Photo: Andrée Legault
On the back of the photo, it was written: “Hello Jose, I send you the photo that my poupa loved was taken from me on Christmas day. Have you seen my smile? I have my skates !!!”
Year-end gift to the reporters of the Duty, the series of Snapshots proposes that fictional texts inspired by archival photos of the Holiday season sent by readers to the editors. Today, a text by Jérôme Delgado and a shot of Andrée Legault.
This picture to me has long troubled. From the first glance, it fascinated me ; I discovered the snow. No, I correct me : with it, I discovered that the snow, the winter and the cold could be synonymous with happiness for a child of my age. But the photo I was also confused, for years, because it was in my eyes a paradise inaccessible to the kid that I was. Me, in my mega-city below the tropic of Cancer, could I live this magical setting ? Ever.
There you have me take the photo of the figure without a doubt of its effect on me. It’s been… What ? Thirty years ago that I had not seen ? You bought it at the flea market of Saint-Eustache ? Ben tabarn… Sorry, I get carried away.
I had with me, among my most precious objects, when I am landed at Mirabel one night of heat wave. Tender memories of childhood, and even more. This picture was not worth a thousand words, but the engagement ring.
Many years after, I made myself a home break-in. The thief is left with a box, thinking to find in jewelry. Surprise ! That trinkets and a photo. I wonder if he has made a fortune putting it on the market.
You will return not, of what mrs. Jouvert has given me. It made my Christmas, I assure you. Ms. Jouvert, you know, she collects the old in other people’s business. Yes, you know very well that is that. The one that I call Berthe or Joueverte, when I exaggerate my accent not possible. Yes, it is. Well, thanks to his intuition and his ability to remember the slightest anecdote that she tells, she came to see me, quite naively, with the photo. I fell out of my chair. Literally. Then, I blushed and almost cried. Joy !
Wait, wait, wait, not laugh. Look at the back, which is writing. “Hello José, I send you the photo that my poupa loved was taken from me on Christmas day. Have you seen my smile ? I have my skates !!! “
Kidding not, do you know how I can be a poor observer, but I must confess, on the move, I thought he was a boy. Wait, she is called Claude ! For me, at the time, Claude, it was Claude François, Jean-Claude Killy, Claude Lelouch. I did not know that, in Quebec, Claude is conjugated in the feminine. It was two or three letters were exchanged and nothing allowed me to imagine that I would extend to a pretty redhead. I do not know when, his side, she understood that José-pas-de-e was with us a name guy. But in the end, we emmouraché one another.
Yes, yes, that is what I chose Montreal rather than Paris. We had two beautiful years teens heedless. But I don’t regret anything, I am not nostalgic. It is missing in my life, that’s all. Find the photo, however, makes me very happy.
Look at it carefully. I know it’s obvious that it is a girl. Loops that exceed… Ah no, lace up, non ! How would I have know that there was skates and girls skates, boys ? I’ll tip something else there, in the background.
The cyclist, I’ve noticed that after several days. The photo I was already precious ; I wished in the depths of my soul, to meet with Claude, my Claude. Every day I am plunged in his portrait. Until I note the bike. Then I understood that it is the whole of the photo that confused me. Yes, go skating, I was dreaming of — with it, of course. But riding a bike on ice ? I couldn’t believe it.
I was only 9 years old, I bike every day, and I saw at the Tour de France. Of course, I had not understood that the guy behind riding on the street, and not on an ice skating rink. But the image I was sufficiently struck, stunned even, to make me change course. I said to myself, focusing on my expression favorite : the North, this is madness !
It is by the French bookstores, located in the heart of the tourist district of my city, I put myself to the French. After, I took courses, but my first teachers were Pif gadget, and Tintin. And then, this is the magazine Bike that drew me into this shop, once a month. But I bought sometimes of other journals, including Young America. I never knew where it came from — never regained its trace ; try Google, you will see, but it is there, in a section called ” Letter of the continent “, or something of the sort, that I found one, or rather a corresponding.
“Hello. I calls me Claude. I have 7 years old and I live in Canada. I love sports and reading. Write me at the following address… ” This is pretty close to these words as I answered. The following, you know.
In short, if I tell you this, today, is that I just lost again with the precious photo. I will spare you the details, I’m afraid to bother you. I had luckily scanned and it is this that allows me to view it. Of you the show. I never believed in you, santa, but, finally, in your incarnation in virtual here in the social networks, you exist can be true. If you see it pass, the beautiful Claude of 7 years, I beg of you to me bring it in. It is also necessary that you attended the flea markets…