In Le Longdoz, there's me, us, and then there's them.
The daytime sleepwalkers. The rusty cogs of some blind mechanics, merciless for its faulty parts. We simply ignore them, it boils down to that. We walk past them, taking care of not raising our eyebrows too high, and persuade ourselves that they're a write-off anyway. It is done in a matter of seconds: we get rid of them as quickly as we take them over – with infernal ease.
And yet, I can't help meeting them everyday. Denying them would imply chloroforming a part of myself. I know they live with me, and yet I find myself stuck in the dark when it comes to them. Them. The castaways of some deserted ship, their look gleaming with doubt and peculiar softness, joggling their solitude in the eternal brown paper bag filled with cheap beers and king-size lighters. The eyes half-closed but their hearts forever tough, they brave days guilty of becoming a little more absurd with each minute passing. The lost numbers in the great lottery of Life, the try-again-please people.
This invisible republic is as captivating as it is bluntly fierce. By letting their reality overflow the sidewalk, they command us to look – both straight and away. They start becoming some kind of instant show, leaving you just enough time to light a cigarette or cross the street.
Each face looks familiar, and yet we are destined to remain alien to each other, to coexist – both together and on our own. Through them, everyone can realize what they are truly escaping from: to be lonesome. Here is what disturbs us, what makes us twitch. Be lonesome. Definitely lonesome. To extricate yourself from that lethargic magma, left to your own devices, drowning in the children's pool. To forget how to deal with tomorrow by constantly going through yesterday again. To live inside a shop window, adrift from time and everything else, not knowing who to tell it to.
This is why, in Le Longdoz just as anywhere else, these day watchmen make us ill at ease: they relentlessly remind us how it feels to be faced with anyone but yourself. This is why living together is implicitely violent: we know ourselves to be desynchronised - differently alone.
This loneliness, some honk it away. Others turn their backs against it with their eyes covered. Me, I face, track and snap it: I immortalize it so I can exorcise it.
Niall Yates for Maxence Dedry