During a high school trip to France, I meet Her for the first time in her climate-controlled chamber. Afterwards, a boy packing some hashish leads me to Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, where we smoke, then he lies on top of me while I gaze up at the shivering canopy, thinking about how disappointing seeing the painting had been.
Several millennia later, as a phantom wandering the ashes, an urgency to encounter Her again overcomes me.
I ghost through every underground vault on Earth, searching.
Find Her at last, mouth now drawn into a corpse’s rictus.
Time has robbed Her of ambiguity.
Writer Tim Boiteau writes and lives near Detroit with his wife and son.