April 28, 2013
Sometimes I wonder what the point is. And then—I don't know. Why am I here? I've often wondered that question myself.
So in conclusion, I know I'm superfluous but I don't give a fuck.
Today I watched out the window as some kids on the field tried to fly this big, blue kite. I'd seen them before except it was a black kite before. They might have destroyed it with their antics. This time, one of the kids had this skateboard and as his friend got the kite high up in the sky, he grabbed onto the kite and jumped on the skateboard. It was one of those parachute-like kites, the kind you see for parasailing. I can't watch; I'm sure one of them's filming it, and it might end up on Youtube or the news or something when one of them breaks a leg.
On the subway I no longer try to hold onto the tethers. My friend told me this is good practice for skateboarding—learning how to balance on the subway. Being one with the subway. I must've fallen on my ass a thousand times this week. My ass is sore. Forget I ever said that.
On the subway I often philosophize, as there is little else to do. My Dad said the subways here are like the trains in Europe back in the day; they stop every two minutes and often in the middle of goddamn fucking nowhere. People often look at me strangely when I try to read the covers of their books. See, other guys sneak peeks at cleavage and I sneak peeks at books.
See, I'm not sure if I can go on reading this book. I thought I knew what I was getting in, but the movie was fucking Disney compared to this thing. And I was depressed for like a month after I watched that movie.
See, Félix is about 100% more badass in the book than in the movie. Same for Jean-François. But God, the way they die. Well, I think J. is going to be okay. 'less they pull some shit like they did at the end of the movie. But god. There's only so many times you can read about things like—Lemasque was stuck in the same cell as Félix when the Gestapo arrested them. The Gestapo had a grudge against Félix, 'cause he tricked them so many times. So they took him. And he didn't come back. But Lemasque saw them dragging his body down the hall… later that night… he didn't have any eyes… he didn't have any lower jaw… he just recognized him by that bald spot he had on the top of his head. Félix la tonsure.
Lemasque was so scared of suffering the same fate, he broke the chains on his feet and climbed out the window. He couldn't tell Gerbier how. So there he found himself, on a street in Vichy. With the police and motorcycle patrols going by. With the handcuffs still on his hands. He only knew one person in Vichy—an employee in a hotel. He'd visited him once for an assignment. But he didn't know where that hotel was.
So he wandered around all night. He wandered and wandered and had no idea where. Finally, by some freak chance, he thought he'd found the hotel. But he didn't know the employee's room. So he climbed to the floor he thought he was and knocked on the door he thought it was. And voila! It was indeed the man he knew. Somehow.
The man called his friend, a blacksmith, and had him break the Lemasque's handcuffs. And they smuggled him out of Vichy. And that's the story Lemasque told Gerbier. Gerbier checked out the story with the employee of the hotel and the blacksmith.
But he was still never really sure if it was a plant by the Gestapo. But guess his doubts were relieved when Lemasque later goes on to get recaptured by the Gestapo and…
But funny parts too… like Gerbier and his friends had to sit in this train compartment with this drunk German soldier. And he began to throw up all over the floor. And Gerbier's friend turned very pale and said in a low voice: 'Schweine, heraus!' And G. didn't know if whether the soldier thought his friend was an officer in civilian clothes, or if he was just used to obeying anything said in that tone of voice… but he left.
Or what about that time de Gaulle's representative in France fell asleep on the train? And he fell asleep on some guy's shoulder and the train went over a bump and he woke up saying, 'Oh! I'm so sorry!' in English. And of course the guy he'd fallen asleep on was a German officer. Fun times, fun times.
And what about the maquisards? I didn't know about that before. Like the Germans would try to take this French guys and force them to work in Germany... but they wouldn't, they would run off into the country and form these guerrilla groups and cause all kinds of shit. Like once they derailed this train full of German officers on furlough... well, more on that later.
But once Gerbier ran into this group of guys who didn't quite make it at the train station. They were all chained up with shaved heads and soldiers guarding them. And half of them would rattle their chains and shout sarcastically, 'Volunteers! Volunteers!' and the other half would sing La Marseillaise. Christ.