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Rue Sans Souci

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Rue Sans Souci |

Aneta (27) from Dolný Kubín

In Saint-Gilles, the streets Rue Berckmans, Rue de la Bonté and Rue de Livourne met in one spot. In one corner was the bar Le Livourne, in another the bar Chez Stephy and in the third was the house where she lived. From the window in her room, she had a view of the place where the streets crossed. And she liked to look out the window and down to the street, the two bars and the life that went on in them.

One bar, La Livourne, with its dark red awning and red parasols folded shut in winter, was a little shabbier than the other. There was almost always a man sitting with his cigarette at one of the tables set up in front of the bar. Depending on the time of day, he sometimes had a cup of steaming coffee or a drink in front of him.

Then there was the other bar, Chez Stephy, which looked a little more classy, a little more artsy, a little more cosy. At this time of year, the Christmas lights on the ceiling made it look even cosier, inviting you to nestle inside. Of course, the true Brusselsers were content with a seat in front of the bar. She found it fascinating that regardless of the level of cold in Brussels, so many people gathered outside cafés and restaurants, seemingly to just enjoy their drinks and company without worrying about the cold.

When she returned from work in the evening, she never felt isolated or lonely. At the point where the three streets meet, she could see and hear the people outside from her window. While many people may have been disturbed by the buzz, it gave her renewed energy. She was part of the community she saw and heard every day.

There had been one night, her mother was visiting, when the commotion outside had been a little too gaudy, a little too loud for her. A man sitting outside the bar decided to take out his trumpet. Without further ado, she went downstairs in her pyjamas and told him to stop. When the girl next to him asked: "Oh, you don't like music?", she solely replied “I definitely like to listen to it in the day at 2pm rather than at 2am at nighttime.”

When she left her house to go to work, she often passed Rue Sans Souci. As she walked along, she sometimes thought about the zillion things that preoccupied her mind. When she noticed that she was walking through a street called "street without worries", thoughts like "Oh, I wish that was true for me" or "How ridiculous that I am here right now" would pop into her head.

She reflected on the worries that occasionally floated by in her thoughts. Worries like nightly trumpet concerts or shivering limbs in cold Brussels. They sometimes masked the positive sentiment that would usually take centre stage in her world of thoughts. And she wondered how people could walk along here without having worries.

Before long, she would walk back after a successful day at work, towards a home that brought her comfort, and any worries would completely disappear into thin air. With a pleasant feeling and a smile on her lips, she would walk down the street “sans souci”

© Myosotis 2023-01-28


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