Monday, May 31, 2004

Pity and guilt

We're discussing at the table of that chic place where a latte and a cookie sell for more than the minimum wage.
We're ready to leave when I notice someone coming to a nearby table. There is a computer bag on one of the chairs.
The man, a balding guy in his late forties, gestures to the table behind and asks a young man sitting there if the table with the bag is free. "Yeah, I guess" is the answer I hear. The young guy, with long blond and curly hair, turns back to face his companion, a young woman typing on a small computer. He makes no motion toward the table or the bag. He is smoking and brings the cigarette to his mouth in a slow, deliberate gesture. "Do you know who's bag is that then?", insists the older man.
This time, the young guy turns around and without a word of apology or explanation, grabs the bag that he puts in front of the woman still typing. She raises her head and hisses: "We have four chairs already. Don't you think it's enough for our stuff?". Her tone is cold and harsh. "Despise" and "Contempt" ooze from every word she uttered. I think classmates or roommates sharing their solitude and resenting each other's presence.
I look at R. who smiles. We leave quickly. He too has listened to the exchange. He too has noted the tone of her voice. He pities the guy married to a woman who loathes him so openly. Married?? Didn't you see the rings? I can't believe I didn't notice the rings.

After a small hike, we're heading back uptown. A woman enters the bus. She has a mustache, a small beard and glasses broken in many places. The glasses are held together with tape. So much of it that they look like a modern sculpture. "Construction for eyes and face".
The glass sculpture goes with her hair that she is wearing unkempt, pieces of it shooting in every directions around her head.
Oblivious to the mini commotion her appearance is causing, she comes to sit next to me.
I am reminded of a story that happened many years ago in Paris. I had just boarded the subway on my way to the university when I understood that the reason it was almost empty was the stench pervading the air. There was a homeless guy sleeping on one of the seats. The stench was horrendous and that car had been deserted by everybody. I decided to stay inside because I thought it would be rude to leave like everyone else. A betrayal of the solidarity I felt toward this homeless man. I wanted to show him I cared. He kept on sleeping all the way.
All that day, I carried his smell with me to my dismay and that of my classmates. I never explained what had happened. It seemed pointless.
Now, the hairy woman with the tape-sculpted glasses sits next to me and I signal to R. that we should leave. I don't feel any guilt about it. I must have become them.

Muchas gracias

A small image from yesterday.
The bus leaving and suddenly stopping right as I was ready to cross the street. The door opened and a woman called after someone who had just got off the bus.
I turned around to see another woman, wearing a T-shirt with glittering letters reflecting the light of the lamp post. She was
hurrying toward another stop to catch a connecting bus, but stopped, turned around with a worried look and then smiled with relief.
She rushed back toward the bus door and the woman still standing there handed her a cell phone and a set of keys.
Thoughts of what could have been a disastrous evening. Relief.
I hear the exchange. "Thank you!" and then "Muchas gracias!" as if the thank-you would be stronger in her own language.
"De nada, Señora, de nada".

Sunday, May 30, 2004

The wish

This time I got my wish. I was in the bus looking out the window when I saw a scene and wished I knew the story behind it.
There was a black guy walking and right in front of him, this white kid jumped into his arms in a warm embrace. They're at the center of a group of people. All in their twenties.
"Stop requested". We're at the bus station now. A woman wants to exit here. As she is stepping down the stairs in front of the driver, she changes her mind and starts asking questions about the next stop, the bus route and the best way to get to the address she has. She is there talking and people in the bus are getting restless as is the driver.
You're in or out of this bus, lady. Make up your mind!
She ignores them superbly and as she finally decides to come back on board, I see a couple of the young fellows running toward the door and board the bus. They made it!
There is a tall, blond guy wearing a Diesel T-shirt and plastic flip-flops. Two women sitting in front of him. One raises to grab a bus schedule and gives one authoritatively to her friend who takes it silently but doesn't unfold it. A black guy wearing a red T-shirt is sitting just behind me. I recognize him from the scene I just witnessed. I'm waiting for an explanation. I'm not the only one apparently as the woman still looking at the bus schedule turns to him and asks "So, how do you know those guys?" "They're from my home town. I went to school with one of them. They're younger. One year behind."
"So did you know that they'll be in town this week?"
"No. Haven't talked to them for a while."
So. This was it. This splendid embrace. People from his home town. What did I expect?
I'm strangely disappointed and leave the bus as I hear him speak on his cell phone to a friend "Listen. Let me give you a call. We're going to be hanging out."

