Home Categories Novel Corner Hunger Interlude

Chapter 12 ★Farewell

Hunger Interlude 勒.克萊喬 8245Words 2023-02-05
France, farewell to the past.Farewell to Paris. Before leaving for Toronto, Adele walked in a city she knew better than anyone else in the world, which was the city she loved and hated the most in the world.On the banks of the Seine, she breathed the hot air and watched the water sparkle among the leaves of the chestnut trees.There is a lightness in the sky, and domes and tall buildings seem to be floating on the roofs of folk houses.She met all kinds of people, groups of laughing, mocking, vulgar girls, boys staring at her even though she hid herself in that old maroon overcoat.At crossroads, by the doors of buildings, and in the open-air seats of taverns, decent-looking men are smoking and chatting, commenting on the latest news or the stock market, as if that is their future.She felt that she was in some foreign capital.

On the contrary, nothing has changed in the area around the Rue Cotentin.The banks rented out apartments and studios.There seemed to be quite a few people who got rich by buying cheap the property left by the absconded collaborators.What about Chemin?What about Talon?Adie was very sure that they must have a way to escape unscathed.They might even give the impression that they did their best to manage the confiscated Jewish property well.Miss Deku's studio is now an insurance broker.Adie was thinking about those little animals.How can they survive?They should have been thrown into the pot like most cats in Paris.As she walked along the fence of her block to the high school on Rue Maghorn, ghostly figures seemed to be mingling among the passers-by, brushing past her and watching her from behind the curtains.Ahmoshik Street, 32nd and 34th, the building at the expense of the future of the Bouhan family was finally completed.This is a tall stone and brick building, the left side is adjacent to the next door, a gloomy stone on the sixth floor, cement-like, square windows, like a large ugly and light-blocking wall, looks very cramped, as if with the misfortune Time passed and building work ate up the land.On the right is the detached cottage of Zifang's nemesis, Kongna, which is no longer inhabited. It must not be long before it will be bulldozed and built.Eddie didn't stop.She didn't want to read the resident's name written on the mailbox.She felt a bitter sense of triumph. After all, she was the one who prevented the designer from adding any beautification work to the entire building. She refused everything. Do not have convex embossed decorations.Only the ridiculous name remained on the door beam, vaguely implying the lifeless and secluded life at the moment.

As an exception, on a rainy day before leaving, Adie asked Luo Hong to accompany her to the Montparnasse cemetery to find her uncle's grave. The administrator of the cemetery looked through the registration book of the permanent use rights of the cemetery and told them where it was: it was right next to the statue of the Archangel Gabriel, and they must be able to see it when they walked over.Indeed, they found a slab of gray marble, without any decoration, but with engraved names, some still legible, some already indistinct.Samuel.Soliman's name is followed by two dates: October 8, 1851 | December 10, 1934.Just a name, and a cacophony of voices about his legend.

All she had left was a photograph of Mr. Soliman, an old man in an old-fashioned overcoat and a fedora, with a mustache and whiskers.Beside him was a well-behaved little girl with curly hair, wearing a straight dress with a navy collar, and holding a wooden ring in her hand that was bigger than her Atelier.Indeed, in a way he resembled the Archangel Gabriel, tall and strong, with whiskers like wings and a cane in his right hand like a sword. For a while they stood in front of the flagstones, listening to the rain beating on their umbrellas.There was a puff of steam in the cemetery, a smell of earth and grass.From somewhere in the laurel bushes came the cry of a blackbird.This is a place where you can come back often, Luo Hong thought, just like visiting an elderly relative.Bring a toothbrush and a small steamed knife for plastering cement, scrub and repair.Use a soft black pencil to trace the unclear letters.He felt a twinge in his heart.He had no family vault to house him, no permanent use of the cemetery, not even a stone slab with his aunt's name simply written on it.There is nothing in this land to cling to.

Luo Hong and Ai Die'er got married soon, without much thought.The wedding took place in the small La Salle Church of St. John the Baptist, under the mosaic of Jesus and the disciples, Alexander.Bouillon used to like to say something sarcastic under this mosaic and tell the children to come to me, this is the elevator of the dead! 【Note】 【Annotation】Refer to the Bible.In the tenth chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus said: Let the little ones come to me, and do not forbid them; for such are the ones who are in the kingdom of God. Luo Hong.Field has no objection to church weddings.After all, Jesus was Jewish too!As the witness of the marriage, Luo Hong's elder sister Eddie invited her solemn old priest from the Eucharist era.

