There are some things in this world that can be changed and some that can’t. And time passing is one thing that can’t be redone. Come this far and you can’t go back. .(South of the Border, West of the Sun – Haruki Murakami)
I can’t count the number of times I had been visiting Paris. My first boyfriend had been living in Paris. Our seven years together, I had spent one weekend out of two visiting him. I know Paris by heart. I love and hate the city at the same time. Maybe because of the number of times we had broken up and been back together, always somewhere in Paris, our disputes, our passionate reconciliations. First love and experience of love in Paris. That was the thing which made Paris special to me with this mixed love and hate sentiments.
However there is always a first time for everything. After all these years I have never discovered Paris by motorcycle. I did it for the first time this weekend, while visiting an ex-lover.
My ex-lover lived outside of Paris in a very “left-wing” suburb. At the corner right next to his home, you could see the headquarter office of the Socialist party with a huge poster of the recent elected French President – François Hollande. From his suburb, he only circulated in Paris by motorcycle. When I was there, we did the same. We had never taken the subway the whole weekend.
I discovered another Paris. One thing is to get from one place to another, underground using the subway, another thing is to commute out in the open air. You can finally see the connection between the streets, thing I had rarely seen in spite of my at least hundred of visits in Paris.
It was fun and it would be even romantic if we were still lovers, him and me. Imagine zigzagging all these streets on your lover’s motorcycle, in beautiful Paris. But life is strange sometimes. Two years ago, I would have given a lot to live this precise moment with him, being behind him on his motorcycle, leaning tightly against him and scarily surrounding him with my arms. An indescribable proximity and shared intimacy if we were still lovers. But we were not lovers anymore. It would be heaven if it were still the time when we were struggling to find the right formula to be together. Yes, life is strange and you cannot go back in time, just like Murakami said.
On my ex-lover’s motorcycle, all I could think of was S., the man with whom I am in love at the moment and whom I had lost a month ago.
On my ex-lover’s motorcycle, I knew I did not want to heal. I did not want time to allow me to forget S. I did not want to have the same feeling I have had and gone through with my ex-lover. S. could not be my past. Not yet and not now. Freeze the time.
On my ex-lover’s motorcycle, I was scared but not of the speed. I was scared of my capacity of forgetting people who were once part of my life. My capacity of falling out of love and of letting them go frightened me, even if I knew sometimes it was just a question of survival to let go and to forget. Sometimes to heal, you need to cut off all ties, you need to be a warrior, to fight the pain and sorrows and try to reborn from the deepest cuts. I was me in the break-up process and necessity. Walk away, not looking back, closing the curtains, turning off the light, the show was over. Time does the rest.
I would love to be able to love S. forever. On that motorcycle I knew I could do it if I would not be myself anymore.
After that ride, I was sad. To love S. eternally, I would need to be weak and blind and stubborn. But I could be all of that if he wanted me to.
The motorcycle riding lasted two days, the length of my stay in Paris. The ride I was willing to take for and with S., I wish it could be for a life time. With my weakness, blindness and stubbornness. If he wanted me to.