Friday, May 28, 2004

The good deed.

In the bus, I noticed them right away. They looked so much like tourists. The hat on his head, the camera bag on his laps, the lapel-pin on her T-shirt. The way they sat across three seats. Their faces as they were looking at the streets. I hear the bus driver explaining exactly where they should get out. What they should do tomorrow to avoid traffic and delays. Which bus, what subway. They are nodding their heads, the woman repeating from time to time the instructions to make sure she'll remember. At the following stop when someone comes to sit in the place they left empty between them, their look reveals both the shock of this rude intrusion and their understanding that this is clearly part of the strange ways of city dwellers. The bus driver is now looking with them at house numbers to make sure that they'll get out at the right stop. We all look to the inn across the street. They thank her profusely, wish her a good week-end and exit.

As soon as she closes the door of the bus, the driver says loudly to no one in particular "So how was that for being nice to visitors?"
I'd never seen such spontaneous hilarity. Everybody laugh and one woman behind me answers "It's not fair! You should be nicer to us, the locals!" the driver is still enjoying her good deed. "I'm always nice but I'm making an extra effort for the tourists so they'll be happy and come back". Somehow, her remark triggers another burst of laughter in the bus.
At the following stops, people say goodbye to the driver as if she was a longtime friend. "Have a nice week-end!" "Enjoy the burgers!" Then one stop before mine, the doors open in front of a man standing with a cigarette. The driver mentions that smoking is not allowed and as he takes one last drag, she asks him to not breath out in her bus. He ignores her request and suddenly the doors are shut in front of him. When the doors open again to let a woman board, we hear him menacing to call a bus manager for what she has done. There is another bus behind us and he boards it.
The tourists are long forgotten. We're back to normal.

Thursday, May 27, 2004


There is a homeless shelter on my street. Near the subway station. A couple of trailers parked on a small paved court. That's all. I walk past it every day. This is where W., the guy from whom I used to buy the paper, lives. I saw him a couple of times passing the large metal fences that mark the entrance.
The two guys walking in front of me in the street are young. One is wearing his pants so low that his belt is midway between his knee and his waist. The other is wearing a white sleeveless shirt showing a tattoo on each shoulders. The two guys seem to be arguing about something. Discussing loudly. I see them entering the shelter and both raise their hands as if this was the most natural thing in the world.
A security officer gives them a quick pat-down and they go on walking toward one of the trailers. They never stopped discussing. I wonder if they even noticed that they were searched.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004


There was a fire alert today at work. Only it was not a fire, it was a chemical spill which closed the building for more than 5 hours. I didn't have my keys with me so I was stuck outside with no possibility of going home early. So I watched the ballet of all the different groups of people working to neutralize the fumes that had taken over our building.
The different units and the man supervising them all. A major with an impeccable white shirt, a large mustache and a shining badge that gave his name and his rank.
His HQ set up at the end of a small truck. All done methodically, with a meticulous attention to details. Talking over walky-talkies in some coded language: "You'll take the 48 and make sure you've get the 22 all clear". All seems so serious, so professional. I am impressed despite myself. I listen to them talking in their radio about the crew and think about matters of life and death. A few minutes later, I see one guy coming with iced water and paper cups. The major goes to the front of his truck and came back with a diet coke. No iced water for him. He is the boss.

A woman comes to claim that the medication she needs before 3 PM is in her bag she left in her office. Less than 20 minutes later, the bag is retrieved and given to her.
I thought that I should have used that same excuse "My medication is in my bag". Lying to get my bag back quickly and leave.

The hazmat team is coming back from the building. I see them taking showers in their space suits. Everything will be over soon. I think about the day I understood what "Hazmat" meant. About 4 years ago, I was driving, saw the sign and acknowledged its meaning. Just like that. I still remember the feeling of triumph over the language. As if it was slowly getting to me, drop by drop like blood.

