I am among people that I know and I love. I watch their happy and sincere faces. I am happy to be here. The place is loud and lively but I am not present. I feel dizzy. Everyone is raising their glasses to make a toast to our friend who is leaving, except me. I can not drink. I feel a knot in my stomach. It turns and pinches some nerve inside. It’s a while that this knot is talking to me and telling me that something is still wrong. It wakes me up in the morning and it stays with me all day long. Me and my knot, we know that I am upset, frustrated, and on the edge. I need to yell. I wish I could yell, but someone has pushed the “mute” button. My voice has no sound anymore. So I shut up and I smile.
I finally start to laugh. Laughter is closer to yelling than a smile. In laughing we release our emotions. A smile is most of the time just a facade to hide our emotions.
I laugh the rest of the night and drink some beer. The knot leaves me alone for a couple of hours, but we both know that once the party is over it will come back to remind me that the rage is alive.
The next day, I wake up after a very short sleep. I go out to get fresh air and buy some croissant. Since I have moved to Strasbourg, I am suffering from a shortage of good pastry, so coming to Paris means some butter-filled goodies. The girl at the pastry shop is as unpleasant as she was last week. I smile at her nonetheless. I don’t want to start my day otherwise. She is not the one at whom I would like to yell anyway.
I sip on my coffee and look outside. The view is beautiful, regardless of the grey sky. I notice a balloon flying up towards the clouds, getting further by every second. I can picture the helpless little boy that is looking up to his disappearing balloon. He is probably crying and having some knots in his stomach. He doesn’t know how to undo that miserable moment when he opened his hand and let the wind steal the balloon from him. We all know of such regrettable moments. He can run and he can yell, but the balloon is already too far to be brought back. At this very moment the kid is learning a life lesson; to lose something that he has come to love. To be disappointed. He will learn that somethings in life are just short-lived joys bound to disappear. He will also learn that to keep things that he likes, he needs to be more vigilant. He should take nothing for granted. His father is probably there watching him with sympathy, but refraining himself from getting another balloon for his son for the moment. At least I hope that is what he does. This kid needs to learn to loose and cope with it. To live despite the knots in his belly. He needs to learn that frustration and anger are also part of life. He needs to accept that we do not always get what we want, and that is how the univers is. We are just random little drops lost in a chaotic mess.
I wish I were that kid. At least now I know for sure that he will get many more balloons in his life and he will learn to loose them. As for me, I wonder when will the knot leave me alone. Somehow the balloons that we loose at older age are harder to replace.