I walk in your footsteps
Then came the desert, he went to the southern Sahara in June,
60 degrees celsius during the day under a globe of sand blown by the wind, they never saw the sun. 45 degrees during the night.
It went like that, the months before leaving were very difficult, full of tensions and problems.
In the Studios the management wanted him out of the game, that failed relationship made him crazy.
Between that psycho mess, nobody noticed that we had fled to a parallel world and became unreachable. We both had learnt it as a child, when life became too difficult to bear, in order not to die, we could dive into that slot which opens in front of us and in that way enter into another higher vibration.
So we lived our seventeen years never really in that world but far away from everybody and everything, looking after each other and enjoying the simpleness, wonderment and beauty of staying together.
During the last months in the Studios he began flirting with a young journalist and she succeeded involving him in that foolish production to go to the desert. He had to be her producer and personal photographer.
She was his prototype, sensual, long blond hair, made up.
I knew he liked her.
Reading the production files, I could forecast he was heading towards a catastrophe. I was upset about that trip, nevertheless I prepared everything, bought a water jug, purifying tablets, eye goggles, clothes and shoes and prepared his backpack filling little plastic bags, with a t-shirt and underwear and socks, so even if the backpack was full of sand or ants, he always had clean clothes on his skin.
He left totally stressed without greeting me and I stayed at home with our two giant sighthounds.
I really thought I would never see him again.
When the crew arrived in Paris at the African airport, that I know so well, each dirty bench, each window, each coffee spot, I can picture that scene! I phoned to say hello, but he didn’t answer. I had made a schedule with the landing times in that African country, but nobody phoned me to say that everything was alright.
I prayed and asked all my connections to protect him, even if I would never see him again near me, in my bed.
During the day I couldn’t live, during the night I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t cry. My two giant hounds came near and touched me with their moist snouts, they were supporting me.
The third night the phone rang
“It’s me, I’m on the water satellite, twenty seconds each. Remember that I love you to madness, help me with your connections,
I need you right now.”
The day he came back I couldn’t welcome him at the airport as I wished. I made him wait at home and get nervous, let him think that maybe I wasn’t there anymore. When I finally came home his heart could relax, he smiled, he was older, pale, tired. We couldn’t hug each other, the memories of that adventure were too near for both.
He needed to touch me and caressed my hands, his were swollen and had lost their beautiful olive color, he didn’t say a word, we had to get used to each other again.
We suddenly realized we could finally get married.
We embraced each other but not physically, for that we needed a bit of time.
The following days I listened unwillingly to those stories about the desert. He was proud having survived.
When they had arrived at the African airport the production already sunk, they hadn’t prepared the customs passage and the whole crew had to wait at the airport police station under a warm hood and answer all those trick questions by the police chief who couldn’t believe that a European TV crew would think of entering the Hell Desert during the worst season, when the local people, the desert gypsies and even the camels avoided it.
So they thought there was trafficking.
In reality it was a soapbox race sailing with the wind between the ocean and the dunes.
The first evening the wind was so strong they could mount only one camp for everybody, men and women, excluding the locals.
My gypsy began his first survival technique. He allied with the local drivers that knew the desert better than anybody else there. Before going to sleep they dug a pit in the sand near the tire and stumbled into that coffin. He shared the food with the drivers; daily they bought a goat from the desert gypsies and slaughtered it on site. In that way they could eat fresh grilled meat.
The jeeps jumped over the dunes following the race causing broken bones. Every hour they had to stop because the water in the engine was boiling and they rescued themselves under the car in that square meter of boiling shadow; in any case the Muslims stopped every four hours to pray and my gypsy did the same and began to pray.
One day they lost sight of one of the racers, my gypsy found him fifty meters away from his car, dead, his blood had boiled.
During the following three days they couldn’t use the satellite to order water and phone home, they had to call to fetch the dead who was decomposing under the heat.
This was the summary of that adventure.
Never a frame went on line. It really was a fake idea.
I have worked in Africa too, near the same desert, but with a sublime organisation. After a very pleasant flight with a pilot who knew how to keep the plane over the clouds and friendly hostesses who pampered us, already surrounded by arabian sounds, we arrived in Marrakesh late at night under a large-flame starry sky that fell over our heads. Our producer stood on the African side of customs and when he saw us, he quickly took our luggage, took us under his wing and ferried us with a luxury bus towards our hotels. We always could choose between 20 copper pans of different rice dishes, nobody got sick.
This is the concern of a good producer.
Thank God my gypsy came home, I loved him to madness, even if he hadn’t come back to me, in my bed.