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Photo: BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images

一處悼唁巴塔克蘭劇院恐怖攻擊罹難者的臨時性地點。 Photo: Getty Images


這名男子匍伏在人行道上,雨水淋濕了他的頭髮,他跪在潮濕的柏油路面上。冰冷的風吹進他敞開的外套,他似乎不以為意。在這個週六,也就是二○一五年十一月二十一日,他把幾個被風吹倒的花瓶立起,將散落開來的花束塞向牆縫裏,並藉一捲思高膠帶之助,把遭雨打落的幾十封吊唁信黏好。他以俐落的動作劃亮火柴,重新點燃熄滅的燭光。
我聽見他規律的抽吸鼻子聲。他在哭泣嗎?接着他站起身,我們彼此對望,淚眼矇矓,好一會兒他才低聲說道:「我住這附近。胡曼和我是朋友。」
胡曼.諾夫勒是一位吉他製作師傅,在巴黎東區的勞工階級社區梅尼蒙當開業,一週前於巴塔克蘭劇院喪生。十一月十三日那天,恐怖分子血洗巴黎,他橫遭槍殺。
胡曼的工作室距巴塔克蘭劇院一英里半,地址是嘉庭街十八號。那名被雨淋濕頭髮的男人在這裏追憶往事,路人和鄰居也在這裏表達他們的悲傷和團結。吉他店的鐵捲門已經拉下來,好似降半旗。
附近孩童在人行道上貼了真情流露、教人心碎的留言:「胡曼,謝謝你的吉他。」署名甘蒂絲。「胡曼,你是我兄弟。」署名保羅。這棟樓的一名住戶寫道:「胡曼,自你走後,這棟樓就失了靈魂──樓梯間再也聽不到吉他聲。」這條人行道不再是人行道,而成了追思的小教堂。
這天早上,我們大約有十個人在這裏默默致敬。一名身穿高雅米黃色大衣、約莫六十歲的婦人轉身向我說:「我經過這裏時,也喜歡看他工作。」她低語道,彷彿我們正接續未完的對話。她用「我也」感動了

貼在胡曼店前的照片。Photo: BERTRAND GUAY/AFP


我。這兩字道出了恐攻以來全巴黎人的感受:同樣的驚慌失措、同樣的需要安慰,和同樣對生命的熱愛。
胡曼的店裏生氣蓬勃:店內沒有隔間,裝潢平實,教人感到賓至如歸。進門後,左邊牆上掛着吉他(大半是電吉他);右邊則是蜂蜜色的工作檯,上面擺着類似家具師傅使用的工具。在法國城鎮的大小街上,除了修鞋匠之外,已經有很長一段時間看不到正在工作的工匠了。胡曼.諾夫勒卻是個例外。從店外,可以看到他頂上提早稀疏的頭低垂在工作檯前,雙手穿梭,專心工作。他才三十一歲,卻帶着老師傅的沉穩。
許多街坊看到他店前一排製作琴頸的木料都深深着迷。「這是楓木、桃花心木,和花梨木,花梨木來自非洲,拿來彈藍調很動聽,」有天,他這麼告訴我。我是業餘樂手,去他店裏是為了幫兒子尤利選購吉他。尤利那時七歲,老愛搶我的吉他,而我的吉他對他太大了,也有被他弄壞的風險;是時候讓他有自己的樂器了。胡曼想見見孩子,但那可是耶誕禮物。
我們聊了半小時的音樂和童年。胡曼想知道尤利是個什麼樣的孩子。他手裏拿着螺絲起子,一邊聽我說,一邊修理吉他的調音旋鈕。音樂保護你不受歲月的侵蝕。這位吉他師傅儘管在專業生涯已頗富盛名,仍保有孩童般的容顏。
我們談話時,一位年約四十多歲的男子走進店裏,穿着三件式西裝,但沒打領帶,看起來像是個生意人。後面跟着進來的是一位看不出年紀的搖滾樂手,一頭白髮,戴了一只銀色耳環。第一位客人想要一組弦,第二位則是拿他的低音吉他來修。他們聊起一支我沒聽過的英國樂團。形形色色的人在這位吉他師傅的店裏交匯。
自十一月十三日以來,表達聲援和悼唁的訊息從全球各地湧來,許多最後都以響亮的「法蘭西萬歲」作結。在嘉庭街十八號,表達祝福的人士插了三支法國小國旗,旗幟頂着雨水,隨風飄揚。胡曼會因此而感動嗎?未必!法國人並不輕易標榜愛國。然而,自十一月十三日以來,超越國界藩籬,我們為自己的國籍感到自豪,也樂於和所有熱愛自由和民主的人士串連。人們唱着〈馬賽曲〉,而多少世紀以來巴黎的座右銘「隨波濤起伏卻不沉沒」也再度出現。
我們發現我們可以愛國,卻不必是民族主義者。我們也確信一項事實,就是恐怖分子總會贏得第一場戰役,但永遠會輸掉戰爭。胡曼的親朋好友思念他,街坊鄰居也思念他。當他為吉他調音時,就彷彿為這個世界在混亂中恢復了些許秩序,些許的和諧。我們家距離他生前的工作室五十碼,客廳裏,尤利的吉他立在我的吉他旁。昨晚,我們一起為它調音。


