There is a certain feeling when walking in Europe. A certain city in Europe. The image becomes clearer in my mind. I have a shitty imagination. Let’s press on. It’s kinda cold. I am wearing a coat and I probably should be wearing a better coat. But in my country, people don’t spend so much on coats. Helen is with me. She waves at me and points to my ears. I remove one of the phones of the noise-canceling earphones from my right ear. The world rushes in with noise.
“Put those off. I want to talk with you.”
“Please,” I whisper, in the same tone as the voice of Steven Dedelous in the audiobook of ‘Portrait of an artist’ by James Joyce. Colin Farrell.
Calm soothing confident yet timid voice.
“Please, let me listen for a bit, it’s for the feeling”.
Helen shrugs with her mouth and eyebrows. She is used to my eccentricities.
Headphones back on. Ravel then Chopin are playing. It takes longer than 5 minutes so I am writing both, so you know the transitions and the longer period.
I gulp it all in. The people, the shops, the signs. It would have been better if the cars were models of the 40s, and the people were dressed as in the 1940s. Is there something beyond this wonderful feeling? The classical music and the street and my wife and the otherness of it all. For a second the commercialism of European holidays is hidden, and the pure experience of nostalgic delight for something you never experienced is present.