When one goes in the direction of the train station, the way of choice is the “Charles Baudelaire Street”. It starts in the busiest avenue, passes by a calm square, the local food market and ends up at one block from the station. It crosses blocks of old brick buildings from the beginning of the twentieth century, remains of the popular, labor spirit of those times.

More or less at the middle of the way, there is a tall building with “Girl's School” carved on the stone over the door. Early in the morning and at the end of the afternoon, the sidewalk is busy and noisy of young teenagers with their mobile phones and loud discussions. And they laugh and laugh and laugh, with the echoes coming back and forth on the brick walls, filling the air with youth.

A cheerful, prosaic start for busy travel days, filling the gray fall days with light and color. It is not unusual to see serious businessmen whistling after passing in front of it, smiling smiles full of complicity to the other passing people.

When one day, I stopped by with mild amusement when I looked at the name of the place. The school is called “Paul Verlaine”. I remember staying there for a few moments wondering how would it feel like to attend classes in a place named and place after such honorable poets. Maths and sciences are probably dead classes, literature and history would reach a mystical level. I think I even daydreamed of long lines of young poets graduating from it.

Perhaps not. It is probably a regular school, dispensing broad knowledge and well-run as most around here. It is also very unlikely that the kids that are schooled there know much about Baudelaire and Verlaine. At least not much more than what their teachers tell them. Most people, parents and students alike, just walk around with blissful ignorance to the small details that only a daily routine can produce.

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