Love and Locks

On his way back to the hotel he passed over the Pont des Arts, where two young people, a man and a woman of perhaps twenty or so, were snapping photos of each other, then of the two of themselves together, along the iron railing above the Seine. A decade or so ago lovers fixed small padlocks to that railing as a token of their bond; there were hundreds, then thousands of them, and then just as the law of quantitative change predicts, when you keeping adding to something like that it will sometime become quite another thing, and on the Pont des Arts that thing was a great wall of locks, maybe the biggest in the world, a terrible steel curtain, dumb, obdurate and stretching all the way from right bank to left. Y remembered reading somewhere that when the ville de Paris finally had enough of it, there were a million locks to cut through.

The Italian Novel

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