There I was, standing in the middle of the living room, sobbing. I had bid farewell to Jo and Sawako after a snowy Sunday in Montmartre and had walked home to Dennis’ flat. I had nothing to do. I tried to call a few friends for company but they were all busy.
I was looking forward to seeing Satoshi. We had not exchanged much since we said goodbye last summer. But there were a few meaningful messages and letters written between us and he seemed excited to meet again. But it wasn’t what I anticipated, although I did saw little hints even when I was staying in Niigata. But I chose to ignore them and see what I wanted to see.
I wrote this song, I aim about that infinite limbo which hesitation can create between two lovers. I felt the same intangible wall between Satoshi and me. He was obviously glad to see me, but he had walked some distance by himself since last summer and, contrary to me, absence put order in his mind. A champion at self-delusion, I convinced myself that I saw sparkles of love where there was merely affection or friendly love.
“If ever anything has to happen, you’ll have to let him come to you” Nicolas later told me.
A sensitive and attentive person, Satoshi wrote a letter to me to apologise for hurting me, saying that after I left Japan, he gave our relationship some long thoughts and came up with the conclusion that we would be better off as friends, considering my position as composer in Noism, in spite of the intimacy that we shared. He was sorry he had hurt me and the thought of it really upset him. But in truth Satoshi didn’t hurt me. I did it all myself. If I had to be honest with myself, I didn’t even feel hurt. I played at feeling hurt. That’s what humans do, isn’t it?
So standing there in the middle of the living room, I sobbed. I couldn’t help it. Tears flowed out like wine, as the song would go. I had reached full circle; this absolutely crazy, intense year was over. I didn’t know where I was heading to. I was in Paris, but as a visitor. Maybe it was a good idea to simply stop for a while, take a deep breath. And I sobbed.
I slowly realise what wonderful news my brother announced to us the other day. I’m going to be an uncle! Mathilde and he had desperately been trying to conceive a child without much success. To me it was clear that Junior, as my brother calls it, wasn’t ready to come out.
This year end is filled with twists, shifts and new promises. Many friends around me have taken dramatic decisions in their life. Vanessa has left her partner to settle a new life, for her daughter and herself, away from Paris. Tsuyoshi is now thinking of quitting the architecture company he had founded years ago with his two other partners when he realised that differences of aim and vision he didn’t notice at first were now loudly obvious. Nicolas is getting prepared to leave France and settle down in Taiwan wish his boyfriend. Yatchi will go to Cambodia with his partner… Many other friends have quit their job or left the French capital to start anew somewhere else, sometime in another country.
The devastating news was that my mother was officially diagnosed Alzheimer disease. Her short term memory had been declining the past couple of years. To me it was due to the fact that she hardly ever goes out and socialise with other people. Most of her time is spent at home, whether in front of her computer, working on her translations – this book of Vietnamese tales that goes on and on… Finishing it would leave her to face a void - starting a new project must feel like an impossible task for her now, or watching Korean drama series on TV. For a long time, I liked to think of my parents as dynamic and active for their age, especially compared to many elderly people twenty years their junior, but I had to admit that they couldn’t keep that way eternally. They are getting old, even if at 77 they still look very good and healthy. But the truth is, if the mind is unhappy, the body deteriorates, young or old. My mother didn’t have anything much to look forward to. Her two sons were adults. I was now leaving in Taiwan. My brother was having his married life would only visit them once in the blue moon. The coming of this new child may be her salvation.
The thought of it struck me suddenly: it was only when I left the picture that my brother and Mathilde managed to conceive a child. With me now gone, my brother could finally find his place in the family.