Here I sit at a high table in a glass-windowed boat on the Seine, facing the Pont Alexandre III about a half block away, that iconic bridge with gold to the right, gold to the left, gold in the center, four winged horses. Old-timey lamps, tridents with globes on each point. The bridge makes a gentle arch over the gray-green waters that never stop moving, trembling between shadow and light.
"Monday, Monday, got me crying all the time" plays on the boat's sound system. On the bridge, black-clad figures, a few in red. A bus with Paris les Cars Rouges passes.
I'm watching, waiting for the horse-drawn carriage. There it is! It stops half-way across the bridge. Two figures, one I know, help the couple step down from the carriage. Blondie sings "One way or another I'm going to get you, I'm going to getchu getchu getchu." The horse tosses its head.
I see the couple now side by side at the edge of the bridge, gazing east, a figure dancing around them. It's Richard, hired by a Paris company to record the moment one partner pops the question, an assignment he does in various romantic spots.
Has anyone ever said no? I've asked. Not yet, Richard said.
Now I see them settling back into the carriage. I imagine Richard is capturing this moment, too. My phone rings: The horse arrived on time, and the woman said yes. It's a good day when that happens.
I go to meet him on the bridge. We're still saying yes.