Wednesday, June 21, 2006

“Je suis une ange”

To an angel.

On a break from ‘domestic life’ I went out last night. The whole town became one big party, with music gigs, dance events and entertainment all over the place. Never have I seen so many people, mostly youngsters like me, drinking, dancing and partying into the night. The weather was kind, not too hot or cold, and the air mixed with the smell (read: stench) of spilt beer and barbeque. Still I’ve not been able to figure out what the whole evening was about, but I suspect it’s related to the start of the Tour de France in a week’s time.

No matter. I enjoyed myself, going from one gig to the next, stopping and walking, only to stop again wherever the crowd gathered. I looked and envied those people who were enjoying themselves so unreservedly in the middle of the street, dancing away, streaming and being wild.

At one point I came to a small gathering underneath the Cathedral. Beneath the magenta glow of floodlights on the cathedral clock tower, under a clear black sky full of stars, a girl sang and played her guitar. She played love songs, my favourite kinds, to the likes of the Cranberries, Natalia Imbruglia, the Carpenters, and other French ballads. A crowd slowly gathered in a crescent formation around her, cheering her on, clapping along, and some even bold enough to engage in a bout of duo-dancing. I was mesmorised by her soft voice, and the lyrics which seem to capture my feelings in few, but powerful words. I stood there, glued to the one-girl show, and just listened, sometimes sang along in my heart, and allowed the music and the words to take me away, to swoon me with butterflies and other love bugs.

Then I noticed you. You stood there diagonally opposite of me, on the other end of the crowd crescent circle. You were alone, I made sure of that as I glanced in your direction a number of times, just to be sure. You were dressed in a […] black top, with a row of bold font white words on the front. You wore dark blue jeans, and a black pair of Adidas. In the dim street light I could just about make out your facial features—a young profile of a tween, smooth-faced […]…and if I’m not mistaken dirty blond hair. […]

I tried not to stare too much at you…but at times it seemed like you were looking in my direction too. Were you? Or was I imagining things, like I often do? I tried to focus on the music, but it seemed like the music was taunting me and my thoughts, […]. There were so many other people around us, we were in a crowd of people, but you stood out from the rest. Did I stand out too? I looked at you, hoping you wouldn’t notice I was looking…but then again, perhaps also hoping deep down that you would notice me looking. For perhaps this was the beginning of something, I thought to myself, and allowed my thoughts to run wild at the possibilities, the endless and boundless possibilities. So much for living in the present moment.

Music and singing drifted around me, and hordes of people walked passed me, in front of me, behind me, some even bumping into me, drunk and confused. But that did not take my mind and attention off of you. You stood there, perhaps as nervous as I was. Somehow I seemed to see me in you. The way your head darted from side to side looking around…the way you didn’t seem to know where to put your hands and arms…the way you touched your face and the top of your head, like I would when I felt nervous…were you signalling to me? We must have stood there for over an hour, you glued to your end of the crowd, and I glued to my end. Even as people left and came you and I stood our ground, in the same places we were standing when I first caught glimpse of you. A lesbian couple stood next to me, one whispering soft words into the beckoning ears of the other. They hugged and kissed one another, held hands and were in love. And I wondered if you and I could…

Then, I didn’t know why, you strode over to my corner of the crowd. And within moments you were standing just one or two metres to my left. Then I could see more of you, more of your angelic face, you body, your hair, and realise the colour of your eyes were light hazel with a hint of blue.[…] The darkness around us played illusions with my vision and mind. Why did you come closer? Were you seeking ‘contact’? I stood where I stood and didn’t budge…[…] But I was too shy, too insecure, too embarrassed to ‘make a move’. Something I will and still regret.

You looked in my direction a couple of times too…or was I imagining things, as I often do? We were so close. For those milliseconds our gazes met I melted. What were you feeling in those moments when our eyes met and the world stopped? And I realised what those bold font white words on the front of your top said:

“Je suis une ange” (I am an angel)

Yes, you are. The moment I noticed you I realised there was something about you. Even in a crowd of crowds, in a sea of people and passer-bys I could not take my eyes off of you. Something around you, about you seemed to radiate such warmth and beauty which dwarfed all others and all else. I was lost in your heaven, with this angel on earth so close to me. Music and song drifted around us. I was lost […] though I know I shouldn’t be…not in the whims of a random sight, a vision of beauty; however mesmorising, however mind gobbling.

Then you left. I could still remember that last glance at the back of your head as you slowly disappeared, out of my little fantasy, my little imaginary world where anything and everything is possible.

I stood there, wondering where you went, and where you are now.

I walked around the city, under the towering cathedral’s sympathetic magenta glow, under a sky of stars, hoping that I would bump into you again. But there were simply too many people, too much chaos and craziness. Soon I felt lost.

Like you, I soon lost myself in the crowd. And was not to be found.

writeincode brought to my attention that the word 'angle' should be 'angel'!
And I figured out what that festival was: Fete de la musique, an annual event on 22 June to usher in Summer, celebrated by street performances all over France.

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