Eddie hoped that the witness would be Xenia, but several years of war had uprooted and erased everything.Shania and Daniel.Doni is gone, and they left without leaving an address, to the other side of the world, perhaps to Switzerland. Justine couldn't, or didn't want to come.Her excuses were Alexander, whose health had seriously deteriorated recently, had no money, and was too tired.However, it should be because of reasons such as shame.She did not want to see the city from which she had been exiled, and she felt resentment, loathing.Why bother?You don't want to live in Paris.Eddie pretends to believe her story.Then come to Canada to see us.Justine agreed.But if you want to take a boat or a train, this is a permanent separation.

In August, Paris, suffocating in the heat wave, reveled in the regained freedom.Banners, long banners and slogans.The road was still desolate, with armored vehicles from Britain, the United States, and Canada followed by scattered cars from the French National Army [Note].Patriotic citizens rode buses through the squares, waving flags.In the crowd, Ai Die was stared at by a group of men, they swept by like a gust of wind, Ai Die reached out to find Luo Hong's hand, but they knocked Ai Die into a turn, as if following the The orchestra in the trees danced.One of the men hugged her roughly and, awkwardly, ran his hands over her body, stroking her breasts.She screamed and struggled, and the men ran away, disappearing into the night.Ai Die'er hugged Luo Hong tightly, her legs were trembling and her heart was beating wildly.When Luo Hong told her that those people were Canadian soldiers, strangely, she felt a kind of pleasure, and she laughed.So there were these people, her new compatriots!She almost wanted to see them again, to recognize their names.

【Annotation】French National Army (F.F.I.): Since 1944, the various underground resistance forces in France have been organized into the French National Army. In the first few days of their marriage, they went from hotel to hotel, from one block to another, as they pleased.Bloomme Street, Bloomme Hotel; Fagu Yehe Street, Fanhua Hotel; Ojiha Street, Promion Hotel; Doth Street, Traveling Hotel.Near those stations, Edinburgh Street, Hotel Edinburgh; Rue Champ-Bouton, Traveller's Hotel; Rue des Stations, Hotel de Bretagne.Then to the Latin Quarter, Bussy Street, the Louisiana Hotel; Monsieur Prince Street, the Balcony Hotel; Serpent Street, the Pupil Hotel.Then go north, to the Quintet district, to Montmartre, to Choumont Hill.The room was small and the heater was overheating, but in the bathroom you had to shower with cold water because the water heater had no coals to burn.They had no luggage, and Luo Hong brought his small suitcase, which contained his razor, a few small jewelry of Ai Dier, and underwear.Sometimes the porter's eyes will light up, or the hotel proprietress will put on a knowing look and say that they are a young couple.Adie was a little worried: you know what, they thought we weren't married!But he didn't care, he even made a mistake on purpose. When filling out the dormitory registration book, he first wrote Miss, then crossed it out, and then changed it to Mrs.

They had previously planned other trips to explore Brittany, to Ireland.Now, they're just catching a bus around Paris.They picnicked on the banks of the Seine and then advanced to the River Man.One afternoon, Adie wanted to take Luo Hong to the Swan Boulevard, the place where she and Xenia met in the past.She even saw the old pervert again, standing there like a corroded plaster cast, peering greedily at the lovers in the undergrowth. Aidie took Luo Hong's hand and led him to the elephant tree, where the Eiffel Tower could be seen clearly.They stood there because the benches had been stolen and the bank was too muddy to sit on.The barges on the river passed slowly, their bows pushing a wave in the dirty river.Adie wants Luo Hong to see all the things she likes, the algae flowing in the water like hair, the sparkling eddies, and the foam attached to the water roots of plants.But Luo Hong didn't say anything.He lit a cigarette and flicked it into the river.He didn't want to linger there, and for a moment Atel thought he was jealous because she had come to this place before, with Shania at her side.

Later, in the room of the Entrepreneur Hotel on Entrepreneur Street, Luo Hong explained: For me, it is a terrible place.The Winter Velodrome [Note 1] is just opposite, where my aunt Leonora and other Parisian Jews were taken by the police and sent to the concentration camp in Delancey [Note 2].I can't look there, get close to it, you understand? [Annotation 1] Winter Cycling Circuit: In July 1942, the Nazis launched mass arrests of Jews in various European countries. Paris arrested more than 10,000 Jews in just the 16th and 17th days. Before they were sent to concentration camps, Imprisoned here, history is known as Operation Winter Velodrome Arrest.

