The Mesturet Novel : A Life of passions

Article publié par Le Mesturet le 17/05/2011 à 14:35
Catégories : The Mesturet Novel
Tags : Novel
Chapter One/part 1: The Awakening of the Senses
This match, Pierre wasn’t feeling it. Besides, on this Sunday in February 1975, he wasn’t feeling anything. He was having trouble concentrating on the game. Much to the annoyance Marc, the coach, he had gotten there after the time the bus was supposed to leave.
“I dunno, the alarm clock didn’t go off… lost shoes...” Pierre was in a bad mood. The night before, his father had given him an ultimatum because of the first semester’s really poor marks and the second semester’s that weren’t looking any better.
“The ball, Pierre – pass, good God, pass!”
“You didn’t see me, you’re keeping the ball to yourself.”
To be seventeen and not know what you’re going to do. Today, he knows -- run after the ball, but the rest? High school isn’t really his thing. He always goes, doesn’t skip, but as soon as he sits down, his mind wanders. He watches the others, thinks about them. “Why is he like that, that one? Oh, Marie looks sad this morning and Catherine’s completely in the clouds. I have a feeling that Sebastien’s going to do something stupid in math class, that would be entertaining…” Present, but not there – it’s a good expression that fits Pierre.
“You were counting on stopping him when the center forward.... Lucky I was there. We’ve got to win this game, wake up, Pierre!”
Really awake this morning he’d been thinking hard about what his father said to him:
“Either you get down to it or you drop out of high school and you work. At the factory, they need packers – at least you’ll be earning money.”
This game is wearing him out, he can’t wait for it to be over… two more minutes.
"Corner for us, we're up Pierre!”
"OK, Baptiste, we’re up!"
Header and goal, it’s time, the final whistle blows. In the locker room and Marc is yelling and the sermon’s started. After the father, the coach. No luck for two days now.
“Right, OK, if you play like that until the end of the season, you’ll end up spending your season on the bench. Got it?”
Message received. Anyway, Pierre knows that getting into a football training center is complicated. In spite of his above average performance, wins in his group , his natural talent, his real physical and technical skills, his two attempts at Nantes and St. Etienne had failed. Too much competition and maybe a lack of motivation then too, on these two important days, but no, not back then. Pierre hadn’t convinced them. Had he been unconvinced himself?
Finally at home, after coming back on the bus just like all the others: dirty songs, rude gestures at the people in cars around them, whistling at young girls, in short, the whole package.
Pierre climbs the stairs four by four. Mom is making a bœuf bourguignon for tomorrow, but she is preparing it the night before – as always! What a smell in the whole staircase, what an aroma. Pierre smells it all, remembers all the aromas: of holidays, of his grandmother’s house, of his cousins’ attic, of the pastry shop next door, of the wine his grandfather made him smell sometimes, everything, he smells everything. He doesn’t know why, but now and then it bothers him because he is so sensitive to smells that he get overwhelmed and can’t identify them all. Humph, it’ll pass.
As usual, he gives his mother a peck on the cheek without saying anything to his father (the obligatory conflict), and goes into his sisters’ room without knocking.
“You could have knocked!”
“Why do that?”
“And what if we were naked?!”
“Phhht! Already seen it and … nothing to see. No staying in the bathroom an hour today, girls. I didn’t take my shower at football.”
One of the most important times of the day arrives. He goes to sit in the kitchen, being sure to pick up the history booklet that his mother buys every week that will make, at the end of the end (at least five years on), a sort of encyclopaedia. Pierre has a passion for history of all kinds, ancient as well as recent, nothing gets by him . Sitting at the kitchen table, he spends a few moment that he wishes would go on forever. He raises his head and looks at his mother, takes a deep breath of this magic place where he doesn’t dare ask anything. His mother knows very well that he is watching her. She knows everything about her son, she knows all his worries, doubts, joys and troubles. She knows that it’s necessary to wait, patience and more patience. It’s what her husband doesn’t have when he talks about his son. Pierre gets on his nerves; he wants him to finally make a decision…
The next week : the sequel to Chapter One

Translated from the French by Bodega Designs,  

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