The holidays are nearing and it seems that there is some hitchhiking in store for me. In memory of my past trips, I decided to work through my old travellers’ blogs, take the mistakes out, change the names where necessary and post them here piece by piece, on Wednesdays. I’m starting with the final trip I took so far, written just after I finished my studies. The series contains a storyline about love and friendship. It has six parts. This is part five.
August 19th, 2011
“Bonjour! Je suis Gilles l’auto-stoppeur! Auriez vous encore une place pour m’emmener a Toulouse?”
Looking at my outfit – long hair and colourfull pants – I reckon it would complete the picture if I call myself a hitchhiker. It could help people get a grip on me. I hand them a box to put me in. This way they don’t need to be intimidated by my appearance.
“Je vais a Beziers. Je peut t’emmener jusqu’a la bas”
The way we start off defines the spirit in the communication for the rest of our trip together. Joy.
Hitchhiking always reminds me of the seemingly hazardous ways of life. Ways of nature if you will. Every single event has a specific value which makes it wonderfully unique. Events melt together in an almost obvious natural flow through space and time. A balance between the own decisions and the movements of destiny. I’m like a butterfly pushing myself of against the untamable force of the wind. Reaching my chosen destinations only when she allows me to. Blown off to others when she doesn’t.
The themes of these days are deep friendship and starting and broken love. Most of my drivers have recently had important changes going about in their lives. My current driver receives a hands free call from a friend he’s known for many years. It’s an expression of joyful madness. My next driver will receive a message of a good friend he hasn’t spoken for a while at the instant I get in the car. Curious little reminders of the precious bits of life. They make up for the hours in which you just stand there.
We are driving through Lourdes when I receive a message from K. She’s one of my housemates of the past months, and I have fallen terribly in love with her. They have just descended the mountains and are headed down to sea. She’s sorry that we couldn’t meet up. But they’ll be where I am in half an hour. I wait for them in the fountain in the middle of a roundabout. My heart feels like a thunderstorm.
The Czech car gives a different kind of honk than all others. In it sit E., the other old housemate, her boyfriend, K.’s sister, and herself, the most beautiful girl in the whole wide world. Fitting me is a challenge, but it works. I’m in. They have adjusted their destination to a small stream in the hills close by. We bathe, make a campfire and eat our food. Lentils. We play, we sing and we go to sleep. A hug.
The weather in the mountains is not so good next day. What better excuse to join these lovely people to the coast in their overfull car? We go to Carcassonne. I was here years ago, but this time I carry a drum instead of luggage. Instead of alone I am with the best company I could have wished for. More aware of places too. But I can’t tell how K. feels about me. Am I too pushy? I definitely don’t want to be too pushy. Just focus on the drumming. I feel like a cat held by its tail, yet at the same time I am the one holding the tail in an attempt to comfort the cat saying “it’s ok”. That never worked with a cat, but now I do manage to be around K. without running away while peeing in my pants. Back in the car, I write with my booklet on the drum. I have just invented that and it works perfectly. Two of my passions unite. Nothing unusual, but I feel like everything I do is inspired by her and done to impress her. As if her presence pushes me to be who I am just a little bit more. Is it her attention that I feel? Sometimes, definitely. But usually I’m not sure. Is that when it’s not?
At night, when we are finally alone again, we kiss under the eyes of a million stars. Perhaps it takes deep personal freedom to be able to believe in true romantic love. Or perhaps it’s the meeting with a great person. Grateful for the day I go back to my tent. Yet something in her hesitation did not fit.