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97# I want to break free

Updated: Jun 25, 2020

- Bohemian Rhapsody !!!

- Have you watched it?

- No but I heard good things and I’m a Queen fan

- Me too

- Me too

I walked down the crowded narrow aisle, praying not to have a crying baby nearby. An old man with broad shoulders and a face wrinkled by the sun was in the aisle seat. Next to him was a young girl with a childish face. I squeezed myself to the window seat and took out my notebook. Looking for inspiration, I turned to the young girl:

- Hello, where are you travelling to?

- Lima, Peru

- Wow! And I thought I had a long trip

- Where are you going?

- Mexico. Are you on vacation?

- Yes, meeting a friend to explore Peru for three weeks.

- Nice! I heard only good things about Peru. I’m sure you’ll love it!

- Me too!!! I’m super excited.

- And what do you do back home?

- I’m a court clerk.

- The most thrilling job!

- Ha ha ha... What do YOU do?

- I’m an immigration consultant. I do visas for people who want to come to Canada.

- That's unusual. You must get tons of demands. Everyone wants to go to Canada.

- Yeah it’s very useful, and very boring. But less than court clerk though, no offense.

The old man laughed.

- Screw you!!!

- Haha sorry I didn’t mean it that way. I’m Raz by the way, nice to meet you.

- Aurore…

- What do you do for fun Aurore? Besides transcribing trials and signing legal documents.

- I love theater

- A woman of culture...classy! Do you just watch or also create?

- I'm an actress. I play in a drama group.

- That’s awesome!!! Would you like to do that professionally one day?

- Of course! Who wouldn’t? That’s the dream.

Her eyes were shining. I smiled.

- What!?

- Nothing. I just love to hear people talk about their dreams…

- And what is yours Mr. immigration? You had nightmares about giant visa stamps chasing you as a kid?

- Hahah visa stamps pay my bills! I would love to be a writer.

- Two wannabe artists stuck behind legal bars. Can you be any more cliché?

- I'm a hopeless romantic. One day… You just gotta believe it.

The movie started. I tuned in. Learning the story of each song and listening to Queen's classics was fantastic. Freddie Mercury’s incredible self-confidence was inspiring. He was a performer and he was "born to perform". The three of us were discussing the movie.

- Old man: They are good, those Americans. They can turn any tragedy into an inspiring story

- Raz: Yeah they’re the best at selling hope. Now I want to break freeEEEEE

- Old man: See? They get youngsters to believe anything

- Raz: And why wouldn’t they? Hope is what gives meaning to hardship.

- Old man: It’s dangerous. First you watch a movie like that and the next thing you know you're throwing away your career to become a rock star!

- Raz: Maybe, but it's romantic. La boheme.

- Old man: Haha I was a hippie once. Trust me, you cannot live on love alone.

- Raz: True but that’s the beauty of life. If you have no dreams, no hope, what's gonna carry you through hard times? What is the point then?

- Aurore: It’s worth a shot at least. Much better than to live with regrets.

- Old man: Yes for sure. But it's not all or nothing. You two have good jobs. You are not working under a burning sun or losing your health at work, litterally breaking your back. You should hold ont to your job and you do what you love on the side, not throw your career away for some impossible ideals. There is no romance in poverty. I have friends who chose that path and they're not in a good place now.

Aurore and I remained quiet, digesting his words.

- Old man: Many people want to become rock stars. What the movie doesn’t show is the thousands of hours of practice, and the millions of people who failed.

- Raz: I agree with the practice but I don’t think the ones who tried failed. You only fail when you give up. As long as you keep trying, technically there is still a chance.

- Old man: In the lottery too. Even when you fail a thousand times, technically there is still a chance. That’s how “La Française des jeux” destroy people's lives.

- Raz: Come on that’s bad faith! The idea is to turn your profession into a profession, not to gamble your life away. I would sure rather get paid to write than to fill out legal forms. You?

- Aurore: Obviously!

- Old man: It is a good goal and should stay a goal, not turn into an obsession. Freddie Mercury was obsessed with fame and it killed him. You’d save yourselves frustration and energy if you keep your feet on the ground. Do what you love but don't rely on it to feed you. That’s what I did. It enables me to enjoy my retirement now. The hippie life would have left me starving. Probably protesting on a roundabout with a stupid sign and yellow vest!

- Raz: Hahahah

People behind us spoke against shaming the yellow vests.

- Old man looking behind: We left that shit behind, not to find it in our travels. Keep your ideals and your yellow vests for when you're back to Paris. Thank you.

- Raz: Hahaha savage.

Old people crack me up. I love their bluntness and admire their wisdom. We exchanged contact information and I promised them I would send them a copy of my book once I made it…. Once I made it.


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