‘Vitalité’ in quarantine

She used to sit by the sea and watch the waves dance rhythmically and lively as if they were playing a child's game. The white sea balls in the water rose and fell calmly, keeping their distance. They preferred ‘social distancing'. The sun burned like a fiery wreath. The elderly woman near the sea was reading a leaflet. She probably found it thrown away. The words of the advertisement sounded provocative. She walked into the sea, opened her arms to the sky as if she wanted to make a rainbow. She faced the sun, as if flirting with it. She was doing something that was totally hers.She danced like a ballerina, turning around, making rings with her body. She warmly greeted the hot circle of fire.The sun might turned a blind eye at her, like the famous advertisement. Even this word, if read in French, becomes vitalité. The dictionary could explain more: caractére de ce qui manifeste une santé. Indeed, she felt vitality and energy. She was possessed by a teenage vibrancy, as if something inside her had been reborn or perhaps never died. What feeling dominated her? How could she feel lonely when the Mediterranean Sea stretched out in front of her? Maybe she was celebrating something that was gone. Maybe she was celebrating something that was coming. It was so reminiscent of the movie 'La dolce vita'. She took her towel, lit a cigarette and left. Those were the summer days. These days like keeping a distance too. And now, silence or solitude?Could silence mean solitude? The children. They were adults now.They had to protect her from any risk of social contacts. Suddenly, she remembered that she had to clean the windows of the house. They were really blurry. Even the images of her imagination became blurry too. Now she could see clearly. The time was 19.10 o' clock. She saw him again passing by. Τhe air one more time swept away the brown leaves and the silence is non negotiable. The absence is obvious on his face. Every night he appeared passing by the same street. He didn't talk to her. She liked to watch him walking. She found it somehow interesting to watch people on the street passing by. His walk was quick as he passed by the palm trees.Every night, he passed by. Nothing had really changed for him. No social distancing codes or any other kind of norms. His white jacket and blue jeans seemed slightly worn and his long messy hair together with his grey beard gave the impression of a revolutionary. He was wearing a large earring that could mean a deliverance. Perhaps it could just symbolize the concept of freedom. Who was he? She wondered many times but never actually tried to find out. That was not the point… Why want to destroy the images of her imagination. He always continued his way. He lights a cigarette looking for a tiny moment at the sky. Maybe he was searching for a silence that speaks loudly. A thought seems to occupy his mind for a few seconds. He finishes the cigarette and throws the butt away, like getting rid of something suspicious. Sirens of a police car sounded remotely. A police car seemed to be getting closer. What was going on? The elderly woman was so curious now. The story began to be getting really exciting. The brown leaves together with the cigarette butt, flew away rhythmically with excitement too. The passer-by does not seem to care or feel scared of something. For him everything is so conventional. The police car stopped in front of him. Two young police officers seemed to be asking him something and then the passerby showed them something on his cell phone and then they left. He was just a passer-by. Nothing more. A passer-by in his own path. He is bored. His youth was now gone. All kinds of experiences of yesterday are always fresh to his memory. Now he was just walking. No particular direction. He does not care where to go. He lives for today. Even if today seems boring. He is a revolutionary. He is moving forward freely. The empty streets and the discarded masks do not seem to influence his thoughts. Could the ‘system' define the measure to his freedom? He used to defy all these norms in the past. Could he be different now…? The elderly woman remembered her own personal slogan ‘vitalité…' and thought that they had something in common….She always enjoyed watching the neighbors through her window. Sometimes she even wished that she could invite them to her house for a coffee but then she knew that she couldn't. Elderly people should be more careful and keep social distancing rules more strictly. She hated that. How many times would she clean the house or watch television? All programs on the television were either boring or news with all the sad information on people dying due to the pandemic. People seem to be more scared and alone than ever. But what if all humans started to feel more vitality instead of hiding themselves behind complaints and murmurs.The passer-by on the street suddenly waved at her for the first time…

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