Home Sweet Home – Michael David’s House, Rue de la Cité
A piece of the pavement.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
A paperback is lying open beside him. It means that this pavement must be his study. Next to the book is a folded blue sweater. Now, the pavement suddenly looks like his wardrobe.
One evening The Delhi Walla meets Michael David at his home on Rue de la Cité in Central Paris. He is without a house but it seems his home is where he is at any given time. At the moment he is seated on a gutter, close to a tree. His possessions are arranged around him. His cap is turned upside down beside him. There are a few coins in the cap.
The pedestrians are walking past him. The sky is covered with wet clouds. Mr David looks up at the people and flashes a faint smile. Now, the pavement feels like his drawing room.
There is also an empty cigarette packet placed close to the book. A couple of cigarette butts are scattered around the packet. Mr David himself is smoking one. Chatting in broken English, he says he is from Germany. He then says he is trying to find work in Paris, adding that once he used to carry stones from one place to another.
After a while it starts to rain. The tree offers no protection; it has not a single leaf. Mr David changes his seating position. He plops down his head on his knees and raises his hand towards the passers-by. His book and sweater get wet but Mr David doesn’t lift his head for a long time. His face cannot be seen. Perhaps he is asleep. Now, the pavement seems to be his bedroom.
Home is where the man is