Sunday, 6 May 2012

The winner stands alone

This Friday  morning I woke up with the feeling of celebration. Like I have a huge victory and it was time for me to celebrate. Great. Except that I had no idea WHAT to celebrate.

I wrote a book and it s getting published. I signed a contract . Hang on , that was over a week ago. HELLOOOO. Now I owe my editor 2000 euros . D'oh.

I'm going back to France to see my parents. I owe them 1500 Euro. No, not that either.

I walked passed the bank and They did not see me. That must be that.

No I did not know what I was celebrating but , in the inside I knew I had found it. You know , what I did not know I was looking for.
That my messed up trip to Oz and my messy attempt to build it back up over here in the UK, my ups and down , my struggle to learn everyday Life and all that...

I made it. I still don t know what. Because on the outside , nothing has really changed.

I'm at the airport now. Airports feel like Home for me. Like a magic wonderland place with Pubs.

That's when I usually buy and start new books. I need a change from what I ve  recently read, though.
Nice books from English writers but the thing is the main characters ALWAYS end going to :
1/ live in Australia
2. Die in Australia
And I always end up :
1/ in tears.
2/ in tears
( Get over it mate)

Here I am reading '' the Winner Stands alone'' from Paulo Coelho.

I can't start the book. My eyes get stuck on the title. That's when they started. The flashbacks of random moments in my Life , random people I met but also special moments with special people.

Shit. Am I gonna die or what? Waiiiiit I'm too young to die in a Whethespoon pub in the UK on a rainy day BEFORE flying. Let me at least go and die on a beach in Australiaaaaaaa.

The guy next to me must have seen I was not really reading since I had been staring at the front page for the past 10 minutes with a totally freaked out look.

'' Where are you flying to today M'am?'' in a heavy accent for the US.

'' France. Let me guess, you went to Paris'' I say , half expecting where the conversation was gonna go.

'' Oh yes, I absolutely hated it.People just don t care there, do they?''

I had met a new friend.

'' Nice to meet you I'm Annabelle . French. Not from Paris '' I say with a smile.

That's when I met John a retired gardner from Las Vegas.

So we talked about America, He was a state delegate for Obama's last campaign , which led us to talk about one of my favourite topic. Politics.

How we ended up talking about sexual intercourse in the white house and the stupidiy of Sarah Palin ( which was nothing compared to the new mormon conservative guy apparently ) , I have no idea.

Then obviously came the topic of travelling. I always loved talking about Europe with Americans. They think we're like them , a big country with different states. But it's more exotic over here. They speak a different language in each state. ( but Mac Donalds is everywhere. Now that's a relief) .
But John from Las Vegas was different.

'' See , over here, they put the sugar ON THE SIDE. So if you don't want it in your hot chocolate, you just don''t have any. And  you can get a full glass of coke in Europe, you don't pay for ice! ''

Yes, John Loves Europe. He was flying to Amsterdam today. Because it's so flat you can walk for hours ( I doubt this was the real reason. Let's give the man the benefit of the doubt. )
His life was about travelling here and there to discover things. He tells me he can afford anything since his mum remarried a millionnaire at the age of 80 years old and he recently passed away ( it did cross my mind that I was going to see his face on telly soon.

'' John from Las Vegas. Wanted for murder''

But some part of me knew that it was not the real reason why he was travelling without a goal or a time limit. I had seen that one before ( not only on telly)

Then there was a silence that meant '' So what was it. The real reason why you decided to go travelling. Where did the suffering come from''
 Suddenly , without me saying anything, he talked.

'' My wife walked in our room on the 23rd January '' he starts, now looking at me '' and tells me she wants a divorce after 35 years. 3 kids and 35 years Annabelle. She said she had missed out on her life. ''

I see in his eyes that Divorce has an impact on men that no women will ever understand. Something about failing to provide....

'' I left her everything and then i wondered : WTF am I going to do with the rest of my Life?''

There was a sparkle in his eyes now.

'' So I came to Europe. Damn , Annabelle,So I'm here. I experience stuff and I talk to people. It makes me happy. Now I know that concentration camps REALLY existed because I ve been there, and I saw. ( his friends had told him Auchwitz was a lie)
But hey , travelling is a bitch isn't it. Did I have ups and downs. I faced all the crap I could ever think of in my Life. But I'm here today. And I can feel inside of me that I made it. I don't know why I feel like I' ve overcome something I can't really explain...

'' Cheers John'' I say , weirdly understanding it all . Then we raised our coffees to '' ups and downs'' . There was nothing more we could say about it...
We know that there is no one we can celebrate with since we have no idea what the hell we achieved.
We don't really know why we travel , why we go sit in that particular pub and meet the only person that can actually understand how you feel at this particular second. We don't know what guides us to make the choices that will affect the rest of our lives. We 're not aware of our real fights and battles but when we overcome them , we finally know that the only person you owe it to, is yourself.

'' Gotta go , I ve got to get rid of my President. Nice meeting you John '' I say shaking his hand.
'' Oh and Annabelle?''
'' Yeah''
'' You really should go to Holland, they 've got good pot there too ''
'' I will do , John. For now ,to me,  '' Hollande'' is hopefully  the name of my future president. But maybe, I'll see you in Amsterdam one day who knows ? !''
'' C'est la vie'' he says , waving as I was leaving to catch my flight.

No, We don't know much about Life,  actually. But do we need to? Wouldn't it spoil the fun to know? Would the victory taste that good if we knew how to get there straight away? Overcoming our Fears is the real victory. And we don t need no fuss when it happens. Because we know, that somehow, everything is already taken care of.

The winner stands alone

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