Dernier cours de Creative Writing…
Ca a vraiment été mon cours préféré de tous les cours que j’ai jamais eu. Chaque semaine, on devait écrire un texte de fiction et l’envoyer à toute la classe. Les cours consistaient à une discussion sur les textes soumis: critiques, commentaires, suggestions d’amélioration, etc.
Pour le dernier cours j’ai envoyé un petit texte qui s’appelle « Every moment counts. »
Le titre, c’est à cause de la phrase qui a été imprimée tous les jours dans le Daily Tar Heel en signe de commémoration pour Eve Carson, l’ancienne présidente du Student Body. Elle a été sauvagement kidnappée et asssassinée l’année dernière. C’est une histoire horrible.
Comme Eve Carson aurait dit un jour « Every moment counts, » tous les jours dans le journal on avait le droit à une suggestion du genre « soyez gentil avec votre voisin », « appelez un ami pour lui dire que vous l’aimez » (en commémoration d’Eve Carson, donc…)
Si si, y’a un rapport avec le truc.
Bref, alors j’ai donné mon texte, les gens l’ont critiqué, et il y a cette fille dans ma classe, Madison P. elle s’appelle, qui m’a tendu un petit mot qu’elle avait écrit sur du papier à ligne avec une jolie écriture très droite: (attention, hein, je préviens, les compliments ici c’est excessif, tout est great et awesome et extraordinaire, c’est culturel)
Je suis surprise de la puissance que tu peux donner à un texte si court – j’ai honte, parce que je crois que je suis cette fille dont tu parles, qui porte du vernis à ongle orange. […]
Madison P. »
Bref et je raconte ça pas pour me vanter mais parce que ça m’a surprise, c’est vrai que j’ai pensé à Madison P. et à Claire Z. et Audrey R. qui sont dans des sororities, qui sont riches et qui vivent dans des banlieues ultra-sécurisées et qui trouvent que c’est triste quand même les enfants en Afrique, qui envoient leurs dons par texto quand elles regardent le séisme en Haïti en se peignant les ongles. Et après j’ai un peu regretté, je suis une sale moralisatrice pleine de jugement. Bref.
Le texte est là:
Every moment counts
In their new and expensive house, you hear the air conditionning purring through the walls. The fridge makes icecubes and the lights can be dimmed. Every time the door is opened or closed, it makes a clear, shrill sound. It is safer that way.
There are humans living in the new expensive house. On a second floor, there are four rooms, and in one of them, a twenty-year-old girl, with two brown eyes under perfectly twizzled eyebrows. Her hair has never smelled like firewood, she has never waited for a train and never cleaned dirty toilets. She has a nice smile, white teeth, and there is a flag on the porch.
In their world, entertainment stands for politics. When they are sad they take a trip to the mall; shopping against sadness, work against nightmares, charity instead of revolt.
The same and the same and the same houses stand miles and miles away from where they live, with small variations of the same fridge and the same families and same daughters with the same preoccupations (Can I lose my virginity with a tampon?) and their hair smells all the same – moisturizing conditioner.
She studies in college. She is excited about the program she is going to do in Bostwana in July. 4000 dollars for 3 university credits. All the little African kids with wide white smiles who need help, they will love her and she will love them and they’ll run around like mindless poor little birds. She’ll bring them a little bit of kindness and joy, because every moment counts.
In their new and expensive houses, they take pills when they feel they will completely lose their balance. They swallow the pills rather than take the risk of knowing how soil tastes when you crash on the pavement without knowing how to walk.
In their ever-lasting peaceful world, there are automatic doors, smoke detectors, video-cameras, complicated locks that you cannot open with a credit card. They lock the door even when they take the dog to have a leak and to take the garbage out, and they live in the safest suburb of Charlotte. But you never know.They stay inside rather than outside, they love their carpets and they put expensive local artpieces on the wall.
Before a football game she sang the hymn with the dozens of thousands of others, hand on their hearts. There is the university mascott, rams’ headed, or bear headed for that matter, wearing a stuffed costume made in China, shaking his head in a bouffon manner, that means: we are safe here, we have nothing to fear and we are the good people. And they don’t have this sudden terror when they hear the fire alarm and they have never seen a bomb hole anywhere than on TV. And when they see bomb holes on TV they think that is awful and because they are genuinly sorry they sent money by text-message to save the children.
Their fire in the chimney is electric. One day they’ll find a way to have a dog that you can turn on and off with a remote control, like television, on and off. Shake your head, be nice, go to sleep. A dog that will never need to take a leak, than will gently stand on his back legs and shake his head with good eyes. It is life, and it feels like a thick carpet.
She is painting her nails in bright orange on a Thursday night. She has pushed her cuticles consciously, with a special cream that soften them. Her hands are hydradated, she has slightly limed her nails in a nice square shape, she has put a hydrating mask avoiding the lips and eyes area, ten to twelve minutes, and washed it off with warm water without rubbing it, and she lets the orange nailpolish dry, before applying a second coat, and a top-coat for shineness.
She is going to the movies with her boyfriend, who will pick her up in a nice car, and he will take her back home in his nice car, and the next morning she will drive to the university in her car.
At night she will dream of the nice little black kids, who are so poor and need her niceness, and the pictures she will take of her and the poor nice little black kids with their smiles in Botswana for three credits and four thousand dollars.
And she will tell her parents, when they will pick her up back from the airport in their car, she will say every moment counts and say that it was a life-changing experience, her shoulders a little bit tanned and her hair a little bit dry and she’ll say you know it is really the people who have nothing who give the most. She will give them a wooden sculpture that she bought in a Botswanian village where the people are so poor but they are so, like, truly generous and she’ll put the pictures she has taken of the adorable poor little black kids on Facebook.
A life-changing experience, with bright orange nailpolish.