Thank You for the Guitar

The man is on all fours on the sidewalk, his hair soaked by the rain and his knees on the wet asphalt. The icy wind that blows into his open jacket doesn’t seem to bother him. On this Saturday, November 21, 2015, he stands up the vases that have been blown over by the wind, pushes the scattered flowers into cracks in the wall and sticks with the help of a roll of Scotch tape® the dozens of messages of sympathy that have been detached by the rain. With a sharp movement he strikes a match and relights the candles that have gone out.
I hear him sniff at regular intervals. Is he crying? He gets up. We look at one another misty-eyed for a long moment before he murmurs, “I’m a neighbor. Romain and I were friends.”
Romain Naufle was the guitar-maker in this working-class neighborhood of Ménilmontant in the east of Paris. He died at the Bataclan one week earlier, on November 13, gunned down by the terrorists who turned Paris into a bloodbath.
Romain’s workshop is located a mile and a half from the Bataclan, at 18 rue des Gâtines. It is here that the man with rain-soaked hair is tending to his memory and that passers-by and neighbors are expressing their grief and solidarity. The metal shutter of the guitar-maker’s shop is pulled down, like a flag at half-mast.
The children of the neighborhood have stuck affectionate and heartrending messages on it: “Thank you for the guitar, Romain”, signed Candice. “Romain, you’re my buddy”, signed Paul. A resident of the house has written: “Romain, since you’ve been gone, the building has lost its soul—we no longer hear the sound of guitars in the stairwell.” The sidewalk is no longer a sidewalk, but a chapel of remembrance.
On this morning, there are about ten of us paying our respects in silence. A woman of about 60 wearing an elegant beige coat turns to me: “I too liked to see him work as I walked by,” she whispers as if we were continuing a conversation. Her “I too” touches me. It underlines what we have all shared in Paris since the attacks: the same stupefaction, the same need for consolation and the same love of life.
Romain’s shop was a lively place. A single, modest and welcoming room. On the left as you went in, the guitars —mainly electric—hung on the wall. On the right was his honey-colored workbench with his tools that were similar to a cabinetmaker’s. In the streets of our cities and towns, apart from the shoe mender, it’s a long time since we’ve seen craftsmen at work. Romain Naufle was the exception. From outside, you could see his head, with his prematurely thinning hair, bent over the workbench, concentrating on his work, his hands moving. He was only 31 but worked with the calm of a man of experience.
Many of us in the neighborhood were fascinated by the pieces of wood lined up in his shopfront that would become guitar necks. “Maple, mahogany and padauk, an African wood that’s excellent for playing the blues,” he told me one day. An amateur musician myself, I had gone to him to buy a guitar for my son. Youri was then seven and was always grabbing my guitar that was too big for him, with the risk of him damaging it; it was time he had his own instrument. Romain wanted to meet the boy, but it was a Christmas present.
For half an hour, we spoke about music and childhood. Romain wanted to understand what kind of kid Youri was. He listened to my explanations while all the time fixing on the tuning keys of a guitar, a screwdriver in his hand. Music preserves you from the passage of time; the guitar-maker had retained a childlike face and smile even though he was well established in his professional life.
During our conversation, a man in his 40s who looked like a trader in his three-piece suit, but without a tie, had come into the shop. An ageless rocker, with grey hair and a silver earring, had followed him in. The first wanted a set of strings and the second was bringing his bass guitar to be repaired. They started talking about an English group I hadn’t heard of. All kinds of people mixed in the guitar-maker’s shop.
Since November 13, messages of support and compassion have poured in from all around the world. Many end with a resounding “ Vive la France”. At 18 rue des Gâtines, well-wishers have placed three small French flags, which flap in the wind and are withstanding the rain. Would Romain have appreciated them? Not necessarily! The French are not easily patriotic. However, since November 13, beyond our borders, we are proud of our nationality and happy to be united with all lovers of freedom and democracy. People are singing La Marseillaise and Paris’s centuries-old motto has re-emerged—“Fluctuat nec mergitur”—“it is tossed by the waves but does not sink”.
We are finding that we can be patriots without being nationalists. And we are convinced of the fact that, while the terrorists always win the first battle, they always lose the war. Romain is missed by his family and friends. He is missed by his neighborhood. When he tuned a guitar, it was as if he were restoring some order in the chaos of the world. Some harmony. In our living room at home, 50 yards from his former workshop, Youri’s guitar stands next to mine. Last night, we tuned it together.

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