[Annotation 2] Drancy: Located in the northeast suburb of Paris, a Jewish concentration camp was set up in 1941. Ninety percent of the Jews sent to the Nazi extermination camps in France were transferred from the Drancy concentration camp. He was sent to the famous Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. Adie didn't understand.Why doesn't she know anything?She knew why Luo Hong wanted to leave and never come back.Not for the sake of risk, and not because he already has a job in Canada.So did she, and she never came back. Only once did he take Eddie to his aunt's apartment, Rue Villesexel.He never introduced Adele to his aunt because of shyness or lack of opportunity.They took the stairs to the third floor, and the elevator had been out of order since the early days of the war.This is a beautiful brick building. There are several finely crafted doors at the entrance of the downstairs hall, as well as large painted glass windows. The dark wooden stairs are covered with old red carpets that are so worn that even the threads inside are worn out. Wear it out.The place was so quiet that it was a bit worrying.On the third floor, Luo Hong stopped in front of a door.Above the doorbell, Adie read a name on a bronze plate: Ayuma.De.Viscount Besijac.Adie thought to herself, this really looks like those Mauritian surnames.Luo Hong paused in front of the door for a while, thoughtful.Won't you ring the bell?Adie asked.His face fell.It's useless, they don't know anything.Edith came to ask.They just moved in.Everyone knows nothing, as if my aunt never lived here.He backed away slowly, keeping his eyes fixed on the door. It was an ugly door with mottled and peeling varnish, and there were some impact marks on the lower part of the door. Could it be that the police impatiently kicked it out with their hard leather boots?At that time, the old woman was putting on a bathrobe inside.They didn't talk about it again for the rest of the day, and not after that.They no longer approached the Swan Boulevard or the area around the Gehenelle Bridge.The city, like an overcrowded room, resounds with the noise of celebration and the intoxication of freedom.The roar of engines, the horns of cars, the music of cafes, the little dance halls, in the Bastille, in the Place de Moubé, in Porte Saint-Ontaur.However, Luo Hong couldn't stop, he couldn't help thinking about this open wound, this quiet place in the center of Paris, the terrible bicycle racing track, the stepped seats, the closed entrance and exit behind these men, these women, and these children.They were arrested at dawn in their own home, without suspicion or awareness of what awaited them.Those kind policemen told them, don’t worry, it’s just an inspection, you also know that the new law is for your own good, for your safety, the government will protect you, you have nothing to be afraid of, you don’t have to bring anything , you can go home tonight. Luo Hong mentioned Delancey Prison, which is the first time Eddie heard the name. Several large buildings located in the north of Paris, built before the war, were used as, oh, what an irony, as the barracks of the gendarmerie, up to Raddy locked up the Communists in these buildings.What does Aunt Leonora have to do with the Communist Party?He didn't say anything after that, and maybe he didn't know anything else about it.In the police station, in the police station, everyone was silent.They were careful to mention an ongoing investigation, and they politely suggested that a complaint could be lodged.Where is the person responsible?Did they escape, or were they killed and hanged from lampposts when the Allies liberated Paris?There should be some trials, some judgments.But in the heart of Paris, across from the promenade des Swans, how could he bear the silence? Luo Hong has changed, he is no longer the boy Ai Die'er used to know who blushed when nothing happened, girls like to laugh at him.Something about him had grown hard.During his wedding night touring the neighborhoods, he rarely spoke.He took the bus with Adele, and he walked briskly down the street.When he found the hotel, he dragged Adie into the room.He couldn't wait to make love until they were sweating and out of breath, sinking into some sort of numbness that bordered on pain. Eddie never thought they would be like this.Rough and wild, full of desire and impulsiveness.She let the tide go, like that time in the crowd when the Canadian soldiers dragged her into their circle.Now, she is the one who asks, and she is the one who demands.She hugged Luo Hong, their legs intertwined, their stomachs pressed against each other, and they became one, sharing the same skin.They breathe with the same rhythm, they vibrate with the same energy in their muscles and tendons.Just after the end, Ai Die'er looked at Luo Hong, her eyes were burning, and she said without a smile: Come again?It seemed that every time he took a firm foothold, he was swept away by the tide again. They stopped talking.Once, he brought up some scattered memories of his participation in the war.An operation in northern France, along a river he didn't even know the name of.Prisoners are