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HELL SINKY TRACK 4: Café Allongé

«I packed my bag without a glance and I deserted, they say a woman can lose her pride for love, well, a man can lose his love out of pride,

And yes, my dude, I left like a man, I took the tram, then the train, then I cried like a kid.»


“When you come back tonight, I won’t be here anymore.”

“Yes, yes, sure,” she replies. She grabs her Chanel bag from the stack of clothes entwined on the sad sofa bed and leaves without looking back. I’m now in “mission” mode. I have only one goal in mind: to get out. I fear neither shame nor consequences. I am completely hysterical at this moment, the emancipation of singledom or perhaps change.

Yet we were supposed to get married. When you’re carried away by the force of events, memories don’t matter, empathy is forbidden. Stronger than love or friendship combined, a force pushes me away from the scarlet path we both traced. From our encounter at the GP to this morning when I dared to answer you, our story never truly existed.

Neither promises nor commitments before the Mayor or a God we didn’t believe in could prevent this slow agony, this perpetual downfall. It was a slow death. A gentle death, but death nonetheless.

Yes, I met Amélie at the GP. She became a secretary towards the end of our adventure there. All the employees were angry at JR, who stopped paying them. But he fought like a lion to salvage what remained. After Thierry’s mistake, no one wanted to put a cent into the company. JR approached investors and returned defeated. Once on site, he would argue with his employees. The “Pôle Emploi” even summoned him to explain an issue with one of his employees. Imagine, the counselor saw JR and Colin coming in, she thought she was dealing with a gang. And she treated them accordingly. Thus, the radio host, the journalist, the entrepreneur was fired according to the conditions he had avoided all his life. As for me, I was motivated enough to salvage what I could. Sometimes he slipped me 100 or 200 euros, but that wasn’t the problem. Thierry was also doing his best. We already knew we were sinking, but for the first time since our beginnings, we were like two sailors trying to save a Titanic made of ice… a real company in short.

For two months, JR fought, and Colin made unfulfilled promises like a guy who breaks up with a girl, and in the end, the result was the same, on the 60th day, the office was desperately empty. Amélie stayed the last three months, then she disappeared like the others.

I pack my bag as I always have. I don’t fold anything, I pile clothes on top of each other, and I try to fit in as much as possible. After nearly 40 minutes, I decide to leave her most of the shared purchases. Anyway, I didn’t have any money, so I wasn’t going to cut a tenth of the mac, or take half of the coffee machine. And I leave. I take Rue d’Alésia, then Avenue du Général Leclerc. I’ve done this route so many times.

In one way or another, I’m a specialist in surprise returns to my parents’ house, where a father anesthetized by years of misunderstanding and a suffocating mother await me. It’s the age of extremes in a two-room apartment, and my room looks like the digital bunker of a guy looking for a job. With the kindness he’s known for, my father asks me what happened. With the indifference I’m known for, I tell him we’ll talk about it later. Finally, he doesn’t care and goes back to reading a book.

There’s something crazy about my father, and I’ve never really understood if it was intentional. But the title and theme of the books he reads daily reflect his current mood. He doesn’t travel much, but he reads 3 or 4 books at the same time. This time, the title is rather evocative. It’s a book by Russell Banks, “Rule of the Bone,” an initiatory journey of an “olividados” in Jamaica. Apparently, the oracle of the living room sensed things coming. Then I sit on the bed. And I realize.

As usual, I don’t have a single friend left. After nearly thirty attempts at going out aborted by my clingy love and my inability to live without her, they gave up. I promise I won’t do it again next time. And my work? So I spend most of my time facing rejection. I face more rejections than shits a day, actually. It’s become my daily routine. At some point, I send my CV to “Causette” and “Atlantico,” and there it is! The tragedy! I forgot my camera and my anti-seizure medication. I call Amélie, heartbroken. She refuses! An idiotic negotiation begins. It’s as if you’re asking a criminal to return to the crime scene to retrieve his lighter. I look as foolish as a reality TV contestant who comes out in front of 60 million people, unable to talk about it to his father for 30 years. I’m exhausted. I call her back; she hangs up. I’ve never stalked anyone. I stalk my ex to get back a camera… She gives in. She returns the camera to me around Place d’Alésia with a look of disdain. I dare to ask her, “Are you okay?” There’s nothing more awkward. She doesn’t even bother to answer and rolls her eyes. No, it never really worked between us.

C.E.O HELL SINKY, author, journalist, documentary

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