It's the end of the year, shyness comes apart. It's always like that. Always when you leave that you want to say all those things. Always when you see others leave that you'd like to hold them back. It's the end of junior high, the end of an adventure, and it's the end of the year, of the last junior high year, the end of the 'brevet', then inevitably it is the end. The real end. The platform of the station. Farewell.
About junior high, what would I keep in mind? The fresco we painted in February in the dark corridor which leads to the infirmary? While my schoolmates were in Germany. Idiot abstract painting and pastel in the dark of this sordid corridor that the sports cloakrooms stank up at each door slam. Ringing, every hour, sometimes awaited, rescuer, sometimes sharp like the clock? My Profs? Would I remember my Profs? Mr Pêcheur/Fisherman, French professor? Mr Pêcheur/Fisherman, this thin tallish gangly man, in his never funny suits, with his fish head and his glasses. He necessary really loved his purveyor job, for passing us his knowledge and his love for words. Us who were only able to see his effeminacies and his refinements, us who spit in his face, literally as well as figuratively, us which I was not part of, but that I did not fight, then us.
What will remain? Clothilde's face the so beautiful? This face that a thousand times I held between my hands in the toilets agitating it as one shakes a soda until pulp squirts and leaves me with my teenager dreamer's loneliness? This face which haunted me so much that I needed to exorcise it in shameful semen in a piece of toilet tissue. Is it love that rags our guts? This face I know by heart for lengthily observing it on the sly, always hidden, always from afar.
When the ringing resounded for the last time, for the last course, the other day, chairs swayed in the bustle and into the woohoos of joy-hysterical pupils and of almost holidays. I did just order my bag calmly and on the way Mr Pêcheur/Fisherman told me “Brad-Pitt, what will you do next year?” I said that it would be the college, a completely traditional class of 'seconde'. He said to me “you can write, it is an invaluable gift, you are one of the best pupils I've ever had. Wish you success.” I said thank you. Undoubtedly because without knowing it, or perhaps he knew it very well, he had just been extracting me from the 'us'.
Today, when I left school, I knew it was for the last time. I passed the iron gate. And there's this girl who caught my arm. Clothilde's friend. The one who once told me that Clothilde wanted to date me. She said to me “hey, I just wanted to tell you that Clothilde won't be here no more next year because her parents are moving to the south of France. She told me to tell you.”
I said “really?”
She released my arm. I walked a hundred meters on the pavement and then a bus cruised beside me on the road. I raised my head and there happened this scene which looked like a romantic stereotype of a bad B movie: Clothilde, in the back glazing of the bus, who looks at me and in her eyes and her stiff lips I can read everything. I can read “too bad”, I can read “it is not fair”, I can read “I love you”… my arms weigh tons and trail on the soft pavement, and I realize that I could write, and that I have just learned how to read… and I should have learned it earlier because now it's too tart/late (pour les balezes : jeu de mot à traduire).