everywhere, with ragged clothes and frightened expressions. They have been hungry for an unknown amount of time, and their clear eyes shine on their dirty faces. They are no different from beggars or murderers. Perhaps there was no war, Atelier mused.Like for her family, they just wandered the road and hid in the mountains.Just some crimes, some crimes and some criminals, gangs of thugs looting and killing and raping in the countryside.She didn't tell Luo Hong about the hunger, which gnawed at her belly every day, the old people scrambled for leftovers between the stalls in the market, on the Côte d'Azur, in the valleys on the outskirts of the city, life moved slowly, swarms of flies gnawed Biting Justine's leg.All this is not easy to say.This is what happened in another world. The news of Senia came in a totally unexpected way.Luo Hong read a certain issue of "Pictorial Weekly", which reported a news about a celebrity, a fashion show in Paris, which was held at the post restaurant in Bron Forest.The photos are not very clear, and what I saw were several young and beautiful bourgeois girls, but in the text of the comment, Countess Chavelov was mentioned.Adie called the station restaurant, then called the brokerage company, and finally got in touch with Shania.On the phone, her voice was still the same, a little low and hoarse.There was a hint of hesitation on the phone.They finally made an appointment to meet, not at the Swan Boulevard, but at the open-air seat of the Louvre Cafe.This also marks a change for Shania. Adie arrived early, so she didn't sit down right away.She wasn't even sure if she wanted to stay.Senia came by herself.She looks taller and thinner.Instead of an exaggerated dress, she wore a formal gray suit with her hair tied up in a bun.Eddie could barely recognize her.They kissed each other on the cheek, and Adele noticed that she no longer had the smell of poverty that made her heart beat and excited before.They chatted, as if they wanted to avoid the past.Senia's eyes were still the same as before, but with a kind of colder gaze. how are you doing She had just mentioned her marriage, the haute couture business she wanted to start, the apartment Daniel had bought in a nice neighborhood, near the Eiffel Tower.She only opened one inattentive ear to hear Atiele speak.She made some nervous movements that Adie didn't recognize, she scratched her right temple, she pressed the knuckles of her fingers to make a clicking sound. The outdoor seats can get the sun, and the weather is already very hot.Gradually, they regained their former vigor.Senia still had a knack for pulling things together, laughing at the scantily clad girls who sat at the table with GIs.Just like the ones who hung out with the Germans last winter!They mentioned the high school days on Rue Maghorn, the proctors, the French teacher who talked to the girls, the Miss Johnson whose dress skirts flew up when the wind blew, the girls who married because they were pregnant, the girls in the Navy. Girls who get jobs at the Ministry or Post Office.Adieer talked about Luo Hong, about their new life in Canada, and she felt that Shania didn't seem happy.She couldn't imagine that Senia would be jealous of her, that Senia would be like those people who didn't want others to be happy.I'm so happy for you because, honestly, what was she talking about?Senia went on talking, and it was rare that she didn't sneer.You know, in high school, when I talked to people about you, people thought you were going to be miserable, that you were going to be like that Caveris, or that woman who made statues for cats , the one you told me about, what's her name?Eddie looked at Senia, surprised she didn't blush.In fact, she would rather have everything end in mediocrity.The grace of youth and youth has disappeared without a trace, and what is left of Xenia is a woman who is no different from others. Of course, she is still beautiful, but she is a little vulgar, a little evil-hearted, perhaps it should be said that she is not satisfied .That's fine, you can't worship an idol for the rest of your life. At this time, Daniel.More nickel is coming.He wasn't what Atelier had imagined in the past.He was tall, brown-haired, elegant, and serious.He sat across from Senia and ordered an espresso.He didn't talk much, smoked cigarettes one by one, and wiped his glasses leisurely.At some point, Eddie mentioned Shania's work, the possibility of creating her own brand, and expanding the project to the United States. Daniel interrupted her: Me, all I want is to live a normal life .Eddie felt sorry for her friend, but Shania didn't seem to be bothered by the boy's talk of a normal life.She hooked Daniel with her fingertips, that was her property, and she could accept anything.Atelier understands that their friendship no longer exists.After a moment, she was more sure, because the brief eye contact between Senia and Daniel seemed to say: Well, should we go? Adie got up hastily, she insisted on paying the bill.She shook hands with Daniel, made a small gesture to Senia, and muttered: Da Svideniya? 【Note】As a memory of the past.Perhaps she felt a little confused because she, too, had become selfish.She ran away, as if it was too late. 