Monday, May 24, 2004

The shadow of the Sun

We've been invaded by bugs. Billions of them, with big red eyes and large wings. Harmless but quite impressive. They've been everywhere around the place I work but almost invisible in the city.
I am in a bus on my way to meet up with friends. The woman on my right leans forward and signals to a woman in front that she has an insect on her bag. It's one of them. The invaders.
The reaction is quite spectacular. She screams and throws her bag on her side where it lands almost on the lap on a young blond woman reading. Her book is called "The shadow of the Sun" and features a map of Africa on the cover. She raises her head and slowly puts her book down. Everyone is looking at her. She calmly reaches to the bag, grabs the red-eyed cicada by its wings and throws it out of a small opening in the window behind her.
She is thanked profusely by the woman who explains, loud enough to be heard by everybody, that she found one in her hair in the morning and that her disgust stems from this incident.
The young blond woman nodes and resumes her reading with the contented air of someone who has just triumphed from a major test.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Douce France

My friends F. and I. are visiting from France. They were there for a conference and will leave tomorrow. We're walking through the streets chatting and I am enjoying the sound of my mother tongue. The ability to feel the words and not just saying them. For each word a story, a hidden reference, a known association. The subcontext of every word, their deep sound and real flavor, the images they awake in the listener or the reader. This is still inaccessible to me in English.

We've taken a short cut, walking on darker streets, far from the Saturday night crowds of this popular neighborhood.
A small boy exits a big building. He says to us proudly "Look at my tie!". I. does not understand English. F. speaks it hesitantly.
I turn around and compliment him. He is about 7 and he is beaming and tells us that this is a gift from his father who is just standing outside. I compliment him again and inquire of the way he thanked his dad for that gift. "I said "Thank you! Dad"", the boy answers as if he was not sure he had understood the question. I laugh and agree with him that this was the only answer possible.

We walk away and I translate the exchange for F. and I. They both agree that this would have never happened in France. I'm not sure why but their remark fills me with pride.

Friday, May 21, 2004


Waiting for the bus yesterday. How could I forget the tattoo on the young fellow's arm? He is wearing dreadlocks, a baseball cap put backwards, a badge from the nearby offices where I too, work. But the most surprising is a tattoo visible on his forearm. The tattoo says "NIGGA". Dark tattoo with calligraphic letters.
After all the fights, after all the pain and the struggles, the demonstrations, the victories, this young kid felt the need to have his forearm saying "nigga". I resist the urge to ask him why, a decision I immediately knew I would regret.

On my way to the theater and an evening with R. I am in the bus going downtown. One man comes aboard and he is greeted by the driver with a loud "Are you mad at me? I hope you're not". The man says nothing and sit a couples of rows in front of me.
The bus driver proceed to tell loudly the story of the man. Was in her bus yesterday, and asked her to wake him up at a certain stop. He fell asleep, and she forgot all about him, the quiet passenger. She remembered only when her shift ended and she handed the wake-up duty to the next driver. When the wake-up call finally came at the stop, the 20 minute nap had turned into a 2 hour deep sleep.
The woman was afraid that the man would be upset at her for having forgotten. He was not upset, but clearly embarrassed by having his story revealed to the whole bus. He muttered some words, shrugged and went to seat at the back of the bus.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Strange dance

He boarded the bus and started to talk to the driver. This is not the bus I usually take and I am a stranger in an unfamiliar territory. A place with its unknown code, the unspoken rules by which the regulars recognize each others. We have not left the bus stop.
He is still talking to the bus driver who turns around and announces "Can everyone check under their seat if they see some keys?"
I plunge to look. Everyone else is doing the same. Each in their own ways. A strange dance being performed in a bus.
The guy is pacing the bus up and down. No key. He exits the bus with a dejected air.
Instinctively, I pad my pockets to check I do have my keys. Is it for reassurance or a small proclamation of victory, of superiority over the poor soul who just walked out? I'm not sure. Many in the bus are doing the same.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004


After the movie ends, I go back to the box office to buy a pass.
I know the drill and wait as the clerk rattles the perfunctory questions. He takes my credit card and this is when I notice an unfinished drawing on a school notebook opened in front of him.
The head on the paper is dark and somber. It has huge, bulging eyes giving it an alien appearance. There is no smile, no real mouth. Just a thin straight line. The whole sketch depresses me. I look at the young clerk and can't help but asking if his drawing reflects his mood. A large smile. "No but I'm just so bored". Boredom as source of art.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Dumb as a rock

