Thursday, April 21, 2005

On the Train On The Way To The Country House

My friend's parents, Les Panaliers, hosted me to a weekend in their country house. This something I saw on the train from Paris to St. Amand, Montront.

A woman and a little girl get on with another woman, both looking about the same age. I see the first woman help the girl put her stuff up in the overhead rack carefully and I know it’s her mother. And I see her mother kiss her daughter – or the girl I think is her daughters – she’s about 8 years old – and the way the kiss is slightly extravagant – I know this little girl is about to leave her mother and go on a trip with the other woman, probably an aunt. The two women know the moment has a certain tristesse.

The mother helps her daughter off with her winter coat – it’s spring and warm in the train – but the girl says, “Wait!” And you think it’s about the mother leaving, but no, it’s about the pocket of her coat. There’s something private and important and girlish in the pocket of her coat. Her mother lets her retrieve it – it’s a roll of candy and another small rectangular box of chocolates. “There,” the little girl says.

The two women look at one other, the little girl is fine without her mother, it’s obvious. The other woman gives a slightly sympathetic smile to her sister (it’s probably her sister). The mother leaves. The daughter is counting her candy.