It’s in the middle of the city but I don’t think many people pay it any mind. Tourists seem to not know it exists. It’s a little too far out of the way for most office workers to visit for lunch.
I’ve kept it my secret but I fantasize about meeting you there, in the sculpture garden. I frequently go out of my way to pass it because of the thrill I get thinking of a rendezvous.
In warm weather the shadows are cool and inviting. In rain a black umbrella in a dark corner wouldn’t be noticed by the few passersby rushing by.
The smooth features of the one sculpture that always stops me in my tracks reminds me of a fleshy jumble of limbs.
For months I passed by at street level, peeking, until one day I had the courage to descend the steps into the garden proper. Like approaching a crush I’d been too timid to talk to.
Over time I felt welcomed. I began exploring other parts of the garden, meeting its other inhabitants. They drew me back time and time again.
My heart raced when I discovered it. A parting in the ivy appears when you look at Rodin’s “Crouching Woman” from a certain angle, revealing a slight path behind the ivy, a secret welcome for lovers. As if the sculptures had been pointing me toward it, once I’d learn to look at them properly.
I think of sneaking in early, at sunrise. Or at dusk. Darkness would be safest. But I also want to be daring, at that time of morning after the first wave of tourists has walked by and before any workers break for lunch. In the sun. In the heat of the day. We’ll be looking at “Crouching Lady” one moment, pretending to admire it hand-in-hand as we wait for the garden to clear of anyone else, then we’ll slip away behind the ivy.