The key was stuck in and my only hope to enter my place tonight was to call an emergency locksmith.
They came relatively quickly. Two guys. One giving orders, the other running back to the truck to get all the tools.
We exchange few words and they ask me where I'm from. One of the two was also born and raised in France. His parents were boat people. Then, they all came here. America after Paris. There is no track of France in the few words he says. He gets quiet and watches as his co-worker works and takes the lock apart in a matter of seconds. His hands move as if in a Rubik's cube competition. Flawless and precise dance. "How long have you been doing this?", I inquire fascinated by the motion of his hands. "21 years". He is dressed in a T-shirt with a baseball cap put backward. I am surprised. "You don't even look 21!" He stops, takes off his cap and shows me some white hair. "See? This is what I mean. Believe me I am older than I look. Not like him!" He gestures toward the French-Vietnamese guy who has been just silent since his French words. "You Asians don't age like us. You prick!". Both laugh. They're friends not co-workers. We start talking about life, girlfriends in general and more precisely, the French ex-girlfriend of the Vietnamese-French-American guy.
"A sweet girl" says his friend who has resumed to work on the lock "but dumb as a rock!". Her ex-boyfriend offers no denial.
"I thought you guys liked "sweet but dumb" girls" I joke weakly. "Well, to have fun yes, but not in a serious relationship". The answer is spoken sternly as if they had thought about this a lot. "You want to be able to discuss things, more than just hair and nail polish". Both laugh.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Sounds from a short walk.

"ma'am, your comb!"

"But you didn't finish the first one!"

"Fuck him. Dude I tell you"

"Maybe I just can't"


"Evidemment si t'as la chance de n'être jamais malade"

"We still have to visit the other place. Remember?"

"But I'm not"

"What's up? I'm at Whole Foods. I'll call you when I get home"

"You're coming here June 11, right?"

"We hardly knew each other when we married. I just got lucky I married Jeff"

"Haleli, alayla"

"Salaam, Salaam"

"Have a nice dinner"

Saturday, May 15, 2004

The rat

In the bus. I've not really decided where I'm going. Where I should get off. No plan.
A woman comes on-board seemingly by herself. She smiles to a guy with a red T-shirt who has not found a seat. She has a gold tooth and makes a gesture of inviting him to seat on her lap. He ignores her and walks to the back of the bus. I see on her face that she has been vexed by his reaction, his total lack of acknowledgement. A moment later, they're seating next to each other. Her gold tooth is shining in the sun and her head is on his shoulder.

I am on my way home now. Waiting for the bus near a park. I noticed a woman walking toward me. She is wearing a beige skirt and a darker shirt too small for her. She walks with her feet spread out. Her face is locked to the outside world, avoiding other people's eyes. I am no exception.
A few minutes later, almost following her footsteps, I see a tall man coming. He is wearing a blue jean, carrying a bike messenger type bag. He is talking into an invisible cell-phone. He has passed by me for less than 20 seconds when I hear him laugh. The woman is walking toward him now. Both fold their cell phone and greet each other in a timid inclination of their heads. They are now walking together. The woman is beaming. The guy is readjusting the shoulder traps of his bag. I hear her asking about how he's been.

On the bus now. A few seats in front of me, there is a tall lanky young guy. An old black guy seats next to him. He has an old and ripped shirt missing a button. He asks something to the young guy. There is no conversation though, just words exchanged between long silences. The young guy saying "yes", "sure" from time or time.
Two stops later, the old man gets out of the bus and he is replaced by another old man, with a beard carrying plastic bags. He too has a ripped dirty shirt. He too starts to talk to the young guy who answers cheerfully. I hear them talking about Bush-Kerry, government and then a question "When's your birthday?". "December" . "December what?", "Twenty-seven. December 27".
F. and R. birthdays. I hear the old guy saying "Ah! You're a Capricorn!", as if this could explain all what they talked about earlier.

The two guys that came on board and I recognize them from the bus trip this afternoon. They had entered the bus with the same care-free attitude. One green and one yellow T-shirt. Taking hold on the horizontal bars to propel themselves like Tarzan in a jungle, one hand at a time. Walking not quite straightly.

I saw motion before realizing what it was. On the top of the large metal garbage can at the bus stop. Then it jumped to the ground. A big rat who darted to a nearby bush and just stood there. Watching people strolling by on a warm Saturday night.

