Madness & Morrison

This is a story I wrote a couple of years ago - and just found on my computer. I rather like the way it starts out, but I'm not 100% pleased with the ending. I think I can justify this by making it clear that I wrote this at age 13 though, can't I??


2. #2

"I think it's that way .. Or maybe this?" my dad mumbled as he turned the map in his hands. We had arrived in Paris a few days ago, to the apartment we had rented cheaply and my parents had insisted that we visited all the usual tourist attractions first. Whenever I pleaded to see Morrison's grave, they'd tell me that we had to cover the western part of Paris first, and that I should count myself lucky to be in this amazing city in the first place. They didn't understand how I'd longed to meet Jim Morrison, and since that was impossible, then at least visit his grave. They didn't understand at all. We saw Notre Dame, walked the crooked streets of the Latin Quarter, stepped on the scenes of Amelie in Montmatre, but it was impossible for me to enjoy all the sights with the excitement of visiting Jim Morrison in my head. Finally, when they'd had enough of my moaning, they agreed to bring me to Cimetiere du Pere-Lachaise; the graveyard I'd longed to go to for so long. We arrived, and I traced the cemetery map with my finger, looking for grave number 30, section 6. Morrison's grave. I found it and, forgetting my family in a rush of excitement and adrenaline, started off towards the section of the graveyard.

The graveyard seemed to stretch on and on - I figured it was about the size of my suburban town combined with the neighbouring one. It was at least 30 times bigger than our local graveyard, but our graveyard was smaller than any other, I was certain. The graveyard seemed quite empty, no one but the odd old lady filling her watering can at the taps, a few asian tourists walking around with maps. All around me graves stood, a lot of them small stone houses with tombs inside, guarded by angel-decorated iron gates. Everything was old, and there were very few new graves - i could see that without even looking at the engraved dates. The trees towering overheard were turning various shades of red and brown, and the wind was getting stronger and icy; the summer was over. The last of the evening sun hit me in the face as I stepped into a little clearing, bringing a pleasant warmth to my otherwise cold face. I was looking around, and the space around me was deserted. I could see my family far behind me on the asphalt track, and not before now did I realise how fast I'd been walking. This didn't slow me down, I thought I'd let them catch up while I found what I was searching for. I kept walking, and I knew I was getting closer - 9th section, 8th section, 7th section and.. 6th section. What were all these people doing here, were they all here to see Morrison? A huge crowd stood before me, surrounding a grave, and I could see the flash of cameras amongst the crush of people. I tried to move my way through the crowd, to see if it was in fact Morrison's grave. I couldn't get to the front, so I figured I'd ask someone; there was no need to elbow my way through the crowd if it was somebody without importance lying beneath the ground. I scouted the crowd, and spotted a young girl in a leather jacket with headphones in, near the front. I made my way towards her, and asked her who everyone was yearning to see. And to my horror, she looked at me and said: 'Jim Morrison, the legend'. I was never going to get to the front. I decided to give it a go, and sticking my elbows out from my sides, I had no mercy. I got to the front after a while of insults in French and a few shoves, and stood holding on to the metal railing. A square grave stood before me with faded lettering, saying 'James Douglas Morrison, 1943 - 1971'. It was covered in flowers and a stray pack of cigarettes stood on top. Wouldn't be long before someone swiped them. I heard the girl in the leather jacket close behind me saying, in a thick French accent, that she had come this evening to see if anyone had swiped the joint she had lain on the grave earlier. It was gone. She didn't seem to care though, and even if she said some youngster had come and seen the opportunity to get high for free, I could see in her eyes that somewhere inside her she thought it was Jim Morrison himself. French people are crazy, I thought. I left her alone with her crazy ideas, and moved closer to the grave, ducking under the railing. A few people behind me tutted, but no one tried to stop me. My parents must be in the back of the crowd, they wouldn't have let me. I stroked the name engraved in the grey stone, and frowned. Why was he buried here? Paris wasn't his home - he was from Florida! I knew Paris was where he died, but he didn't get a say in where he would be buried, and I was sure it wasn't in this stranger country he'd have wanted to stay forever. I stood looking at the grave for a while, thinking who had agreed to his burial being in France, when my parents came to the front of the crowd and beckoned me to come with them. I could see how I'd stood here for a while, although it had felt like five minutes, tops. I bent down and kissed the grave, ignoring the tutting behind me and the mumbles about how unhygienic my action was, and ducked under the railing to follow my parents. I stole a last glance at the grave of my idol, and made my way through the crowd.

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