Sunday, June 26, 2011

le 26 juin

Delphine wanted me to take her swimming, so I did. I didn’t swim because guys have to wear Speedos if they want to get in the water. I don’t think I have it in me to publically wear one now. It wasn’t an issue when I was little, but now, it’s just a way to get harassed by tourists who know nothing about French culture.
Gérard tells me that I need to loosen up. Of course he would. He likes the attention he gets from tourists.

It also isn’t like Lille is the hottest place on the planet. I don’t consider 20* (Celsius of course) to be a pool day. Delphine clearly does, and that’s enough to make me have to go.

I tried to talk her out of it. I said I would take her for some crêpes before Maman returned home from work, but she said we can still do that and go to the pool. I asked her if she wanted to walk through the Citadelle, and she told me that parks are extremely boring.

The second time I met Sabine was at the Citadelle, and I just wanted to walk through to think about that. Since I was around four when this happened, Maman reminded me.

A band was playing “La Vie en Rose” in the background, which is probably the most cliché French song ever written. Still, good old Édith Piaf- her legacy lives on. Sabine was humming along, which wasn’t unusual. She has always loved music. She just couldn’t play it. Her piano lessons ended in tragic failure- the woman instructing her claimed that Sabine was simply not teachable. I can’t remember if Sabine was upset or not. She did, however, want to punch the instructor I am sure…

Back to that day in the Citadelle, Sabine was singing and swinging on a swing. She was minding her business as usual until an impatient girl shoved her off the swing. Her knees and arms were scrapped, and she was in tears. Although Sabine didn’t like me whatsoever, I still made sure she was OK. I talked to her and comforted her until our mothers stopped talking and realized that Sabine had had an accident that would be the first of many notorious accidents. I told the girl who shoved her, “tu es méchante!” Sabine laughed through her tears, and I actually think we had a conversation after that- well, as much of a conversation as a four year old can have.

But that wasn’t the first time I met Sabine, like I said. The first time was far more entertaining, and it showed a side of her that I didn’t know could exist…

-JH

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