Beautiful alcohol

After the opening performance of a play, I am talking to the lead actress. I sort of know her. Still totally blown away by her ability to be so smooth, so at ease with herself, so aware of her every gestures. Even now, off-stage, schmoozing with us.
I am with S. He offers compliments on the play and the performance.
We leave. "Beautiful. Simply beautiful". I realize that I was thinking aloud when I heard S. answering "She is, but she is not my type."

Later, seated at the terrace of a bar, enjoying the breeze and the freshness of the night, we talked little about the play. A taxi pulls right in front of us and a man comes out. He is so drunk, he can't even make it to the entrance of the bar. I catch S. smiling at the sight.

After half a glass of wine, I feel at ease, smooth and aware of my every move.

Friday, May 14, 2004


In the subway, a group of teenagers comes in. A white girl followed by seven black teenagers. She goes toward a seat on her right as she enters. They go the other way. At first she tries to call them up, but then she just joins them and goes to seat next to one of the kids. She has a blond pony tail and he plays with it. I stop looking for a brief time. When I raise my head again, she has spread her legs on the seat and one kid takes one of her sandal off her foot and cleans it. All is done very naturally as if people cleaned each other shoes on the subway all the time. He puts the shoe back with care, slowly slipping it on her foot. She does not seem to notice any of this.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Making the cut

Today only one image: The Amtrak employee who saw me rushing to the train and told me that I had plenty of time. Two minutes before departure. For him two minutes is an eternity.

Why are the stories of today less compelling than that of yesterday?
Why did I chose not to recount in details the discussion I had yesterday with the clerk in the coffee shop just before going to the theater? The way he asked me about France, its racism and bigotry. The way he was called back to work by his boss and the way he asked me, as I was leaving, if I'd be back?
The endless discussion about France and the US. The endless comparison.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Sound and smell

Evening at the theater with D. This is opening night and there are more people on stage than in the room. After the play I fear it will stay that way during the complete run. It must hurt.

We are walking toward the sound of a crowd nearby. There is a large brass band playing on the place. Seven horn players, one tuba, two drummers. A bored kid at the back. One man on a Vespa is enjoying the music with his motorcycle helmet on. An alien with an enormous white head moving in rhythm of the New Orleans style jazz.

Waiting for the bus a long time until two arrives at the same time, one crowded, one empty. I head for the crowded one. The pregnant woman, her eyes wide opened, looking sick to the alarm of the small Mexican woman seated next to her. The heat inside the bus despite the windows opened and the smell of urine which overpowers almost everything else. I suddenly wish I had chosen the story-less bus.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Bus stories

The man walked in front of the bus just as it was pulling in. The bus came so close to hurt him that I cried "Attention!" reversing to French under the emergency of the situation. He turned around and the flowers he was carrying turned with him. A magnificent bouquet. He smiled. I stepped into the bus and the driver welcomed me by a "What a lucky guy!" I nodded in agreement, thinking about the flowers.

Maybe two minutes into the bus trip, the woman in front of me turns around and asks what bus this is.
"42." I said. She seems reassured. "There is no other bus at the stop we both came in" I add, fearing suddenly that she would find strange that I noticed at what stop she came in. Nothing of the sort. Her smile broadens. "Perfect" she says, "because I always forget to look". 42. That's the answer.

Across the aisle, there is a guy with headphones on. He is in his mid-thirties, maybe a bit younger. He has blond, thin hair. Glasses with a metal frame. Suit and tie. A dark blue shirt.
He is listening to some music and directing an imaginary orchestra. His gestures, his seriousness. All is there. He shuts up the violins, brings in the brass and encourages the flute to step in. He goes from a simple extended arm to a sensual caress that is meant for an expert musician but received by a man with dirty pants, half asleep right in front of him. When he gets out a couple of minutes later, he seems surprised by the mere existence of the fast food restaurant in front of the bus stop.
I see him looking around before walking down a dark street nearby.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

