks like that, it really does, and the sky is as blue as in the photos and the river runs, the trees bow and sway. The flowers bloom and the tourists point their telephones and cameras.

But where is the homeless man who always sits on the same bench, the drunk asleep among the hibiscus? Where is the strange lady dressed all in yellow with artificial flowers in her hair, feeding the pigeons? I see no dog dirt and litter, no dog…

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