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Thursday, August 11, 2005

even the sky was crying

These summer days are coming to an end.

Last night we made our way to Vaour, planning to stay the night for the final evening of the festival. We filled a friend's car with pillows, blankets, and a healthy supply of hard alcohol for the evening. We drove into the town under an early evening golden sun, driving past vineyards, fields, forests and old farm houses.

Upon arrival we feasted, and a friend from our village shared a samples of food from the surrounding stands: a ham and cheese crepe, lentils, melon with mint leaves and an exotic salad. Our bellies full, we headed back to the car, where we reclined our seats, pumped up the radio and danced in our seats. We laughed and sang together in a way that only two old friends could.

And out of nowhere, the clouds started to move in. The summer sky was transformed into a mass of grey clouds, and when lightning started to flash in the distance, we knew the rain would come. It came, and it pounded against the car with fury as we watched half the festival climb into their cars and drive away.

What do you do when you've come to an outdoor festival, hoping to stay the night, and it starts to rain? We decided to make the most of it. To laugh every time we stepped into a puddle or slipped into a ditch. We could sulk all night, but we decided to make memories instead.

Crowds found their way inside of the large circus tent, soaked to the bone, gathering around small tables with tea, beer, wine, desserts, joints and cigarettes. We sat with two young German men, who kindly offered some mint tea, some fine pastries, and a good sense of humour.

And when the band in the middle sang high pitched notes in Spanish, while a man in checkered pants played the accordian, a man with dreadlocks played the guitar and a beautiful young girl with chocolate skin sang and played the triangle, we danced.

We threw our bodies around like all the others circling around the band, moving liberally in loose flowing clothing, bodies shaking any way they pleased. And when the young man who broke my heart came up and danced with me, and kissed me on the cheek, I was grateful not to have lost him completely.

It was only at the end of the night where I fell back into the role of the heartbroken. We fled from the tent with sweatshirts as umbrellas, my head on cloud nine, and passed him deep in conversation with another young woman. To my sad, drunken eys, something looked too intimate about they way they spoke to each other. And two feet away from passing him I screamed and slipped into the mud. It's hard to feel lower than that. I laughed, but as we shuffled off to the car my tears started to fall with the rain. You'd think I was trying to outdo the rain, the way they fell.

I fell asleep clutching a kleenex and crying into my wool blanket, and woke up to a heavy fog, feeling cleansed. What hurt so much the night before felt like nothing in broad daylight.

I made my way through the fog, through the sloppy mud, and down to the toilets. I was surprised to find a market setting up in the town, and the familiar face of the pizza man. I laughed with him about the fact that I was wearing a blanket, that my jeans were half brown with mud, and was warmed as usual by his conversation. I laughed again when I noticed his shirt which read: Fuck you, I have enough friends anyways. This is somehow twice as funny on a French man who sells pizzas to tourists. Tourists who are mostly English.

We drove back into Castelnau in the morning light and are now back at home. My friend with a sore head has climbed back into bed, but my body is too restless.

Another night of mixed emotions, highs and lows, sunshine and rain in the South of France. I don't know how I feel about these nights coming to an end.

aimee rocks out at Vaour
our beds for the night


Blogger Yvonne said...

Dearest Gill, You make me miss the south of France. And you. I love your sense of adventure and your love of dance.

6:29 AM  
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10:04 PM  

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