“It’s a dark, twisted road we are on, and we are to walk it alone.”
We had a beautiful love story you and me, Strasbourg. Almost 7 years of living together. 7 intense years!
You crushed me, Strasbourg, as much as you blew me away. I like every single corner, every single street , every single line of your magnificent Cathedral. But it’s time now.
I have been thinking about leaving you so many times, Strasbourg. You fulfilled me with more beauty, more madness and more tenderness that I would have ever expected. But you ended up engulfing everything. I have been thinking about leaving you so many times, dreaming of an Elsewhere. So many times I had wished to clean the slate and start over. It’s time now.
I used to love my job so much, on 22 Novembre Street, that I even slept there several times, trying to save it from bankruptcy. And this cobbled 22 Novembre street of yours simply breaks my heart now. There’s nobody on smoke break in front of the store anymore, smoking a cigarette or drinking a coffee. No more posters announcing wrestlers signatures or the incoming Walking Dead issue. No more customers hanging around with red bags. 5 years of my life lies within these walls. And two years later, it still hurts when I think about it.
And Love in your streets, Strasbourg, it was really something. Kisses at the moonlight of your Cathedral, chilling on the docks watching crazy ducks, bubbly summers at the Wacken pool. Heartbreaking but hopeful goodbyes at the railway station. Long night walks with my eyes closed, my steps vacillating, and my heart about to explode. I have cherished every lover of mine in your streets, Strasbourg, hand in hand, sometimes nose against beard. I remember a lot of your nights. Magic. They seem to float somehow into a different space-time now.
It’s time to close this chapter, Strasbourg. I am stuck within your walls, in my memories. I could let your passer-by’s stream carrying me out, and being engulfed at the Cathedral place like the wind. It surely would be an easy way out of this. But I’m done here. I’m done with all of this. Your shop windows don’t attract me anymore, neither does your restaurants. Everything is now tinged with regret, with this too bright picture of the past.
We had some really good times, however, these past few months, Strasbourg. From the opening of some new pubs to the lousy plan not so lousy after all, which had led us to this electro live concert in a flat. Many nights out, being busy to change the world over a cup of tea, over a football table, over some Pacman game, over a new art exhibition. I steadily attended your cinemas the past few months, Strasbourg, locked up in the dark, wanting to escape myself from the void of my life.
And you have almost managed to make me stay, Strasbourg. By the time I received my departure confirmation, you spread your spring charms in front of me, with this amazing eclipse, this ‘Rayon Vert’, these concerts, the discovery of Zazen, these apéritifs on the quays, these art exhibitions openings, these blue macarons, these couchsurfers and their sparkling eyes gazing at your Alsatian charms. There was even this boy who used to say that I’m pretty.
But I wandered into your streets, backwards, forward and sideways, Strasbourg, these past few nights.
Strasbourg, it’s about time now.
The Elsewhere is calling me.
But maybe I’ll be back. Who knows?