>supple lies and a soiled coin
>i climbed Castle Hill which overlooks the french riviera, and offers a panoramic view of the mediterranean and the city. but i quickly bored of the children slurping gelatos, the geriatrics snapping uninspired photos, and the crowd around the man-made waterfall that cascaded like dull dishwasher spray.
i wandered around the fortress ruins (silly louis xiv and his wrecking ball) until i came to the cemeteries. first, the jewish cemetary with a small temple housing the ashes of those killed in the WWII death camps, then gravestones, tombs, monuments, statues, and plots almost thrown over one another in the crowded space. women who had died when they were 24. children who had never reached double digits, entire families sitting on one another. some epitaphs from over a century ago, faded with rain and weather, only still bore the hebrew engravings. my torso felt lumped and i left.
next to it sat the christian cemetary. priez pour lui, priez pour elle, priez pour eux the epitaphs screamed, but all i could do was poke my head into the most ornate tombs and monuments, wishing they weren´t sealed, and wondering about the type of lives these people from 1829 and before lived.
i hope they lived good lives. i hope their stories will someday be told. i hope they died without fear. i whispered some of this and my echo scared me. reposer en paix.
cemetaries are almost always situated on hills, the idea being they are closer to god. but i saw nothing to worship up there except the luscious hilltops and the perrywinkle sky.
at night, i tr¡ed wandering around vieux Nice, but instead wound up lost, scared, and too stubborn to retrace my steps. when i found my way back to the boardwalk, i ran like a brewing storm across the terrain. the lights of the riviera showed the way.
in the velvet black of midnight, you can´t tell where the water ends and the sky begins. i felt haunted by all the ancient mariners who have disappeared into those black waters since 3 BCE, and whose screams were swallowed up by mellow surf and scattered stones. ancient ports will do that to you.
as i packed for my train ride for barcelona, i saw a siammese cat sunning itself on, you guessed it, a hot tin roof. my mind wandered to werdna, and i suddenly realized that time isn´t standing still in toronto. i haven´t left it in a vaccuum.
my train ride today took almost 12 hours (including the stopover in Montpellier). i have train-reek all over me.
but all i can think about is how topsy turvy spain is. the trees are rich-violets. the sky is pistachio-green. the sun is mahogany-brown. the grass is sunshine-yellow. barcelona is alive in the thick of night as my no habla ingles cabdriver pulls me up to my hostel near las ramblas.
i don´t want to return to toronto, remembering all the times on the eurorail that i cried.