One-way street

I am coming out of my place and see this car that is doing a U-turn. I live on a one-way street. I start making signs, shouting "this is a one way", but to no avail. There are two young guys in the car and they are ignoring my warnings. The car turns, faces the wrong way. I keep shouting. The front window slides down slowly and I hear both of them in chorus "We know!!". I'm both stunned and annoyed. Annoyed that these two guys are so blatantly ignoring the rules. Annoyed that they are knowingly driving the wrong way on a one-way street. Annoyed that I can't figure out why.
I laugh at their sheer nerves and my laugh gets me the explanation. I hear "I'm giving his car a jump start". A pause. "With cables?" with an interrogation mark in the voice. As if he wanted to make sure I knew what cables were and what they were meant for. As if the first part was not enough for me to understand the plan. As if I was a nosy child who needed the most complete explanations.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Dirty shoes and no pizza

How disgusting is it to touch one's shoe in public?
Disgusting enough for the clerk at the 7-11 who refused to accept money from the woman who had just ordered a pizza slice.
As he was walking back to the cash register with her order, she put one of her shoes on the counter and rubbed it to try to clean it. The clerk looked at her, shrieked and refused to touch the bill she handed him at the same time.
"I'm not touching that money. No way."
She is about 25, a plum and short woman with pink tights and coordinated shoes.
Clearly, she thinks he is joking.
"How come you don't take my money? -- I want the pizza slice".
"I'm just not touching this!"
"But it's money! Money don't smell."
She keeps on insisting but he is relentless.
"It's disgusting-- that's what it is. You touched your shoe and then the money. It's disgusting. I'm not touching it. I'm serious." He is looking at us, the others customers for the tiniest sign of approval.
She decides to leave, changes her mind at the door and comes back to say "I'll call the police. You refused my money. I'll get the police." Her friends are around her, trying to calm her down. I get my paper and get out of the store only to be trapped under the canopy by one of these summer thunderstorms. It's too violent to last and everyone is waiting for the rain to stop.
The woman comes out with her friends. They're standing right next to me. Her boyfriend is holding her tight "Let it go, baby" he murmurs "it's not worth it."
She is still outraged. Dirty shoes and no pizza.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Off key

The day started with a sound, then an image.
I heard her before I saw her. Then I passed the restaurant at the corner, the one which looks always closed with the large metal bars on its windows. She was right there, an old black lady seated on the stoop, holding a battered paper cup. Basking in the sun and singing loudly and shamelessly off key. That sound sustained me all the way to the subway.

Then in the afternoon, the guy from the vegetable truck who ran after me to give me the last cucumber. I was walking back to my office, eating one of the tomatoes I had just bought. The juice that dripped everywhere when I tried to thank him.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004


The red car was having problems parking. Right in front of us. There are several others on-lookers: the couple of guys seating next to the railing and the two women seating behind us. I hear "Oh my god!" and see the car hitting the green Honda parked just behind. There's a guy in front of the car, helping and directing the driver. Almost 5 minutes of maneuvering. It is painful to watch. Touching the sidewalk. The green Honda. The SUV in front is carefully spared. "Noblesse oblige".

The man in front of the car is smiling apologetically. "It's her first time".
We are rooting for her now. Don't give up! Don't give up! You'll make it!
She does eventually and emerges from her car under a round of applause. A small woman with long brown hair. Clearly puzzled by the commotion she is causing. Her friend smiles and bows playfully. They leave.

Later, when the two guys eating sushi are replaced by a lesbian couple with a dog and that no one but us know of the struggle for that space, the two are back ready to leave. The friend is again stationed outside and he makes sure the green Honda and the SUV survive the last act. The car is out in no time.

Less than a minute after they have left, the owner of the green Honda comes. A young guy with a clean cut beard, he leaves blissfully unaware of the pain and anxiety his car has caused this evening.
Only we have seen it all.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

The umbrella

After the movie with S. It’s pouring. The man who asked us for money in the street and offered us an umbrella. His look when S. gave him $10. The way he walked away fast as if to make sure we wouldn't be able to change our mind about the umbrella even if the rain were to stop suddenly.

Saturday, May 01, 2004


On my way to buy the papers. A young guy at the corner’s liquor store looks at me and says something in Spanish. A familiar sound. That of my grandparents, of my mother. I am totally calm when I answer “Fuck you!” It’s sunny and the air is fresh. I’m not quite sure where did that came from.

I’m coming back home, the newspapers under my arms. An old man who was going up hill, said “Hello” with the bit of breath he still had. “Have a good day” I say mechanically. “I will, now that I saw you” he answered with a huge smile. I laughed. It will be a great day.