Dans Ma Rue (In My Street)

This is a fictional diary entry based on the song "Dans Ma Rue" by Edith Piaf, recently covered by ZAZ, written from the perspective of a prostitute as she dies on the street where she grew up. (Remediation project for MED104)

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1. In My Street

When I was little, I lived in a corner of old Montmartre and my dad came home drunk every single night. My poor mum had to work long hours at the laundry just to feed the four of us. Whenever I used to get sick, I'd sit by my bedroom window and watch the people passing by. But when night fell and the day disappeared, there were a few things which really scared me...

In my street, there were people just prowling around and I could hear them whispering all through the night. I would fall asleep lulled by some old song drifting in my window, but then I would suddenly wake up to the screams coming from below. The sound of whistles and lurking footsteps coming and going... Then after that, there was just a silence which always chilled me right through my heart. In my street, I swear there were ghosts. And I would lie in bed alone, trembling with fear and cold.

Then one day my dad came to me and said "You are not going to stay here forever. You’re good for nothing in this family, it’s time you started to earn your keep. Men find you quite attractive, you’d only have to go out at night. There are plenty of women who earn a good living just walking up and down the sidewalk”

In my street, there were women who just walked around and I could hear them all singing in the night. I used to fall asleep lulled by some old song, but I would always wake up to their screams. The sound of whistles and lurking footsteps coming and going... Then that silence, which chilled me right through my heart. In my street, there are women who just saunter around... And I’m trembling. And I’m cold. And I’m afraid…

And now for weeks and weeks, I’ve got no home and I’ve got no money. I don’t know how everyone else is managing it, but I can’t seem to find any customers. I beg for help from the people who pass... a slice of bread or something to keep me warm. But I'm not as bold as I used to be and now it's me who makes them afraid. 

Every night, I walk up and down my street and I know everyone must hear me sobbing. And when the wind blows that old song into the dark sky, the rain turns my entire body to ice. I can’t take it anymore, I’m just waiting for God to come and get me... to invite me home where I can stay warm by his side.

In my street, there are angels who come to take me away. And my nightmare is finally over... Forever.

 

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