I should have brought the blanket back.
It was in my hand, I was just about on my way already. The trading post people would surely have been pleased about it, even just the gesture: there had not been a lot of blankets to choose from. Someone else could have benefitted from it; I had no history of worrying about blankets; there was no practical reason for me to keep it.
Yet, I kept it. I didn't bring it back. Jérôme had even explicitly told me I ought to. I should have. But the memory of the night before promised to be one that would stick with me for a long time, and I thought it so complete, so rich and full of questions, that I had simply gotten greedy with it. I wanted no hungover faces cleaning up to compromise it, wanted no daylight realities to change it.
The decline on which we had looked out over the field began at the very end of the parking lot. You saw nothing of the tents, the trading post, the wall, etc. from where I had been parked. Just vans, and cars, and dirt, and forest, and sky. I left without saying good-bye to anyone.
In the early morning light, the countryside I had traveled through with Jérôme in the dark became visible, became vast. The occupation had been on top of what was almost to wide to be called a hill, and as I drove away towards the South, I descended into a shining fog brought about by the dew of the endless surrounding fields.
In the weeks that followed, there were many demonstrations across France.
People were protesting against police violence.
The police had killed a young man..
at a demonstration,
on a field
The police had launched another attack after I had gone back to the car to sleep. Tear-gas grenades were thrown**Maybe it hadn't been fireworks I heard the night before.. One struck a younger man than myself in the back, killing him. His name was Rémi Fraisse.