I’ve done a lot of writing letters while I’ve been in France. I’ve done a lot of addressing:
You know, lots and lots.
But what I want to do is just talk to Nobody right now. No listeners, no readers.
France changed my life. I’m terrified out of my wits, you know. I’m scared I’ll be robbed of all the ways I grew up here. I’m scared I’ll put my old eyes back in. I’m scared I won’t be as brave. I’m scared that I…well, I don’t know. I’m kind of scared of I. Myself, that is. What if I regress?
And yet hope endures. I get the feeling this is only the beginning. Things just feel more possible. This reminds me.
Erika told me the other night:
“Si tu n’as pas les moyens de prendre le train
tu restes sur le quai.”
If you don’t have the means of taking the train, you stay at the platform.
I said, “That’s sad.”
She said, “My dear, that’s reality.”
And she’s right.
It is easy if you have money; you can just buy a ticket. That makes it easier to go, to leave the platform.
But I thought about it some more, when I went to bed that night. That can’t be the only way to leave a platform, can it? It might be the only safe way, I suppose. But in moments of passion I know I’ve streaked across the platform and taken a random leap of faith…and landed, well, on a train ride to some incredible new people, incredible chances, incredible moments.
I’m finding (and I hope to take this back with me to the States) that the more fleeing, flying, leaping you do…the better you get at it.
Practice makes perfect. With enough confidence you stop feeling like you’re sneaking onto a train with a bunch of paying passengers– I put in my effort, I pay my dues, too! I get bruises (bad bruises!) when I miss my mark and land badly, embarrassingly. Sometimes I hesitate too long. Sometimes I’m not looking where I’m supposed to. Sometimes I get distracted.
I see catching trains as getting done in 3 ways:
1. Being born with a ticket,
2. Waiting and working patiently until one’s earned enough to afford a ticket,
3. Sprinting ticketless for the last car.
Me? I want to combine 2 and 3. I want to work at the trainstop. I’m not scared of work, I’m not looking for a shortcut. I want to work at the ticket booth, all the while watching and learning from how other’s board their futures. Observing life so I can make the most of my own, too.
And maybe—just maybe—during the right light of the right shift…I see the right train.
And I move, I take it.
And I fly. And I ignore the calls.
I’ll ignore those that say there’s an order to things. That I’m skipping steps. That it’s too dangerous. That it’s not going to work.
Because I will catch that train. And I won’t hear them.
And I’ll wave back. Show you all that I’m okay, that I’m happy.
And hopefully, in my smile, I can assure the person sitting lost a bench that it’s okay. The young man with his head in his hands, distraught that he missed his train by arriving just a little too late. Or the old woman who haunts the platform, who still hasn’t earned enough for her ticket—I hope she looked up and caught jump. It’s never too late to try and your own hand at fate. I hope my wave says. You have nothing to lose. Nothing.
And maybe they’ll leap for their next Adventure, too.
Funny how I end up addressing everyone when I try to address nobody.
My plane leaves tomorrow. I fucking hope I don’t miss it.