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A taste of Heaven

Been to the beach this afternoon. Alone. My Teddy was at work. After two days of oral examinations, lucky me, I was not on duty today. The weather was perfect. I felt I had to go. It was time to get away. Away from blogs and messages. Away from domestic tasks. Away from home, from the pool. Even from myself. Everything.



L’Espiguette used to be a nude male beach. Some fucking around in the bushes, they say. We’ve never seen anything like that, neither Teddy nor I, each time we were there. Pity ? Never mind. My mind was not (particularly) focused on sex.



One of the first good news was the car park which one usually has to pay for was free. No one to ask me for a fee. Quite unusual in June. They must have delayed pay time because of the foul weather over the past few days. Goodie goodie.


You can walk along that beach for what seems like hours. It never ends. I parked the car at 1 o’clock. I took a short cut through the woods. The ground was covered in pine needle debris, every footstep was a crackling aromatic delight. I decided on a spot where to stop at 1:30. Not that I really had to fight to find somewhere to settle : the beach was empty but for a few lonesome middle aged couples, and joggers with dogs.


MANY dogs. The kind I like. Huge ones. Alsatians. Labradors . Some serious-looking. Some frolicking. Evidently having fun.



I was astonished by the ridiculous blue of the sea. The rocks were slippery as I stumbled towards the beach which was the colour of custard. It seemed the most natural thing in the world to shrug my briefs off and embrace the sand.


I’d taken a small picnic : chicken and salad sandwich, an apple, and a can of Perrier. After eating I turned on my mp3 and went on reading the last volume of Harry Potter’s adventures. Childish, but delightful. I’m half-way in the story. Came up to that passage which reminded me of my relationship with you, Little Sister. Soft, sentimental, but, forgive me,  I love wallowing into that these days. Mind if I share it here with you ?

In the extract, Harry is standing for the first time in front of his parents’ grave on a freezing Christmas night, with his friend Hermione.


“They were not living, thought Harry, they were gone. The empty words could not disguise the fact that his parents’ mouldering remains lay beneath snow and stone, indifferent, unknowing. And tears came before he could stop them, boiling hot then instantly freezing on his face, and what was the point in wiping them off, or pretending ? He let them fall, his lips pressed hard together, looking down at the thick snow hiding from his eyes the place where the last of Lily and James lay, bones now, surely, or dust, not knowing or caring that their living son stood so near, his heart still beating, alive because of their sacrifice and close to wishing, at this moment, that he was sleeping under the snow with them.


Hermione had taken his hand again and was gripping it tightly. He could not look at her, but returned the pressure, now taking deep, sharp gulps of the night air, trying to steady himself, trying to regain control. He should have brought something to give them, and he had not thought of it, and every plant in the graveyard was leafless and frozen. But Hermione raised her wand, moved it in a circle through the air and a wreath of Christmas roses blossomed before them. Harry caught it and laid it on his parents’ grave.


As soon as he stood up, he wanted to leave: he did not think he could stand another moment there. He put his arm around Hermione’s shoulders, and she put hers around his waist, and they turned in silence and walked away through the snow, back towards the dark church and the out of sight kissing gate.” (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, p269)



I shed one or two tears but I swear I quickly washed them away. No more pathos, the Elephant would say.  


I ran, then dived into the cool water and swam towards the horizon. I allowed myself to float and to drift for an hour or so. When I came back to the beach I did not use my towel. I let the water dry on my body.


I kept gazing at the sky as if somehow I could grasp the small white clouds lazily passing by. And the silent seagulls whirling around.

For days I’ve been thinking of myself as a helpless insect aimlessly going round in circles on parched ground. But then, I felt my body dwindling, melting, becoming nothing. My fears melted away and acceptance came in their place. Lay the burden down, lay it down. At least for a while.

For God, there’s no zero. I still exist.


When I decided to walk back to the car, kitesurfers had started unwrapping their ‘packages’ because of the rising wind and for a few minutes I was surrendered by giant kites taking flight as if to wave me goodbye. Exhilarating.



I have caught a few sunburns, but they're no big deal. They make my body feel warmer, inside and out.




On the motorway I allowed myself to do what I normally never do : turn the music full blast, and speed up, feeling the car was my Boat on the Sea.



Why did I feel the need to relate those hours here in English ?  I just couldn’t say. Maybe I wanted to escape from myself as well. Maybe the swimming thing made me feel closer to my sweet Johnnie. Maybe Harry Potter connected me closer to Little Sister who sometimes likes blogging in English too.


But, blimey, English or not, that afternoon felt good. It did feel mighty good.






J'ai commencé à lire, tout content de comprendre. Mais quand j'ai vu qu'il y en avait des pages et des pages, j'ai renoncé ! ;-)

Écrit par : christophe | 19/06/2008

@ Christophe : Eh oui, j'écris trop... On me l'a souvent reproché. Désolé, faut faire avec. Ou sans.
Bisous à toi, content de te voir revenir par ici.

Écrit par : lancelot | 19/06/2008

Ah... L'Espiguette ! So many memories there!
I remember spending days of sunbathing, the sweet taste of the sun bite on my flesh. It's quite nothing but enough to please me and drive me to heaven. Sun, sand, water, a book and some friends I can laugh with while observing the parade of the boys going to the bushes to play hide and seek.

Écrit par : orpheus | 19/06/2008

@ Orpheus : You have been there too...? When when when was that...???
We might have met, or at least crossed each other, who knows....?

And WHEN is the next time you come back ?

Écrit par : lancelot | 20/06/2008

heu, tout comme Christophe...
J'ai pas tenu jusqu'au bout, mais ce n'est pas parce que tu écris trop, c'est à cause de l'effort intellectuel que ça demandait !

Écrit par : anydris | 20/06/2008

@ Any : je donne des cours du soir : "endurance en anglais" que ça s'appelle... Je forme les meilleurs champions de France...! Tarifs intéresants, renseignez-vous sur mon site Web. Bisous à toi !! ;-))

Écrit par : lancelot | 20/06/2008

I love this ! I read it loud. I was gonna say that it's a pity we live so far from each other, but to tell you the truth, I find it wuite ridiculous to speak english with a french native. And I hated when frenchies used to do ti, back in Ireland ... I found it very snobby ...
By the way, I had a phone interview yesterday morning in english and spanish and I enjoyed it so much !!! I REALLY have to get into a job where I cans spek languages, for fuck sake !
But anyway, this is not the point.
I never read any Harry Potter's but I enjoyed the extract and could imagine the picture. When you're sad and alone, just having someone by your side is a big help. Words are needless.
(Dogs on the beach ? Beurk !)

Écrit par : Fiso | 21/06/2008

Désolée, j'ai mélangé des lettres ... :s
Vais me rafraîchir les idées à la piscine, tiens !

Écrit par : Fiso | 21/06/2008

@ Fiso : well look, we're not SPEAKING English to each other right now, merely WRITING in English... Who cares ? I won't be snobby enough to speak to you in English whenever we meet... Soon, maybe...?
AH, Harry Potter... I really loved that extract...
As for dogs on the beach, I never stepped into any poo... They must have picked up the weel-bred ones on that afternoon... LOL.

Et, pour les letres mélangées, je rééduque les dyslexiques aussi, tu sais... Gros bisous ! J'espère que tu t'es bien rafraîchie à la ... "piscine" (taboo word n°1)

Écrit par : lancelot | 21/06/2008

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