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DAY 01

TORONTO TO DETROIT


It inevitably starts in an airport. This time, it’s the Toronto one, where I live. The plane is late. Two hours to kill, filled with good resolutions.
I promised myself to start from the beginning, keeping a detailed diary that documents the entire process…Have a little bit of discipline, comrade!

ON THE ROAD WITH HAPPINESS AND ANXIETY

Waiting to leave for Detroit. Everyone has their electronic devices.

I’m comfortably seated, ready, with my IPod in my ears. The “Blues”playlist is on. I try to put myself in the mood. I am anticipating, that which I’m dreaming of and want. And I start planning this trip.

I am not in a socializing mode, not in these circumstances, not in these places of transit. I don’t want to lose focus.

You may be wondering what I am up to…Well, let me tell you: I often have the privilege to undertake some art projects, mainly thanks to grants offered by the Arts Council of Ontario to francophone artists. This year, I was offered the opportunity to take on a project dear to my heart since I was little. I’m going on “the road”, the mythical one which leads to the American South.

Along this road that will take me from Detroit to Louisiana and back, I will try to meet people and film their evening meal… whatever that is.

I was adamant to not let myself over-prepare by making appointments in advance, as I usually would have done for a professional shoot. For this adventure, I precisely want to leave room for improvisation and chance encounters…

To this end, I am going to use my favorite recipe: follow my real and natural interests, without forcing, and then expect the encounters will happen… almost by magic. I will focus on seeking out good food and good music! With fingers-crossed, the rest will follow…

Still a little anxious about jumping into this adventure…Not quite sure if I am aiming right. Afraid to spend too much time and loose my shirt on it. Will I meet people that easily? Remarkable people? Do they really need to be remarkable after all? It’s not even that clear to me. Mundane things can carry a certain poetry too. And still… will they agree to let a complete weird-looking stranger who’s a bit swarthy, a “frenchie”, enter into their life for a while?

I have read and heard so much about “The South”, this place which I do not really know.

In fact, I have only crossed the region…. And this was a real long time ago.

Should I have tried to schedule some appointments, as per customary «casting»? Or was I actually right to do hit the road haphazardly… leaving all doors open?

Here we go, I am at the boarding gate for Detroit, some kind of an enclave, as if it were already a shameful destination. Oh man! What’s with the oily smell of bad grilled cheese, or burnt rather, which is a little out of place in this sanitized airport environment? It reminds me of the smell of a greasy spoon or French fries cabin… a lil’ rural flair, so to speak.

We’re off! I am finally flying in this little cuckoo. We are only five passengers. Looks like not that many people are heading to Detroit…