Friday, August 1, 2008

When the moon meets the sun

Eclipse and other happy stories

I keep playing basketball until the moment we see a large black car arriving out of which emerge two men. They both have an American baseball cap and one is Ouigour while the other is Chinese. They both have a big belly and on their wrists, time is shown on two luxury watches. I don’t know who they are but judging how the officers act around them, I understand that they’re high profile officers in the department. After a half-hour consultation together, they decide to keep our passports. They authorize us to go see the eclipse but only with a two-car police escort. Finally we go. The driver takes a sandy road that goes up and down and we follow the others towards a hill where the view of the eclipse will be magnificent because there are no trees to hide the view and the clouds don’t hide the sun. The first thing we do with dad when coming out of the car is to think about a solution to the second question. We don’t find one until dad sees in the young Venezuelan (Monika) girl’s hands pieces of black glass especially made for the eclipse. He asks her if he could have one. She accepts. He tries it on the camera directing it towards the sun and it works. We found the glass but dad doesn’t have any scotch-tape, so he goes around to each car asking if anyone happens to have some. Finally, he finds some and comes towards me putting scotch-tape around the glass to watch the eclipse. I bring the camera and tripod up the hill and place it in a good spot to film the eclipse. Meanwhile, Alex and Ruth bring up the food, drinks and chairs. I help them. When we’re up on the hill, I talk with Monika and find out that she is indeed Venezuelan. She’s 19 years old and after China she’s going to Eastern Europe and then to Paris to see the Coldplay concert, a well-known Rock band. I tell her to call me before coming to Paris and maybe I could find someone she could stay with. Meanwhile her mother, complaining of stomach cramps, asks for advice about medicine. At one point, we see through our glasses the Moon give a light kiss on the Sun’s cheek. Everyone is happy and I check to see in the camera that everything works well. Then, the moon does more than give a light kiss and I go up higher on the mountain behind the hill to join our Texan friend. When I arrived to the top, I don’t find him so I climb back down. Looking at the Sun, I see that Mrs. Moon is very naughty and covers half of Mr. Sun’s body. How sweet is love! After a few minutes, there’s only a small space for mister Sun to breathe and eventually, he can’t breathe at all. It’s a moment of pure joy and everyone is happy. As for me, I run towards the camera and pull off the black piece of glass and the infrared that turned itself on when I removed the scotch-tape. It’s dark, which is extraordinary, it’s the moon that covers the sun and we can see a giant glimmer of light that is the sun, blocked by the small moon. It gives a very nice color to the moon. I then learn that while the moon was embracing the sun, Alex asked his girlfriend to marry him and she said yes, and those are the beautiful moments in life. I congratulate him and he asks me how to say “I Love You” in French, I answer him and he repeats it to his future wife. The eclipse over, I run to put the black glass back on the camera since the same thing as before is going to happen, but no one seems interested anymore. Dad comes to see me and says that he found it extraordinary. I’m happy for him. What I find beautiful in life is that every day we can see something new. Oh yes, dad for example had to wait 56 years to see an eclipse. The people from the next village came with babies, grandmothers and everyone to watch the eclipse. For protection, they brought old X-rays from the doctor’s, but when they saw there was a protection on the camera, they all looked in the camera, which was funny. Then the three Texans arrive and they also thought it was extraordinary. Since one of them, Beau, studied French and wants to practice it, I ask him in French what he thought of the eclipse and if he wants to see another one. He answers that he loved it and he wants to see the next one, and again the next one, and the one after that, etc. While talking with him, I learn that after China, with his two friends, they’ll go to Thailand, Malaysia, and then Indonesia, and after they’ll go back to Texas. He tells me that if ever I come to Texas I can be sure to have a place to stay and in return I jokingly say that if ever he comes to Paris, I’ll rent him Versailles. He laughs and thanks me. I ask for everyone’s email address before leaving. We then return to the police station to get our passports back and wait a little. Meanwhile, I ask Beau what is his dream job. He tells me he wants to be a lawyer and he had applied to Harvard. I tell him that I’ll pray that he gets in. After, they give us our passports and we leave with the mini-bus. On the road, I stick my head out in the wind but I bring it back in quickly because the wind is as painful as the sun for the eyes. Since I have nothing to do and I’m tired, I fall asleep.

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