“These attacks Alexandre, are they far from your home?
Yes, Grandma, don’t worry, I live a little bit more North.”
I won’t tell you that a few months ago, I grabbed a quick bite at the Petit Cambodge at night, with a couple of friends. The bobun is excellent there. We were going to party that night, a little further around Belleville.
I won’t tell you that at the Carillon, I lusted after a girl with green and gray eyes. That I sipped on mojitos at their terrasse, enjoying the last rays of sunshine at the end of the day. That I celebrated all types of things, from the end of an electoral campaign to a birthday, there. That I people-watched there, a smile playing at the corner of my lips.
I also won’t bring up this drink I shared at La Bonne Bière. That was on January 17, with very good friends, up against the very glass that men shot down.
The Bataclan? I won’t tell you that I ride by its multicolor façade at least once a week on my bicycle. I’ve spent several nights there: a meeting, a concert, a show.
I also won’t talk to you about Boulevard Voltaire, Rue de Montreuil, Rue de Charonne and Rue Faidherbe. They’re where my friends are, where I have my routine. My coffees at terrasses, my Sunday readings, my breaks when I go out, my glasses of wine.
The Stade de France, I won’t mention either. It is my only good excuse: I have never been there. As for the others, I just don’t want to worry you over nothing. These places, of course they are far away from home, more than a five-minute bike ride. I have been there, I go there, I could have been there, and I will go there again.
On Saturday, while going home at 4 a.m., I scanned my living room. It looked so mundane that I thought to myself that a bunch of similar living rooms – with the same Ikea furniture, the same wine in the corner, with the survivors’ Charlie Hebdo under the coffee table – will be hollow tonight. One hundred twenty-nine people did not go home. They will stay within me.
Stock photo. ©Quentin Chevrier