The black little girl? Should I say the coloured one? It was warm. Quite warm. Tarascón, in the south of France, in the foothills of the Pyrenees. A cup of black coffee with ice on the table. I play with the camera. We glanced at each other. Accomplice glances.
She plays to hide her glance wishing to be photographed. I play to break my tradition of not taking photographs to people. Yes, I find it hard to steal them a piece of their mortal souls… and be stolen mine.
She is alone. Or so it seems. Maybe that one, the one who is at about twelve meters leaning indolently against a wall could be her elder brother… or is he her father? He is watching the scene. He does not care. Maybe he is a free spirit.
There are only two shots. Two winks. Two small thefts… which she wishes.
Not even a word. It would be impossible and unnecessary. We would not communicate with any sound, just with glances as we were doing.
Might I do it? I have done it. Now I am thinking if perhaps I might do it. Can an adult have pure and accomplice looks with a little girl? Could she be accused of being a provocative girl? And what about him? Me. A children’s perverted corrupter?
There will come the day when we won’t be able to caress our own children? Will we be so rotten that we will be always suspicious? I do not know if she is looking at me but I would like to be looking at that little black girl that way. Should I say the coloured girl? I did not know people had colours.
So much politically correct language is making my thought stupid, or at least, slightly more than it could be.
Colours. How many colours exist? I think there is only one colour in men without pixelating. The invisible one, which you can only reach with knowledge. The rest, vain appearances that vanish with the darkness while invisibility continues.
The cold waters of the Pyrenees, that flow down the Ariège river, wish to refresh the environment. A lady is riding an old bicycle, as old as herself. A Renault 8 is watching amused what is happening. It is not badly preserved in spite of its age. A gang of teenagers, all of them with their mobile phones, are waiting the arrival of someone else. A few ducks, possibly red-crested pochards are testing landings in the waters of the Ariége while a couple is taking photographs of themselves with the castle on the background. The little black girl is still seated. She seems to ask me for a longer photographic session. I say to her without any words that two photographs are enough.
Later, in another place of the town, while I am walking I come across her again. Our glances are those of old friends. I tell her good bye. I must go…climb a peak. She replies “take me with you”. Certainly, I answer. I will take you in my shirt pocket, very high so that you can see better, from the peak, a part of France, a part of Spain and squeezing your eyes the whole of Africa.
* Coloured: this word can be regarded as offensive. I know.
Thanks AiYiYi for your translation