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EssayKatarzyna Karpowicz

By Małgorzata Czyńska

Film

I know how it looks. A young woman, sitting at a restaurant table. Too young to sit in a restaurant alone. Probably waiting for someone. Yes, I’m waiting.

Katarzyna Karpowicz Katarzyna Karpowicz

Probably for a man, definitely not for a girlfriend. For a man, not a boy. No boys come here, of course. I’m waiting for a man.

He stops in the door, and my heart stops, he comes to the table, sits down. Everything is clear. The woman at the table next to us gives us a contemptuous look. Her partner’s eyes are firmly on his plate. I know how it looks.

Remember the “Parc Monceau” segment in Paris, je t’aime? The one with Nick Nolte and Ludivine Sagnier?

Dusk falls. Claire and Vincent meet on the street. He came by bus, she showed up before him, waiting impatiently. They run towards each other like young lovers. Anyway, she’s young, he’s well into his middle age. But you know, younger women give older men wings. That’s what it looks like.

Vincent: Claire, I’m sorry, I came as soon as I could.

Claire: I told you to take the metro.

Vincent: I didn’t expect you to call.

Claire: Maybe I shouldn’t have.

Vincent: What are you talking about? We’ve already come this far.

Claire: I don’t know.

Vincent: Wait a minute, don’t you trust me? (he embraces Claire, looks into her eyes)

They walk quickly, teasing each other, taking each other’s hands, cuddling up to each other. She says she’s worried what will happen when Gaspard wakes up and doesn’t see her. She feels like Gaspard is taking over her life. Vincent advises her to let go a little, so they can see each other more often.

Claire: I’ve been dreaming so long of this day, and when I finally got free, I feel guilty.

Vincent: Guilt... Don’t, don’t, don’t. Let’s at least give it a chance. Make Gaspard a balloon, not a ball and chain.

Claire: Was I a ball and chain?

Vincent: Mon petite Claire, you were not a ball and chain. You were a zeppelin. Now you should go and have fun. When was the last time you went to the movies?

Claire is his daughter and Gaspard is Claire’s son. That’s what it looks like.

I don’t know why I’m bringing up that scene right now. I just watched a lot of movies when I was young. Or rather, I do know: I’m looking for examples that show that things and events often look different than they really are.

My story’s cinematic, too. It’s like in El Sur.

I sit in a restaurant, even though I don’t fit in here. I’m waiting for a man. My heart stops when I see him. I know how it looks. But you have to see this movie.