Saint-Palais-sur-mer , June 1985
Through the curtain of shower’s drops , I hear them both laughing. And when I come out of it, an amazing makeup collection is spread out on the bed. Capucine sits casually on her side, the perfect curve of her tanned leg shining in the evening sun. She’s redrawing his eyes with khôl.
– Go ahead frankly, I want to have a panda face when I’ll emerge from the pool.
– It’s been a long time since water-proof was invented, Colin.
– You didn’t tell me how his « new one » looked like …
– Like the ancient, straight auburn hair, long legged… To believe that all these dolls are just pretexts.
– Sure, they are. It’s all a huge comedy, and you’re really the one that I prefer in this house.
– And me?
Both turn around and laugh, really nobody takes me seriously.
– You won’t finish listening to us like that soon, Epo? You’re my only one sister, who on earth could I prefer you?
– I like your new swimsuit, it highlights your shoulders well …
I think this Capucine’s word will be the only compliment for me in all this endless evening. We’re crossing the bright living-room where the golden hour gently plays with his light. Adults sit outside , in this muffled purr of good conversations where even laughs are measured.
I’d love to be alone, with my new record playing on .
Dad, Jacques Dumont and Edouard were glorious friends in Cordouan High School, and it seems that this hard core of friendship shaped the rest of their lives around. Edouard has become a writer, and it “explains” the prestige he enjoys among us. He’s sitting in the center of the table, with his new “doll” by his side, wonderful in some kind of silvered sateen dress. With a conventional “Good evening Eponine” his gaze slides slightly on Colin, not without repressing a slight frown.
“ Here comes our brilliant laureate , with his anarchic hair and smoky eyes …
– Don’t you like my new style, Edouard?”
My brother then goes around the table to kiss everyone, ostensibly tinkling the buckles of his straps hanging on his hip. Mom, who always seems a little offbeat in this kind of meeting, gives his son a disapproving but tinged with admiration glance. He knows how to play, even in the most rigid atmospheres; but above all he has the tact to compliment the newcomer on her dress and to ask her name…
“We were just waiting for you to drink, and toast to this nicely concluded hypokhâgne…
– No Edouard it’s too… commonplace. I’d rather drink to the best poetry of the year; you’ve always loved lyrical register, didn’t you?
– I really never know what you’ve got in mind, but then, let’s rise our glasses to the best poetry of the year, boy …
– Let’s raise our glasses to the longest life of Shake The Disease !”
I can not believe it, all those people, the Dumont couple in evening clothes, their children Maxime, Ilya and Capucine; my parents, Edouard and Suzanne, all seriously toasting Shake The Disease by their pool on this evening…
“ Now, can you explain us, Colin?
– As clearly as lyrics can be … We just found the most accurate words to apply on the beauty and the ordeal of human relations .”