«You’ll think about sticking your name on yours, eh! »Glancing at the battery of mailboxes at the bottom of the building, I realize that the advice is not superfluous, even if it is aimed at children in their thirties, adults and vaccinated. – yes, yes, vaccinated! They settle into their new home but are obviously not eager to signal their presence. Even the doorbells, sometimes, remain anonymous. As if they were living in complete autonomy – they are not, I know that.
In my mind it’s not about letting people know to the city and the world that they have just moved in but at least to facilitate the work of the postman, the concierge, the friends who will come to dinner one evening and who do I know…
It is obvious that our children no longer receive a lot of mail. And that they send even less, that is another. No more paper bills for electricity or gas, no more pay slips. No materialized exchanges with the administrations. No letters or postcards to exchange with friends or family. In these conditions, frankly, what is the point of putting his name on the letterbox?
Collector’s reflex missed? For a long time I put aside the successive addresses of our children during their internships or their first job abroad. I remember having already mentioned a few, chosen for their exotic sound: Holly House Coppice in Birmingham; Plaza Viergen de Los Dolorès in Seville; Bathurst Street in Toronto; or Geylang East, in Singapore. Not to mention the accommodation that children, throughout these years, have been able to occupy in France. We have them, my wife and I, copied enough when signing leases, surety commitments and everyone when they moved in, alone or in a shared apartment, while still depending on mum and dad, so that these names remain very evocative.
These addresses draw a modest map of France or the world and recall the geographical route of our children around their 20s. One way to cultivate nostalgia for them – they don’t have time today! Because I am sensitive to the evocative power of addresses, I have also kept a few yellowed envelopes, previously received by my parents. I thus find traces of their former homes, sometimes even prior to their meeting and their marriage: avenue des Bateliers in Saint-Ouen, for my mother; rue de Rome, in my father’s little Tarn village.
I think back to all this when our newspapers, several months after the start of the school year, however, continue to tell about the galleys of certain young people, students or not, in couple or not, in search of an impossible accommodation. This address, this letterbox, many wait for it without really believing it.
Last minute news: my youngest and his wife have moved into their new home. Furnished accommodation and therefore provisional, no doubt, because they always have a bit of a nomadic spirit. We are not about to read their names on the doorbell.