Tuesday, March 17, 2009

j'ai jeté mon coeur

Why did you do this? Well... er... I had the disturbing impression that it wasn't my life I was living. I had to leave and start it all over again. It happened on a Sunday afternoon. I'll always remember that awful afternoon. There were people I was supposed to meet. Friends. And it kinda struck me without a warning while I was walking down the rue des Archives. I told myself, I can't do it, but I did and I was doing it. Half an hour later, my friends would be waiting for me. They would start worrying. I must have repeated myself the "DON'T THINK" sentence more than a hundred times that day. And the day after that. So, the minute I decided that I would disappear, I started walking the longest walk I had ever walked in Paris. That night I got drunk too. No wonder. I was in a deconstructing process (even though I was telling myself I'd live another life), getting rid of my cell phone (after turning it off), throwing away my keys (in another basket), some of my papers - God! I can't believe I threw away my driving license. But again, I was in a disappearing process. I was saying goodbye to a former life and I was taking off its clothes. I didn't know I might need the car keys when I found myself sleeping on the pavement of a deserted district, in Opéra. I didn't know that I'd be in that parcel, freezing, and wishing I hadn't thrown away the car keys. I would have slept in the car. I could have saved the money I spent on cheap hotels. I could have... Well, maybe I wouldn't be here... So, that night, that awful night, I put myself into a dangerous position and I told myself I could die, I didn't care. Of course, today, I care. I want to make something good out of it. I drew cash at some ATM. Not much, cause they wouldn't give me the amount I wanted. I'd have to wait for a few days to get some more cash. So I waited. And I found a small hotel near Gare du Nord. I'll never forget how hard the base was. My back ached for a week or so. Well, I didn't have a choice. Why didn't I come back? Because there was no return possible. My mind was made up. And I wouldn't go back. Every night, nightmares prevent me from sleeping peacefully. Nightmares where my best friend would be crying, suffering, and shouting her resentment. What? No. I didn't tell anyone. I left just like that. No. Not even my closest friend. Oh yes, you can never ever know someone. Your closest friend could abandon you overnight. That's what I did. I know it is hard. For her. And for me too. Because we had plans. Wonderful plans for the future. Maybe I got scared, I don't know. A week later, I sent her a letter. Asking her to forgive me, to let me go. Telling her I didn't know if I would ever forgive myself for what I did, for the pain I put in her heart, in my friends' hearts, in my family's. I had to do it. No, they don't know I'm here. Why South Africa and not Malaysia? Well, I had to go somewhere. I drew the biggest amount of cash I could and I bought a ticket for Cape Town. I thought it'd be possible to start another life there. I could speak the langague. Even though the city is astonishingly different (you're in Africa, man! said a guy the other night), I could have a few landmarks there. Thanks to internet, I had already a few contacts. And most of all, I had never told anyone about my dream to visit South Africa. I'm telling you, you don't someone until he goes away without a warning.

Don't forget to ask me about the police who looked for me, about my last errands in Paris, about the people who offered me accomodation here in Little Karoo and got scared of hosting a stranger (I can't blame them, but they shouldn't have told I was welcome...) And now, whenever I get the chance to meet people, I ask them to read this first, I warn them: I might be a ladykiller or something, be careful of whom you meet...

1 comment:

Barry said...

hey Louis (Thomas)
Interesting story....... how are things going with you/ I in fact did something similar in 1998 and sold everything and went to the USA! Eventually after three years, couldn't get a Green card and had to come back and start over. It was the best thing I ever did!
Rgds, Barry