And the bus is here…

bustop

Most of the times you don’t like to miss the bus late in the night because the following one would come in at least 20 minutes. And when it is cold, and when it is raining, you just want to get home as quickly as possible as your day was already too long.

But sometimes the “most of the times” does not work. You just miss the bus. The next one is indeed in 20 minutes. But this time you don’t mind. Because he is there, waiting with you. It is cold. It is raining. You have never been that happy that you had missed the bus. You have never been that grateful that the wait was at least 20 minutes. You even wish for the bus to come later than scheduled. You would not mind at all. It is cold. It is raining.

You get soaked in his arms. Each kiss is wet of tenderness. He holds you tight. All the year long, you hate the rain, you hate the cold. Now the cold is your ally, the rain your best friend. You feel like a heroin in an old movie. You feel like you are in front of your hero. You feel his lips. Over and over again. The 20 minutes are the worthiest ones to live, the worthiest ones on the planet “Time”.

You feel like a kid. You feel like an adolescent falling in love for the first time. You feel like an accomplished woman knowing when it is true love. You want to say something. But there is no need to say anything. Your eyes mean any expression of love all together.

19 minutes. 18 minutes. 17 minutes.

Three seconds.  Two seconds. One second.

The bus is here. One last kiss. After how many kisses. 19 minutes. 60 seconds in a minute. One kiss a second. 1’140 kisses. Or something like that. The last kiss. You feel it like a deep cut.

You enter the bus. You wave at him. In the rain he waves back. He is magisterial. He is majestic. You turn your head. You cannot stand anymore this view of him. Your chest is exploding. You know this kind of romantism would kill you if you continue. You know that this kind of love is the best but also the worst. You touch your lips. A bit numb of his kisses. You smell your fingers embalmed with his perfume. You look outside. The rain is still there. You count the raindrops and find them infinitely smaller than the amount of love you feel for him. You look outside. You love your city. You love the night bus. And everything he has seen with you.

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What is sweet about hometown

I haven’t been back in my hometown for exactly six months. I had been quite unfaithful, traveling around the whole summer and autumn and never had time to go back.

But today I am back

And you know what is sweet about hometown ?

EVERYTHING

Hometown is

First school – First party – First boyfriend – First kiss – First fight – First break-up

Hometown is

Old streets – Old friends – Old jokes

Hometown is

The good smell of soap of my pajama

Waiting for me on my bed

At my family’s place

Hometown is

Lilou

This small dog “who” is my godson because I picked him up in a small farm when he was two- weeks oldphoto lilou

Hometown is

pretty EVERYTHING

Loneliness

I live in a small and rich country where we can still afford to refuse a job when it is not in the city where we live and study. It is a luxury to be able to say no because you don’t want to commute one hour for your job. In my country people don’t move around a lot. They live an easy life, have a nice job, and are able to afford a comfortable standard of living. Things have changed a little bit lately but it is still a very comfortable country. When I was in the US, I met a lot of young American who had been living far from home usually right after high school. American people don’t see a problem in moving to another city for college or for work. We don’t have this mentality  in Europe in general, let alone in my country. Of course there are always exceptions.

Tonight at a dinner, I met a French young man. I don’t know why I was particularly touched by his story and background. He is 25 years old. He came from a very small town in the North of France, the kind of town with no charm and no particular interests for tourists and for the rest of the world. It is hard to say things like that, he said. But it is the truth according to him. His hometown is an industrial town where the inhabitants either work in the construction or are truck drivers. The kind of town in the middle of nowhere, not by the seaside, no mountains around. Nothing. No one wants to stop by and have a look at his town, he said twice. Young people grow up and as soon as they finish high school, they get out of there, trying to get a job in Paris if lucky or in the closest bigger town nearby (not especially better either). He told me the story of his town as if he was a history or geography teacher, giving me a private lesson. He added that groups of young people used to date one among another, girls want to get married by the age of 22 in average. Shortage of potential young guys. No particular nice perspective for the future. France doesn’t seem to be a dream country for him.

Unlike the other young kids, he did not only dream about new horizons, he left his hometown at the age of 18. He had lived here and there in France, got a Bachelor in literature and a computer degree. Then went to Berlin and stayed there for two years. His parents are teachers and he is the only child. When he told his story, he talked with a monotonous voice, as if it was nothing particular. His parents do not want to help him financially, he is completely on his own since he reached 18. He arrived a month ago in my city, the third most expensive one in the world. He was trying to look for a job.

The story is at first sight nothing extraordinary, not sadder than other ones, not very joyful either. But I don’t know why, I just perceived a sad struggle in him. Something more profound is hidden in his voice. Not a desperation but a kind of loneliness emanating from him. And it strangely stroke me.

I left the dinner and thought about how lonely we could be at the end of the day. He seems to carry it not only at the end of the day but all the day long, maybe during years already. And now in this new city. On my way back, in the bus, I could not stop thinking about loneliness, young, old, small city, big city, it is just something so universal and we cannot avoid it. “We will all die one day and alone”. A cliché but still true.

This encounter definitely made me sad. This young person embodies loneliness and the weight of uncertainty, so deeply and so heavily.

What would we do with our past ?

I spent this weekend in my hometown. I haven’t been back the last 3 months. I have a mixed feeling when it comes to visiting my hometown. I am always happy the moment I get in the train. The idea of seeing my family and old friends is enjoyable. It is easier to get to see everyone when you don’t live in the same city anymore. When you are home, you are welcome everywhere. Your schedule is full, you have drinks here and there with different groups of friends. You are invited for dinners on Fridays and Saturdays. You are busy and you don’t have time to think. For me, it is always positive and relaxing when I can stop thinking, even if it is just for  a short moment. My friends have a different life, girlfriends have kids, couples buy houses, talk about mortgages. They have different preoccupations from mine. I feel sometimes like a kid stuck in the world of adults. Most of the times, I have nothing to do there but I am still fond of them because we know each other so well. The truth is that I had left town because I wanted to be alone, to built another life, somewhere else, to live something different, something not planned. And they are my past, and part of my life. As much as I enjoy being them, there is always a moment I feel that I don’t fit in anymore.

When I get back to the hotel after a busy day I always feel a bit sad and melancholic. This past I used to love I still carry it along with me. Every corner, every street, every coffee shop, or restaurants, or tea-rooms remind me of something of my past. It could be nice memories or bad souvenirs. It does not matter and it is somehow cumbersome. Passing by the first flat where I used to share with some people during years at the University, recognizing the bakery where I used to have breakfast with my first boyfriend, or the movie theater where we saw our first movie together. Honestly even though I know that each of us has a past, a unique one which makes us who we are, which enriches our personalities, it happens to me more than once the desire to get rid of it. Not because I have regrets or remorses and want to change my life all over again. Some backgrounds are just heavy and impede you to move forward. I am never sad when I go to bed where I live now. I am always sad before I fall asleep back home. No matter how wonderful I have spent my days with friends and family. I used to compare my hometown to an ex-lover or boyfriend and the new city a new one. Yes, something like that. Something you don’t want anymore but cannot be able to forget for good.

I just wonder if any other person feels like me ? Future is difficult to predict but looking back at the past, when everything is already known and lived is never an easy exercise for me on these weekends. I don’t consider my past life as a failure, I just don’t want to live in the past anymore. It’s a difficult balance to reach out as I sometimes miss my friends and family a lot.

This is just a thought I wanted to share with those who had lived once far from home.