Some days, Marco liked to slip away from work or study and stake out a bench along the Seine and spend some time thinking deeply in his native tongue.

It was often not an environment conducive to contemplation, as the Seine was often jammed with tourist boats packed to the gills with giddy, tipsy tourists. Returning their exaggerated waves made Marco feel appreciated, though, and he liked to speculate on the tourists’ country of origin based on their apparel and behavior, especially when it frustrated stereotypes. There were plenty of thin, desperate-to-be-hip Americans, just as there were more fat and jolly Germans than one might otherwise expect.

Sometimes, staring into the river eddies and the bits of flotsam that passed by, Marco’s thoughts took a morbid turn. The Seine was, after all, the most romantic place in the world to commit suicide. The French had built up an entire industry out of reproducing the death mask of a mysterious and hauntingly beautiful 16-year-old suicide, after all. If that line of thought became to heavy, Marco would remind himself that most CPR dummies had faces based on that girl, making hers the most kissed face in the world by any sort of definition.