I was by chance on the roof of one of the highest buildings there. It was night, it was calm, it was one of those fresh night of November. The building was on a hill, so I could see all the neighbourhood in a delightful panoramic view, covered with the orange night-lights of the nearby and faraway streets, in a harmonic mix with some horizon light-points of other high buildings. The neighbourhood Mosque and the Rades Stadium were one of them. I have lived here for 15 years, definitely not a short meaningless period for a newly-graduated a 24-old guy.
We moved out on July 23, 2011, it has been little more than a year now. I am still a complete stranger in this new neighbourhood, all the people are strangers to each other here. Not very abnormal, it’s a new 23-apartment building in a under construction zone. The very few inhabitants here barely say hi to each other. They are mostly newly-married couples, usually with very young children. I am the only young man here. Since more than a year, I haven’t had a single more-than-a-minute discussion, still only getting dry “orientedless” looks. Since more than a year, I have only had diplomacy short pointless conversations with the building keeper. Since more than a year, I have said good bye to my child’hood friends and my neighbourly-social life. Since more than a year, the door bell has never rung with somebody calling me outside.
I miss the times when it’s very unlikely to meet someone you don’t know in front of your house. I miss the times when you know exactly who is living in each single house of an at-least-2-kilometer area. I miss the very old nights I spent wandering in the nearby streets or just sitting in front of someone’s house with some neighbour peers. I miss the very very old times when I liked the girl whom was living just two blocs away, I was only thirteen and we used to go to the same school, which is only 800 meters away. I miss the times when we -the “quartier” mates- gather ourselves in the afternoon, call somebody who has a football ball and go play against the other “quartier” ‘s team in the high school sports field, the high school that all of us went or still go to. I miss the Mosque in which I spent 6 years attending the “Friday Prayer”, all the other attendees’ faces became familiar in a way that a new comer can be easily spotted. I miss my hairdresser, the person to whom I go to hear funny storied, the person who knows exactly what to do to my hair without making me say a word. It was this neighbourhood I was looking at this night. Since more than a year now, I still haven’t succeeded to get over this already-closed chapter of my life. I think I never will.
Our old house was just across the street in front of me. Some strangers are now living in. The living room and toilet’s lights are on. The garden trees are much more bigger now. A strange car was parked in the front. There are as twice satellite receivers as there was when we were living there. My parents put a 4-year effort building this house. They made it just perfect. Too sad we had to sell it and move out when this zone suffered from over population and endless traffic jams and other irreversible unfixable problems.
I left a “quartier” in which every single street has a story, I left a “quartier” from which I could see the complete sky sphere at night, there were no high buildings. I left a “quartier” where when I wander late at night I feel completely secure as I knew every damn dark side there and every single person living or passing by. I left a “quartier” where it’s impossible for me to be alone outside for more than 5 minutes. I left it to another new “quartier” from which I can’t even see the moon at night. It’s a middle-heigh apartment. I left to another new “quartier” where people walk side-by-side without talking, I left to another new “quartier” in which you have the feeling that you are the only human being. I left Home to find myself in a complete strange place.
I was by chance on the roof of one of the highest buildings there. It was night, it was calm, it was a fresh November night. Looking to the stranger who are living in the house across the street. Looking to my Home, our house that never got burgled in 15 years. Looking to this”home” that now got robbed twice, after we had left.