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A hole in the sky

Jeanne D., 98 years old. Nationality and profession unknown. Discussion recorded on December 17, 1987.

- I don't remember all these things, I know that. But I do remember that boy.

- So he was a boy?

- I may be old, but a boy is a boy, and was a boy, I'm telling you. I'm not going to draw a picture, I do not have a steady hand anymore. He came to me on the road, he seemed to own everything, the sky, the grass, the trees, he was just like the landlord. Of course I didn't know him, never saw himbefore, he was not from here. Our eyes met and he walked up to me, I could have been a girl, a young girl. He asked me who I was, what I did, where I lived. And he didn't ask about my age.

- He had what you would call manners?

- You know nothing, don't you? He told me I was beautiful, that I was an angel, born in the clouds. Yes, I remember that, very very well, and we talked we talked a long time, we walked side by side on the road, I had my hand in his, I was taking him home, a total stranger, I was eighty-eight, eighty-nine, ninety. Nobody believed me afterwards. They called me a crazy old crone.

- And what did you talk about?

- This is none of your business. But I taught him a lot. He didn't know a thing, he was like a newborn child. He would have learnt more from me, I had so much to tell him. But the fool left me, even before we came home.

- How did he leave?

- Well I was telling him about, no, I won't tell you that, I was telling him about something that happened to me a long time ago, a sad old story from a sad old woman, he waited for me to finish, and then he told me that he was to leave. He took me in his arms, and he did? this [Jeanne D. slowly raises her left arm towards the southern sky] and the sky opened, it looked like a large white blossom, and then I couldn't feel his breath anymore.

- He climbed to the sky?

- You mean like Our Lord? Boy, you just didn't listen to me, did you? This fellow was not Our Lord Jesus, he didn't have a beard, and he wasn't that tall. He didn't "climb" to the sky, but the sky opened wide, like a door, and then it closed. I stayed there looking upwards for a long time after that, an hour perhaps.

- At this very spot where we're talking?

- Yes, this is the place, he was exactly where you stand, and he disappeared right over the trees, over there. I come here often, around this time of the day.

- And he never came back?

- If he had come back, I wouldn't be there talking with you. [Jeanne D. looks over the tree tops, and at the big dark cloud coming our way.]

Gilles Tran © 2001 www.oyonale.com