【Annotation】Da Svideniya? : Russian, meaning goodbye? Alexander passed away in the past few days. Luo Hong and Ai Dier were traveling on the streets of Paris, changing hotels from one hotel to another, and no one could be contacted.He was suffocating due to pulmonary edema.The microbial war continues after airstrikes and truces, and they are the ones who emerge victorious. The funeral was held in Nice. It was a brand new cemetery located on the highlands in the west, far away from the city. It was a large cemetery for foreigners, with simple cement boxes on the hillside.There is no other choice.The body could not reach the Montparnasse cemetery where Mr. Soliman lay to rest. The lead coffin used by the train was gone, and the weather was too hot.Alexander was waiting in the morgue when she arrived.The female employee explained that because of the smell, there was no delay when it happened.With Luo Hong as a helper, Ai Die'er took care of everything and paid for all expenses with money borrowed from her husband.She refused to engrave any empty and beautiful words on the tomb, and the funeral director said angrily: at least R. i. p. [Note] Well, miss, this is the most basic.This thing should be paid by the number of lines.No, my father hates Latin.You just put his name, date of birth and date of death, period, and that's it.She returned to the tone she had used when she refused to place the little statues of beauties on the facade of Ahmoshik Street. 【Annotation】R. i. p. : Shorthand for the Latin Requiscat in pace, meaning may the dead rest in peace. All of a sudden, everyone, or almost everyone, was at Justine's house.The aunts of Mauritius, the cousins ​​on Soliman's side, even Colonel Jouahe and the wife of General Le Mercier came, and everyone swallowed the resentment of the past.It creates the illusion that we are all family again and nothing happened, or that Alexander's death cleanses these people up of the stupid things they said and the absurd things they did, as for the tragedy and horror that just ended , and they are not in the slightest responsible. Atelier watched them intently, trying to reconnect them with the past, with her childhood.But that feeling is gone.Cracks cannot be repaired.She is anxious to go to the other side of the world and start her long-awaited life. After the wake and funeral, Justine threw a simple party at the apartment.This is not the salon of the Rue Cotentin, with round after round of songs and sparkling talk.But from the dormer windows of the mansard roof one sees the sea shimmering in the distance, sailboats and stern motor fishing boats reappearing, returning from fishing, Corsican freighters headed for their moorings in Villefranche .Motionless in the open sea, like menacing watchdogs, were the British and American cruisers.On the flat ground of the port, the reconstruction work started. The sledgehammer knocked down the defensive walls and forts by the sea. At night, the eyes of the lighthouse were lit up again, on the top of the tower that looked like a toy steel frame. [Annotation] Liberty City: Located on the Mediterranean coast, a small bay on the east edge of Nice, it was renamed Liberty City in 1988. Why don't you come and live with us?Adie asked again.Justine didn't even sigh.What am I doing there?I'll give you trouble I'm too old and tired.It's good that you come back to see me once in a while. She made an instinctive, almost uncomfortable movement.She put her hand on Adie'er's stomach and said: When he is born, remember to tell me so that I can pray for him.How did she guess it?The cycle has stopped, Ai Dier is not really sure yet, she hasn't even mentioned it to Luo Hong yet.Justine gave a knowing smile, some gentle grimace.Write to me and tell me whether the belly is pointed or not, so that I can know if it is a boy. Finally, once, she was right.She already belongs to this city.From the bedroom balcony, she leaned over and could see the rough hill at the end of the cove, where Alexander was buried.In the small apartment on the top floor, she collected all the memories of their life together, objects, books, furniture, everything that survived the move and auction.Paintings, sculptures.A Samuel.A charcoal drawing drawn by Soliman when he was seventeen, before he left Mauritius, of Mount Pietbos in the moonlight.In the hallway, she hangs reverently a whole set of crutches and knives from a car ride across France.Justine's sense of reality had improved greatly since Alexander's death.She placed the remainder of her uncle's estate with a notary in exchange for a life annuity, which was sufficient for her daily needs.Relying on this, she can even continue to give Aunt Mi Lu some money so that she can live in the nursing home of the church.The lives of the other aunts are all going well.Perhaps, she has forgiven Moude, and she will send her some small packages so that she will not starve to death.Even once or twice a week, she would take the road to Swadnia.
Press "Left Key ←" to return to the previous chapter; Press "Right Key →" to enter the next chapter; Press "Space Bar" to scroll down.