Driving last hundred kilometers passing through high and gent nautical pines of Landes, the biggest coastal forest in Europe, I am starting to feel myself home. The odd definition of “home” as a place where you grew up or a place you always miss when away or a place where you keep your stuff or, more likely for me, a place where my memories has been stored. My first fledged long European trip. I still remember me very excited, passing by those pines for the very first time. Even though it’s the ninth time already I am still more than excited. It was love from the first sight.
We settle in a very old fashioned white building with red wooden shutters and a roof in Basque style. Huge panoramic window shows an ocean wherever to look at. There are a lot of tiny french-styled bedrooms but after few minutes it’s obvious that we want to sleep in the living room with an ocean view and sounds. Children happily pick rooms and disappear. My husband brings a couple of old mattresses to the room, which I bet some years ago was called a “saloon” and where french people were drinking Rose walking in their fancy shoes. He makes a bed right under the aquarium cube-like window which can be entirely seen from some neighbor’s balconies. Le petite aquarium… I like that!
I am sitting at the edge of the window with a glass of Pinot Gris spreading duck pate on a piece of Camembert. People are circling by and watching me. Couples of different ages, teenagers, families with children and oldies. How many times have I been passing those windows watching others? Today I have a place on a stage. He tilts kissing me and we both falling from the window on the mattresses laughing. Time have been stretching to perpetuity, it almost stops for us becoming the smell of waves, iodine and hydrangeas, taste of Pinot Gris at another’s tongue, cigaret’s smoke and french buzz from people awaiting for a firework right below the window. We are dissolving in the time and each other.
I abruptly open my eyes from the first shot of the firework and the crowd noise. I head up and recline on a windowsill. Seems an hour and half had been passed already and hundreds people are standing in front watching to the sky. He enclasps me from behind and I feel butterflies in my stomach. My legs are shaking and I am about to fall. Sounds of the crowd is blacking out mine. All those people are so close to us and so far away, being excited with the firework, same way as we are with making love that those parallels never intersect. The fireworks are going on while we sweated rolling down back on the mattress.
– Lets wake the child? – he asks.
– As you wish. I would stay here for a while.
He brings sleepy son whose huge eyes start glowing watching his first perceived firework ever. The most pure and strong emotions are emotions of a child cognizing something we are used to for the first time. It’s a Bastille Day in France today.
– You know how everyone’s always saying seize the moment?
– I don’t know, I’m kinda thinking it’s the other way around. You know, like the moment seizes us.
France is going crazy around last game of Football Worlds Cup. French flags are everywhere even on a snow white Madonna. I am passing by surfer guys with tri-colored faces and it grasps me the way that I return in few minutes.
– Bonjour Monsieur! – I say and a guy looks at my eyes.
– Salut! – he answers smiling.
– Vous avez les colors? – I ask pointing to his colored face
– Absolument! – he answers and reaches out three pieces of colored sunscreen.
– Puis-je le faire moi-même? – he asks and I nod.
His friend speaks a lot of French but all I can recognize is some jokes about touching me. The guy gently drawing a line on my face with blue, white and on the last red his arm slides off to my chin. That makes him a bit confused and he starts to clean me with his hand. I feel him very nervous and it charges the moment.
– C’est bien. – he says, – Amusez-toi bien!
– Merci et toi.
A car parks near our house. There are a lot of football fans inside. They seem have everything from flags to costumes. I am standing by the window watching them.
– Do you want family make up? – I ask my husband. – Go to them now.
He goes downstairs in his pajama pants and asks funny girl to make him the flag. They push him to learn french football song. Cultural exchange. I love that!
There is a huge TV at a bar just behind our place. The bar is full. All walls, windows and cars around are also full. Don’t park your car inside French party.
We stand on a hill above the bar and a part of TV can be seen from here. I am not that interested in watching football but I am very keen observing the crowd. I sit on the wall near fans and the place is free because you can see just a little from here. But for my point it has the best crowd view ever. There are an old lady, probably her daughter and some family members, guys and girls of all colors mix here with one goal. Their faces are so excited showing widest emotional range about the action. When France do a goal crowd starts crying and its an emotional nuclear blast. Pure joy goes up to the sky and I catch to keep some for me dancing on the fence.
– Would you mind to sit down? – a guy on the right says.
– What’s the problem? – I ask.
– Hmm… I don’t know how to say. Probably I feel horny when you act like that. Understand?
I do and I sit down for a while.
– Are you alone here? – he asks.
– You are very sexy.
– I know.
– And where is your boyfriend?
– Right behind. – I laugh bending back and kissing him.
– Ops. So we don’t have a chance? Text me. Just one date.
And he accidentally touches my leg with rear side of his palm. I grin. “Well, good turn” I think but we play different leagues in this game.
Another goal and the crowd explodes. With a cry of the crowd I understand that the game is finished and they won. “I will survive” plays and everyone is dancing. Tricolored smoke blows up everywhere. I stand up to see more. Old lady from behind starts dancing and she is so vital at the moment that she loses her respectable age being youthful again.
– They win 3-1?
– Nope 4-2, – he laughs at me.
An hour later when kids asleep we go to the street again. There are a lot of pure energy flying everywhere and I feel I am about to share that party. I go inside a crowd and join them. That patchy people of different ages and races dancing under the rain with joyful ecstasy give a lot. They watch me, touch me and share their happiness. They are now, they share the moment and nothing else matters. My husband stands in couple of meters and I feel him confused. I have strong frustration, so rare to me, feeling like psychological disorder. Few minutes I don’t know what to do. I feel I am an energy blast and I need to go to the edge of that emotional point but I watch him and I can’t. That sucks. He points me a street lamp.
– Well, lets go there. – I say. I watch the lamp in a way how to climb it. People are watching me and few guys trying if the lamp is ok. They try to climb it too. The lamp is much wider than poles I usually climb and it’s raining. I feel I want to do that anyway and I start to climb with a help of a huge guy. Actually I don’t need any help and it’s even worse because seems everyone is drunk but I am not. Crowd turns to me staring and starts shouting. I climb all way up and hang upside down. They shout louder and louder but I have no idea what. I am watching them upside down getting huge blast – a mix of adrenaline and dopamine. I slide down on my hands and join dancing again. France won Football World’s cup today.