Modifié le : 2019/07/14

I have been learn­ing Por­tuguese for almost five months now. Inter­est in this lan­guage is not sud­den. It dates from the ear­ly 2000s, that time of all new Inter­net con­tacts, dur­ing which I met the invig­o­rat­ing Vini­cius who inspired me Les Années-rebours and which also gave Falaise its first inspir­ing impuls­es. And this inter­est has nat­u­ral­ly turned into deter­mi­na­tion since my trip to Lis­bon, where I was final­ly able to meet my lit­tle Brazil­ian liv­ing in Por­tu­gal, whom I had known six months ear­li­er, still thanks to the Inter­net, the great caul­dron of com­mu­ni­ca­tions and passions.

Since then, I have been com­mu­ni­cat­ing a lot with one-day cor­re­spon­dents thanks to anoth­er lit­tle won­der of appli­ca­tion, Hel­loTalk, which pro­motes lin­guis­tic exchanges. I write to you in Por­tuguese, you cor­rect me, you write to me in French, I cor­rect you and vice ver­sa. In doing so, learn­ing accel­er­ates as immer­sion, even at a dis­tance, quick­ly con­fronts learning.

Again, as in real life, by dint of meet­ing peo­ple, we end up find­ing a few rare pearls, beings with whom con­ver­sa­tions dig a lit­tle deep­er into the ground of life. Most of these cor­re­spon­dents are young. I have this crazy lit­tle med­ical stu­dent, bare­ly 20 years old, who, from his north­ern Brazil, asks me all kinds of ques­tions about beau­ti­ful Cana­da. I have this oth­er one, in the south to whom I give encour­age­ment and flat­tery, this oth­er one, also a mil­i­tary man hap­py to be with the most beau­ti­ful woman in the world, or this one who wants to become a diplo­mat. Final­ly, there is this one, pleas­ant­ly sweet, who sings like a trou­ba­dour, who has his whole life ahead of him. It will be point­ed out to me that there are not many girls in this batch and I would answer that it is not by try­ing so hard.

Any­way, I am in almost dai­ly con­tact with Brazil and, in bare­ly five months, I can under­stand writ­ten Por­tuguese, begins to stam­mer bits of con­ver­sa­tion (because you can exchange by record­ing inter­posed with Hel­loTalk). This con­tact is main­ly with these young peo­ple, who could be my sons. Some are gay, some are not. Many go to Mass because this coun­try is still very much root­ed in the divine roots.

My Brazil­ian love from Por­tu­gal is bare­ly old­er, 32 years old. I can already guess in peo­ple’s minds a lit­tle cor­ner thought. The old man’s buy­ing young kids ? In real­i­ty, the old man who does­n’t look that old isn’t here to flirt. The young peo­ple come to him and he is delight­ed even if, and this is the pur­pose of this text, it moves him a lit­tle, a lot. The old man cer­tain­ly feels a bit old, espe­cial­ly these days, because he works too hard and is tired. But the old man is not yet old. He lis­tens to the back­wash of liv­ing water that comes up against his exis­tence. It’s not real­ly intox­i­cat­ing, more of a bit­ter melody in which rhythms and chords inter­twine in total indifference.

Every­thing becomes grey when you mix gen­res, old and young. I would, of course, like to still be that age, just because it would give me a chance to see oth­er suns. I know full well that there is no point in cling­ing to the water of youth. It only exists to pass.

Youth can’t teach me any­thing since I’m my own teacher. Time teach­es us that. How­ev­er, I have every­thing to gain from being around youth as grand­par­ents stick to these new­borns being intro­duced to them. But I know that the agree­ments are irreconcilable.

For if Youth knew, they would invari­ably turn away from this knowl­edge. It is his nature not to know. If Old age could, I am not sure she would do it any oth­er way, because it will also know that there is only one foun­tain, that the water either goes back into its tank or that it lets itself be trans­port­ed, evap­o­rat­ed and trans­formed by its Zeus.

Igno­rance is anoth­er muse, per­haps the only one that counts, a sex organ, an almost dele­te­ri­ous fla­vor and that intox­i­cates us. Besides, I can still, I’m not that old yet. I am now nowhere. I’m not at a cross­roads or at the end of a path. These young peo­ple are there to remind me and I am there to tell them not to take care of me. They don’t give a shit about cer­tain­ty. Can I just tell them to be care­ful when they trav­el ? Life is a warm body, the mind a cold, dic­ta­to­r­i­al desire.

Youth is as beau­ti­ful as an ara. My eyes as greedy as those of a cen­tu­ry-old swal­low­ing his last breath of air.