Fishing in Beirut

May 1, 2010

Part 8: Te Quiero (scene 6)

Filed under: Character : Aria, Part 8 : Te Quiero — fishinginbeirut @ 09:42

Laura picked up her discman and put it in her coat. She was in the park, with a break between lectures. This place was called l’Observatoire, just behind the Jardin du Luxembourg and south of the Sorbonne. It was a narrow strip of greenery with kissing couples and joggers.
The sun was shining, the warmest day in quite a while. It was early March. Laura had been listening to Aimee Mann, thinking of the days when herself and Aria sunbathed at home. Three years is both a long time and an instant.
Four children walked by in a line, with their minder a little behind them. They held each other’s coats with tiny hands. The first one stopped, bending to examine some gravel, and halting the entire train. The other three waited placidly and then moved on.
Inside her mind Laura sat thinking. She remembered a quote from an old Japanese man on TV. Watch a football match like you’re watching a tree in the garden. Just look, and be contented by the looking. It had been on a programme to do with stresses of the modern age.
She took in the scenery around her, the trees, grass, walkways and people. For a second she had the strongest sense they were the same. No difference existed between a woman and a flower. Every single eyelash and every blade of grass were at one. Then it was gone, and she was smiling.
She stood up and prepared to return to college. She gathered her jacket and bag and the packaging from her lunch. It wasn’t a difficult afternoon, the emphasis firmly on exams now, and she knew despite her tiredness it would easily pass. The traffic on St. Michel grew louder as she approached.
She crossed the road and entered through the gates. The smells and bustle of the corridor made her feel quite young. Finding the correct room, she sat down near the back and rooted for a note pad. All of her colleagues, or most of them, shuffled about.

Later she studied in the library. It was easier to get work done here what with Aria and Marie. Two guys nearby giggled over a lad’s magazine, pictures of cars and tits holding them rapt. Laura tried to concentrate on her assignment, but it was hard, and she had to ask them to stop. They stared at her like she was a shrew, but that was their problem.
The book-lined shelves granted more peace occasionally than the study area. She wandered among them, only half-heartedly searching for books. The wood smelled of lonely academia, a frustrating accrual of knowledge with no experience at all. Reading about blood is not the same as the sharpness of the knife swish.
She leaned her head against a philosophy tome. Michel Foucault’s Folie et Deraison.
She laughed silently for a second, because sometimes that described her mind. All those philosophers, with their theories on the ways we breathe.
That night she lay in bed and dreamed of a boy who might understand her. He’d have zero interest in hairgel or strategies of cool. She turned over unconsciously, folding into herself due to a sound. A magnified shard of reality infringed on her sleep.


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