T'is is a short story with a poem about a life-time experience, giving me inspiration.
With the sense of Victor Hugo’s,
For France, I threw out my ages,
In a rat race, no less outrageous:
A rat is rat, even if wins, so it goes.
‘No more ratty rivalry! I go!’ said I,
Making sail on the streams of origins,
So I walked as an overseas in Algiers,
Fooling myself going ahead on a try.
I was with my own demons enclosed,
Not a single life-goal having exposed,
When a zephyr came being my muse,
Teaching me the use of pen to amuse.
I could swim across five seas and an ocean,
Just to write a letter,
Plunging my pen into the sea of inspiration.
I was, by the way, one of the million young blokes of the Old Continent in France. As a child of the millennium, I played on the playground whereat everybody played, went to the school whereto everybody went, and then, visited the weekly parties such as everybody did in my age. Similarly, I walked on the concrete jungle's paths through blocks, skyscrapers, and countless roads, breathing the smoke with the crowd as everybody. I took part in the general education of Europe, getting fair knowledge and as far as I was concerned, graduating as a web-designer. Otherwise each man around me was affected by the French mixture of workaholic socialism, pleasure-seeking democracy, and money-led materialism that truly trained a man to respect money and the person who had money. In such clime, if a man had faith in something, it was at the best working and hoping to carry on with the monthly salary. About religion, only old people or people with old mind held their faith in it, alike my grandmother. Thanks to her, I got a foretaste of the Islamic religion, but nothing too serious, regarding the impious society of mass media and reality shows. Personally, I felt sick of the brainwashing television and I escaped to the virtual world of Internet, leaving behind me the Democratic slogans of West, the terrifying news of East about the Arabic wars, and foremost the dulling shows.
I was just as everybody in my society, differing from them only in one case. I was born in Algeria. I was born in Algeria. I was born in Algeria. This sentence was being said over and over again through years, hearing my name at school, in the office, or outside. Just a name was enough for everybody to discriminate me. From that matter, I was never hardly mistreated anyway, might grace to the French diversity. I daily passed by Africans, Asians as well as Algerians on the streets of Marseille. In fact, I never felt myself neither Algerian, nor French, although I didn't even know much about my hometown to judge, so about my parents whom I didn't remember. I knew only that my French mother got married with an Algerian man, and then they died right after my birth. Everything other was seen through a mist with its end a car accident where I lost them. That was my grandmother who took care of me then. She was the most carrying old woman on the world, having only one weak point, the questions about my father. All questions about their relationship were bad or made bad feelings in her. So I felt better to keep questions off. I was familiar with keeping questions off; indeed, it was a thing of daily routine to ignore everything that I wasn't really interested in. And usually I didn't give a single damn about anything.
My daily routine was describing me. It was five years that I entered the so-called Big Life and started working at a demanding company. I was working from the morning to the night, taking my work home and having no break. My only pleasure was some short nights spent with my old friends a week or a month, but in the last two years these meetings ceased. Honestly, it was my fault that they didn't invite me anymore. I declined many of their parties and attended many of them being so tired and so depressed that my presence became awkward. Therefore, in the last years, the only human contact I did regularly communicate with was my grandmother.
My grandmother was the most carrying old woman on the world. She herself grew me up, worked so much for me and tried to replace my lost parents. When I was in work, she was always waiting for me with her hot chicken soup that we ate together with a short discussion about the daily news. That was the way my days were going, but then all in a sudden she got sick. She spent two bad months at home. During that time I was beside her. Indeed, I was with her all day and all night when she was sent to hospital. Although I lost my job in the first two weeks of her sickness, I could never regret the time that I spent with her. Even during the days in the hospital, she was careful and talkative, thinking of me and telling me that I should go back to work. Overall, I was very grateful that she didn't suffer in her last six months and passed away in piece. However, it was the bitterest thing that happened in my life.
After the death of my grandmother, I was lost in myself, more than ever. I had never had any life-goal that I could follow or could be interested in, but this time it was even worse. I felt myself the most miserable wretch on the earth with my life in waste. For a while, I wasn't able to do anything; neither getting a job, nor taking a walk. Finally, when I decided to get some fresh air, I just kept walking and walking without a break or any goal to reach. I was marching monotonously, looking through the busy crowd of hurrying people on the dirty streets covered by the shades of the senseless skyscrapers. It was almost sundown, when in a sudden I saw my goal that was a high rock on the beach, spreading into the sea. I climbed to the top, sat down and started thinking what to do with my life. Honestly, I was thinking about to stop everything and jump down, leaving behind me the monotonous, pointless days of my life. In that very moment I recalled my grandmother's last words. These were the last guilty words of my dear grandmother.
