Invisible Civilisation - Chapter 1


Just jumped in the train. Just walked in the park. Just entered the room. Here he is. As if he’s been waiting. You’ve never met before. You’ve never seen him. You’ve never talked and you most probably have no friends or acquaintances in common. But he’s been waiting. Here. For you. The second you board the train, his eye lands on yours. Bullseye. He was aiming at your fovea, your iris. And here you are. Both. Looking into each others’ eyes for no reason and with no goal. Thoughts race through your head : Gay, weirdo, artist, old friend, idiot, provocateur, bully … But none. None nails it as he is nailing your eye. You won’t take your eye off. You know it. You can play this game until the last stop. And slowly. Slowly, it daunts on you. That you’re not playing. We’re not playing. We’ve just met. I wasn’t looking for your eye and this is not a challenge or a daring tour de force. Nobody’s winning here. And slowly you’re getting it : I Enjoy your eyes and your look. I like this moment. How we’re creating it, together, here. As if we were the only two humans who could make it possible. The awkwardness fading away. And a smile in its place. Until one of our stops. Though none of us stops. Until the meeting ends. Until we meet our ends. Brother. Highbury and Islington.

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In one of the most disappointing movies of the year 2013, Sean Penn aims his camera at a Snow Leopard. This 2 minute scene could’ve saved the movie had it not been for the lousiness of the other 90 minutes. The Snow Leopard is one of the toughest creatures to take a picture of and Sean has been waiting for weeks. He calls it the ghost cat. Now, finally, it’s here. In his lens. Still though, he doesn’t shoot it. He stops, looks, lets his companion watch then lets it slip away. "Beautiful things don't ask for attention”. The Snow Leopard leaves the scenery. Like she just did.

There’s something in this walk of yours that’s reminiscent of ghost cats. It’s the way you put a foot in front of the other. Not to walk but to mark the moment. To draw a stand. It’s a pose. Certainly. Only it’s not one you do. This isn’t an effort you exert. This Is your foot. This stand is as much a part of you as your hand or your hair are. This un-complication of your being leaves me staring at the invisible trail you leave. As if beauty had the features of a breath : Seemingly easy. Doesn’t everyone breathe ? Yet breathing reveals its beauty only to the ones who bothered mastering it. Such was your stand today. Made historic to the quiet photographer probably because you’ve come to master it but even more so because of the way you let it slip away. Between the feet of reality. As if it was another lost kid no one needs to pay attention to.

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"Beautiful things don't ask for attention”. The Snow Leopard never asked to be filmed. And it never will. It exists in its outrageous beauty whether eyes are looking or not. "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" is actually a philosophical thought experiment questioning observation and the knowledge of reality. Is the Leopard still beautiful once eclipsed by these rocks, does the tree make a sound in the depth of the jungle, are you still a standing goddess if I miss your sight for the sake of my book ? There’s this resilience to the beauty of existence that just tells me I’d never be so silly.


“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” Jack Kerouac, On the Road. These are the ones you cross laughing out loud in transports. These are the rare cats of the city. These are the Youtube stars, the crazy ones, the mad ones, the impossibles, the freaks.

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Really crazy people don't try to be crazy. David Foekinos wrote about swedish Markus in “La Délicatesse” saying “he wanted to do something mad, which was proof to the fact that he wasn’t”. For the mad ones are just what they are : Mad. This is not a show. This is not a performance. This is reality. It is as much a trait of their being as the curls in their hair or the brown of their eyes.

And you can spot them from afar. They are glitches in reality and just as Neo spots a déjà-vu when the agents get closer to the Nebuchadnezzar clique, you can sense shit’s down and happening when they’re near. It’s a specific feeling. A bright thread in the fabric of reality. If you put your ear against the wall of the universe. There and then, you can hear a distorsion. The freaks are here. The freaks are here. The freaks are here. And though it's fear you think you sense. Don't get mixed up. This heart is yours to steer. And the beats of scare are the same as excitement. Giddy up. Giddy up. The freaks are here. The freaks are here.