story by : kilyoum
“Je suis fatigué”, he said. “fatigué de cette ville, fatigué de cet amour.. J’en ai marre de tout”.
I built a train track. It begins with a wooden station, right at the border of the sea. At the moment, it is deserted, but I’m still looking for workers to fulfill specific positions. I only need a couple; someone at the ticket booth and another for ringing the bells. The track is set, and the journey is eternal, as deep as the sea’s horizon. When you leave, you leave everything behind. What comes next is not a new beginning, as you can’t start at the middle. So “to forget” and “to forgive” is not guaranteed, but I promise to keep you high on the ashes of your memory. The memory of faces you met on the platform, behind a newspaper, below an umbrella or beyond the complexity of vision. Yes, just a memory.
Leave the memory of a city that slowly pierces into your skin, to become you. A parasite leeching on the smell of sweat and new uniform, time-lapsing through the coats on your shoulders as they slowly fall off. I find you in the magic of night and company, where you fall tenderly, dim your lights, slide my car windows and let the wind shake the car into its own oblivion. Then the music starts and the volume grows, battling the wind, trying to find its voice in the midst of this chaos, while the driver is half asleep. By now, I realize that your beauty falls within the limits of my own mind, disguised as Gainsbourg or Waits, but it is never you. You are metal and glass, glass and metal, concrete, a cylinder or a cube, or both, a rose, or maybe something that looks like it or maybe that doesn’t. You are a space; a container shaped like a hollow glass that whether half empty or half full, everyone is in it for a drink. You are the “Good morning sir, how may I help you”, said with a smile, while my friend slaps the morning, then everybody does and it slowly dies into the night to be reborn again and slapped again. I have given you a hundred years, that’s more than half what I have wasted on love, yet I’ll be forever in your debt. Might as well just leave; people leave for less. Or maybe I will stay. Into the wild or out to you, all the same.
Dear friend, your homeland has consumed the fuel of my cynicism; I ran out. Maybe we are made of dirt, but why should dirt confine us? Your people and their food, your people and the wedding ceremonies, your people and how their bravery consumes me. Slaughter a life unfulfilled, then bury it in dirt for new sacrifices to be born. Dirt to dirt, so the land can live, and give. We have seen our idols mixing gasoline with their sweat then setting it all to flames, yet always the joker gets our hearts for all idols are ingested by fire. Do not worry, dear friend, it is still me. We will still have our nights; we will still share the Déjà vu of now, tomorrow and yesterday. We will still look for the girls to marry and the men to scheme, and forever to be foils. I will always be there to inwardly laugh at your misconceptions yet still pay a great amount of effort to change them. I will forever and I will always. I will never end.
Dear Humbert Humbert, the things I would give to have your unreliable mind. To watch a little girl chucking pebbles into a can with her bare feet, wishing that she would miss every time, just so I get to watch her do it again. The agony you lived because of boyish indifference, I lived it in an amorphous dream. Then, it was me to blame for reaching out for atranche de vie, forbidden to my taste. She came and she ran away, then she came back, and she came back and she keeps on coming and running, and even with her belly to her neck, I would not hesitate to pull the gun on Quilty and on another Quilty and on as many Quilty’s as it would take for a chance back. For I, too, have loved her more than anything I have ever seen. I am you, dear Humbert Humbert, and everyone else but she and I is doomed. “Carmen, voulez- vous venir avec moi?”. It will take us over 25 steps from there to my car, but I will live in a “No” as long as it is spent with you, my Carmen.
The train will leave soon and I advice that none of the travelers on board are to be trusted, for not everyone will take the journey. Few tend to stay. I will take the memories of you with me. Come or stay, all the same to me.