Saujon, August 1985
I’m impressed. I don’t dare talking too much, among those tall girls, but I feel good right here, even by putting slices of blood orange on the glasses rimmed with sugar.
Why are they getting tired to craft such cute things while outside, and in the living room, everybody is already half drunk ?
However, I like listening to their conversations, insignificant maybe ; but I feel introduced in the world I was dreaming of , sitting alone in my room a few day earlier.
“Who’s playing the music? I may like Nitzer Ebb, but so loud …
– It’s David, he arrived with Colin and our little Eponine.
– Oh, shit, we won’t be allowed to ask him anything.
– It’s true he has a very high idea of his function, but take him as he is; a nice guy in the end.
– I prefer when it’s Virgile to the turntables. He’s hectic, and he at least refuses you nothing…”
Sylvain, the boy who’s my age, is some kind of shaggy little brown thing, with a shapeless AC/DC t-shirt, tumbling down with a beer bottle in hand.
“ WHO gave you this ? asks Valentine, frowning.
– The guys at the barbecue, much cooler than you as it seems…
– Then what are you doing here, stupid ? Eponine has arrived, you know the girl who’s your age…
– V’nin …
– Thanks for the enthousiasm !
– But it is that there is urgency, they say over there. Coquelicot put the shopper in her leg.”
The news is greeted by a concert of loud cries.
“Couldn’t you say it sooner, you asshole?
– You didn’t let me speak, guys want you to come quick ‘cause she pisses blood.”
I’m taken with the group of frightened girls; in the living room they keep on dancing most naturally in the world.
Two huge guys with dizzying hairstyles support the famous “Coquelicot” (so named because of the red firecracker she has on her head) ; they wrapped a t-shirt around her leg. They take her to a guest room on the ground floor.
“ Shouldn’t we drive her to the hospital? I ask timidly
– No, weeps Coquelicot, it’s not that deep … But I’m sick of it, only shits happen to me…
– I told you not to go at the barbecue, Coco; says Valentine, with Alex around you would necessarily be too nervous.
– All guys are bastards, she sniffles in a sob”
Maude, the long haired girl, brought tons of gauze and mercurochrome; I help her to disinfect and compress the notch which indeed is not as deep as the flow of blood suggested.
“ Don’t worry for me, “little”. I may know who brought you here. But you may get bored to always be called “the sister of”… What’s your real name?
– Wasn’t it a girl in Victor Hugo’s novel?
– The eldest of Thenardiers. The one who falls desperately in love with an aristo , and who ends up on the barricade. Funny idea they had, my parents.
– I find it suits you well however. She’s a romantic character, perfect for tonight !
– Dad told me it was for her “redemption” ; but literary first names are a mania in our family.”
Both girls are laughing. We are only the three of us in this room now, everyone rushed back to dancing and drinking as soon as they knew their buddy was not at risk of bleeding. And apparently, it also itches her to go back with the others; so we help her; and I like the tight pressure of her arm on me.
“ Oh cool, Fad Gadget ! screams Maude, come with me Epo. Colin didn’t tell us you were prohibited from cocktails.”
“ Grenadine” is traitor. Barely a few sips and everything starts to waver around me. Synthetics chords and liquid tones form a sparkly curtain in the mist of tobacco. Maude has been caught by a guy who dances close to her , crumpling her hair on her back.
People are eating grilled pieces with both hands and I’m slightly disgusted by all this meat.
“ You’d better eat something, advices Valentine, otherwise you won’t hold alcohol…”
Oh, what to do
Not to feel and who are you ?
I like this sensation though, not feeling my feet on the ground nor this too young body, out of step with what surrounds “him” now; just being in the fog of running with sweat silhouettes, just being the same pulsation as them.
I sometimes see people dancing in front of me, encouraging me, but what I like is not being myself anymore.
“ Another glass, little Epo? Great Colin won’t blame me. My name is Alban, but I don’t know why, everybody calls me Albrecht; my hairstyle maybe …”
The guy looks a little bit like Barney indeed, with blond hair all in spikes; but the simplicity of his outfit, black jumper on a white shirt, contrast with the sartorial madness of the moment.
“ You mustn’t miss Valentine’s dessert, I have special instructions for that…”
Music is silent for a moment, and the already dim light goes down further, while some sort of big a pink cardboard dome is brought in the middle of the living room , surrounded by two cakes, or rather two mountains of whipped cream studded with strawberries.
“ And now , darlings, let’s all rise our glasses to the 20th anniversary of Valentine !” screams David in the microphone.
Thunder of cheers; some drunk “ Happy Birthday” collpapse quickly behind voices that I know well.
To the rhythm of “Master and Servant” the boiled cardboard dome splits in half, freeing Colin and Simon, both coiled in a gigantic feather boa which they throw away by dancing.
Guests, in line, pound the floor with their Doc Martens…
“ Hey Colin! Cover up that bosom, which I can’t endure to look on….
– Shut up Tartuffe ! answers my brother, you perfectly know where it comes from !”