Now, I was sitting on the rock under the dark starry sky; nonetheless, her last say jingled in my ears with the presence of a reveille of a blinding daybreak. These words gave me a new force, for the first time in my life, and a heartening goal to reach. My grandmother last speech was a confession. She wanted to lighten her heart telling me about my father whom she always hated for taking away her daughter. After the touching story of my parents, she informed me about a more shocking news. She had been keeping the truth from me during long years that my paternal grandfather was looking after me. Many letters were sent by him, but she threw them all. Indeed, once he came to France for my visit, but she sent him away with a lie. These new information in my life arrived to me as a call for an adventure that I was happy to begin.
Briefly, I made a short investigation and in a couple of days I was writing a letter to my fatherly grandfather with the hope inside me that he was still alive. To my biggest pleasure, he answered me in two weeks, asking me to come to Algeria. I immediately packed two baggages prepared all of my money and wrote to my grandfather that he could wait me in a week.
Leaving France filled me with two different feelings. Firstly, I felt myself like an innocent prisoner who after decades of unjust jail woke up from a nightmare. I was waiting for the miracles of the freedom and the new world. On the other hand, I was afraid of that new world whose culture, language and every single part was alien to me. However, there was such a grotesque image before me about France where I used to live and suffer that I was sure that I was leaving the worst place of the world, and where I was going to – Algiers – must be better.
Without any retouch, for the first sight, Algiers deserved his beautiful title: 'Alger le Blan'. Approaching the capital from the sea, I couldn't see anything, but the brightening white buildings and the glimmering bank. When I arrived, I found myself in a strange situation, feeling that I hadn't left Marseille yet. I passed by the same kinds of people, and the similar kinds of places everywhere. In the momentary astonishment of the sameness, I thought it proper not to look around, avoiding the possible disillusion of the travel with the hatred against Marseille in my heart. Therefore, I directly looked up for my grandfather. The seeking was easier than I expected, thanks to a taxi driver who was familiar with French.
When I arrived, my grandfather greeted me with a tight hug and series of hot kisses with such delight that I felt awkward a bit. While he escorted me into the living room, his wife stole my luggage and hid them in my prepared room. Just as we sat down in the sofa she served coffee and sweet morsels for us. In that moment, we started a discussion that longed several days about my parents, their marriage, my life and my future that might continue in Algeria in my grandfather's opinion. I was very touched from the care of the old pair. Indeed, I enjoyed talking with them in spite of that I never was a talkative person.
I spent two weeks at home. My grandpa forced me to consider their house just as my own. It was funny a bit for me, since I didn't know at all how to feel myself at home, having no such an impression. I started to feel myself frustrated again. On the morning, I hit the road again, taking a walk to set in order my tangled thoughts.
While walking, I observed nothing in the city from the confusing mixture of emotions inside me. Somehow I was disappointed, angry and scared, meeting my old depressive feelings again. In my big distress, I asked God: why my life was so miserable. I was about to face the beach again. I felt the time perfect for ending this terrible life. I passed by the strange crowd of people, noticing no difference between the people of the street of France or Algeria.
When I reached the sea, I heard the same angry rumble of waves again. I was standing before a big rock with my numb foot in the sand. The moment ridiculously became funny, standing there in a suit which bottom was wholly wet from the sandy water. I started to smile stupidly, looking up the high-pitched rock lying in the sea that was obvious I couldn't climb. In very moment, all my nervousness, all my sadness and pain was surprisingly gone. I felt a smooth zephyr on my face and this time I heard the aria of the murmuring waves. I was empty, standing there alone; nonetheless, I felt the presence of a majestic entity under the infinite blue sky. What should I do? Where should I go? What might the tomorrow have for me? I knew none of these questions, but I felt a new rising desire in the state of relief as well as I felt something inside me that wanted to break out.
That was the day when I took a pen in my hand for the first time, and the point when I became a writer.