If you're too cowardly to read this...

March 16, 2024

My mother recently gave me everything she had kept of my writings, including copies of the Cégep Lévis-Lauzon student newspaper La Guillotine from 1977.

I know people who keep everything, from their first love letters to their last bills. That's not my case, and I don't make it a necessity or a point of pride. I had long since buried these student writings in my subconscious. Funnily enough, while there are many dates in these papers, the year was never included. It seemed obvious. Youth doesn't live in a century; it lives by the hour.

I read the list of people in the newspaper. I only remember one because I was secretly in love with him. He still writes to me, always on my birthday, to tell me that he hasn't forgotten me and that he'll come to see me one day. I don't think he will. His friendship is a strange fidelity, a little diamond of parallel love. When he moved to Montreal while I was living in Quebec City, I wrote him long poetic letters indirectly addressed to him. He would read them in the evenings, proud of my imagination.

I read the dozen articles in the few copies Mom had kept. In addition to provocative editorials, I also reviewed films and books. I read a lot in those days. If these texts were to be believed, I saw masterpieces everywhere, as if I had the necessary background to make such observations. Mostly, I devoured science fiction. I was also a softie, praising the merits of a Barbra Streisand film.

I was slobbery to a fault, as evidenced by this editorial from my second year of CEGEP: If you're too cowardly to read this, don't! I wanted to make a difference and protested the lack of student participation in student democracy. Has that changed? I don't think it has.

Mom kept other newspaper articles, including a reply I'd written to a journalist about astrology. I was already in there... Mom had also put my first novel in this box. It wasn't good, and I just kept the title for another text, which was published: Les années rebours.

I threw it all in the garbage can this afternoon. Nothing will remain of this vast dune that is my memory. The sand is crumbly and changeable.

All it takes is for one memory to emerge for others to surface. I thought back to my university days. In the journalism student newspaper, I was still provoking students. I had certainly found my way of communicating with people in words. I didn't go to extremes and was never the one to plunge dangerously into alcohol, drugs or sex. But I could exaggerate easily with vocabulary.

I was tossed about in my dreams, as confirmed by reading the transits of the time, especially that of Neptune, which, in 1977, made a square with the natal Sun, whereas two years later, it met the Moon. I was slowly lost.

Forty years later, Neptune passed over the point in the sky marked at birth by the Sun, having crossed ninety small degrees in the solar universe. These are fertile times for the imagination of those able to accept uncertainty.

Everything seems linked now. I'm still searching in this fog for the root of my being. This is my only voyage. My boat is modest, and my sails are worn. The ocean seems serene, but I don't know. I'm not a sailor.