A quiet Saturday, with books, watching the shadow stretch across the walls of the buildings outside, and on those inside too: three sheets of music tacked to the wall over my desk each extend an elliptical strip of shadow to the left; the button on a closet, the door doubled by its darker shadow.

My family has been here. Yesterday they flew back to the US. The day before we went to the Jardin des Plantes and the Museum of Natural History, which was full of lyçée students sketching stuffed animals or filling out questionnaires. Afterwards we had mint tea at the mosque and cakes, poked our noses into the hammam, and walked back home along the rue Mouffetard.