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Moriarty - Jimmy > A Place I would call home – short interlude #1

March 17, 2016

Buffalos used to say: Roam where you roam, be what you are, do what you do.



When I first heard this song recently as part of a random Spotify playlist, I thought to myself: “Well this is a nice song” and went on with my life. Later that day, I looked for it again and listened to it again.

It made me think about vast green fields, where buffalos would roam free, and a farm boy that would be coming home. It also speaks about who you are and about accepting it.

Then I played that song in a loop roaming about in Montmartre. Nothing to do with the large grassy sunny areas one can imagine in that song but these stones, these streets, the bustling around of the people, it made me feel a bit nostalgic. At every corner of these streets lies a childhood memory, a taste, a flavor, a laugh, a run, a game.

I am of two countries of origin and even when I lived a good part of my younger childhood in Montmartre, we moved within. Remember Montmartre twenty-thirty years ago had nothing to do with the pimped up bobo place it has become today, it was a popular, lively area full of children and pretty dirty as far as I can remember. Just as I reached that age when you start forming your first ideas, when you become unseasy in your body and enter teenage years, I moved to Japan. My other half, still a foreign country to some extent for me though still feeling like a half of me, one that unconsciously often influences my actions, my thoughts and my way of being in life as a kind of underlying mystery I have yet to explore. For this and my afterwards various movements here and there, I have never felt in a place I could call home. I have no postal address, no childhood bedroom, no family place older than a few years. I sleep in beds that feel like transitions to other places, I rent places that I half decorate already thinking about the practicality of moving and I certainly don’t even think about buying a place.

Today though, I roamed in Montmartre, up and down, through its narrow streets, through the tourist throng, and I felt. I felt a kind of steering of the heart, the kind that provokes a kind of nostalgia. I watched the Sacré-Coeur and popped up in my mind: nights out, sleeping quietly away from my place, meeting up some bad company friends and walking about in the empty dark streets, the white of the basilica standing out against the night sky. I remember the cars driven by mad youth, burning rubber in the street just attaining the white stones, in a crazy loud driving waking up the cranky neighbors further down the streets. Is that steering the feeling you have when you are home? I remember this Rue Caulaincourt because I went there so many countless times to climb up the sixth floors up to a small apartment, home to my best friend and her family and their cat I was allergic to but which I loved, I was his godmother after all. Is that twinge of emotion the mark of going home? Then just around the corner there is this place I kept falling down when I went down tout schuss the Avenue Junot and couldn’t negotiate that damn corner properly. Can streets, anonymous corners, stones, a looking-like-nothing “epicerie” in front of my middle school be a place I can call home because I used to buy there these “Dynamites” candies that would leave your tong tickling for 20 minutes or these “Tête de mort” that were hard core candies that you ate with the composure of Jean Reno eating wasabi? I don’t own a place I call home, I don’t go back to my mum to find a place which is home, it is a place I have been to and come back to from time to time, but roaming through the streets of Montmartre, listening to that song, I held up my head up high and thought this is home.

Buffalos used to say: Roam where you roam, be what you are, do what you do.

I am a Montmartroise I guess and will remain and come back to it, to feel all these childhood memories that anchor me there. It feels good to have roots somewhere even when these are just streets and stones.

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