"Let's throw out everything and start again", he said munching on his chocolate-mint biscotti in between sips of the double espresso. My gaze was fixed on this little child on the street across our Parisian cafe. He was dressed in shorts, an old shirt and he was picking up coins from the side walk. His face had chiseled features, reminded me of the Madonna-child figure in the National Museum at Prague. "Are you listening to me", he continued in a nonchalant fashion. "Hmm", I crooned turning my gaze now to the insides of my palm. These lines, jagged and hazy, ran criss-cross across my palms. Maybe they had a story to tell, or maybe they were just there. By now he had rumbled along, repeating ad nauseously about our lives fallen apart. I skimmed the insides of the cafe. In a corner sat a girl, typing away furiously on her Mac. A wannabe writer, mostly trying to meet a book draft deadline. A couple of lonely people sat reading books, newspapers, magazines. At the counter now was the same boy who was picking up coins from the sidewalk. He was buying a croissant. I got up and walked towards him. "Wait, where are you....", his voice trailed behind. "Croissants are delicious, aren't they?", I asked the boy. He pretended not to hear me. I bought a chocolate croissant and we both walked out. The past is a distant memory, sometimes you just have to gather nothing and walk out of it.
He munched on his croissant and walked silently beside me. "Do you live around here?" He kept munching. "W, what are you doing?". He had followed me out to the streets, this was about to get nasty. "I don't want to talk about it. I just need to be left alone.", I cried. "It's so easy to say that, you always want to walk out on all the difficult things." , he persisted. By now the boy had finished his croissant and was gaping wide eyed at the two of us squabbling in the middle of the street. "Don't create a scene", I implored. He didn't care. He wanted me to get back into the cafe and finish our discussion, make life changing decisions. I wasn't ready for all that. The boy began to run, away. "Wait..", he didn't pay attention to my frantic call. It happened in a split second, the car taking a wrong turn, the boy running carelessly, me falling down tripping over a piece of stone. The rest of the day remains a daze. When I woke up, in a green room overlooking the Champs-Elysses, I asked, "What's my name?".