I am in Nice, France, the French Riviera. My Hotel is at the top of a big hill. To get here I took the night train from Venice and was cramped into a small compartment with 3 beds on each wall. Six beds to a cabin car and I was packed in with five Koreans and from the early indications none of who spoke English. But then a small, pretty Korean girl came in and lie down directly next to me on the bottom bed and she spoke fluent English after studying abroad in Australia for a year. For the next two hours we talked of our travels, our lives, where we were going. The next day we hung out together in Nice, went to the beach, had lunch, then I let her come back to my Hotel and take a shower and after we talked some more about family, her college, Korea, politics, her dreams, and then she left to catch the night train to Barcelona.
Thats the thing about traveling, you meet a lot of people but just as you start to get used to them their gone. So today I walk down the big hill to the pebble beach and throw down a blanket that he Korean girl gave me and lie in the sun and listen to the crash of the waves and try not to think of anything or anyone. When it gets too hot I painfully hobble into the water. Its difficult walking on the rocks, the worse though is getting in and out of the water. There were more than a few people I see who had to get down on all fours and crawl out. We all think we are so tough and invulnerable until we have to stand on a few hot rocks. Then we are crawling on our hands and knees back to our beach blanket or chair like little children.
After the beach I have lunch in one of those French cafés. I have a cold beer and one of those long sandwiches on hard bread. Its good. Then I slowly sip my beer and watch the people walk by on the street. Couples just heading to the beach. Everyone seems happy enough. Every now and then I am hit by a wave of sadness like a little breeze that comes in off the ocean, but more often than not I think of how perfect everything is. How I would be content to sit here forever, sip my beer, soak in the sun, watch the waves and the people. I stay for another hour at the café writing in my journal, but I am not writing in my journal now, no, now I am writing about me writing in my journal. How simple and yet complex. What if I only existed in my journal? The real me. The real me is the one that exists in my journal but the one that is writing about me writing in my journal is somehow less real.
I go back to my Hotel room without any air conditioning and the lime green shutters that overlook the busy French street below. I am so tired from the sun, the beer, the pain in my feet from all the walking I have been doing that I just collapse on the bed.
I seem to dream more in the hot sun filled afternoons. Of the afterlife and ferocious tigers being released from invisible cages and beautiful foreign women promising me dreams of endless love if I will just take their hand, but I can never somehow manage to reach, ravens cover the sky in perpetual doom dream. I always awake slowly, reluctantly. I am giving way to a new birth.