La Rochelle, January 1986
My dear Eponine,
Well, it was last August, five months ago, that I took my old clunker and drove to Saujon-City-in-the-fields for Valentine’s birthday. She had it hard with Virgile, but he accepted to do the DJ for her, with David on first part of the night. Not me. I had a tough working day in the bar; and to be honest, I came just not to disappoint her.
I didn’t even have time to change my clothes, and in fact I didn’t want to. It would already be such a festival of nails and fishnet stockings, and not only for girls … I wanted to enjoy the show quietly , maybe it would bring me sleep after all. To be honest, I’ve been annoyed when Colin asked me to watch over his little sister “just the time he and Simon prepared “their burlesque act” for dessert”. I had jumped in my car directly after the service, I was tired and the idea of playing the babysitter enchanted me about as much as going to a Jeanne Mas’s concert.
But it was Colin, the fresh blond baby of Montaigne’s preparatory class; the kind of guy so sweet you can’t deny him anything. I only knew him ( by David) since a few months, he already was with Simon, but I was attracted by him, as I’m always with those guys who breathe easy life and the cultural ease of good families.
I looked after you in the house, trying to chase the thought of my mum who had lost her second baby; and who was alone with me when it happened because daddy was on the seas ( by the way, he was not a docker, but a fisherman; at the time in charge of a crew without having the salary of a captain ) . Virgile and the guys were running all over the place because Coquelicot had just planted the chopper in his thigh, and I was asking why the hell they didn’t call Royan Hospital’s emergencies. And then I saw you in the room where she was, laughing with her and Maude ( the delightful Maude !) about your literary name… I understood then that it wouldn’t be as difficult as with the other “kids”.
Don’t misunderstand me, I quite like Sylvain but I do not understand this mania that the youngest have to piss off their elders by all means, because they know well that their elders are responsible for them. But it was not only your support for Coquelicot that I liked. After that I saw you dancing; first with the other girls, then little by little, in your own light…
And it was so obvious, so crystal clear; you enjoyed the music we plaid. I say “we” because David, Virgile and I build our sets together; and they are made of all these songs which at one time or another made us jump also from our chairs.
As you asked me the playlist, I realized you didn’t know all of them, but you lived them; and you didn’t see that people were pleased to dance next to you, because they’re was something, beaming from you; which seemed to say Here’s the real breath of my chest, the very beat of my heart; right now, in just what I’m listening to : life.
Look, you probably find I’m too shy usually, but here is the moment where things come out; in joy.
And that’s all there is , Eponine. Dancing like that is your absolute right. It’s pure, it’s shiny; nobody has the right to spoil it.
But I know, some sad, frustrated, petty or predatory minds are on the lookout for burning moments like these ; because the frozen dryness of their hearts is incapable of these, they can’t even feed on ; they have to grab and pollute the one who creates them. The clear fire of a young girl’s innocence is the most fascinating and threatened thing that exists. There are individuals who profess to damage innocences as much as possible. And what for? I don’t know. Keep their miserable egos alive, I guess.
I think I’m (most often) a very peaceful guy, but this kind of persons gives me puffs of rage. I can’t admit that society is so complacent with them, when at the same time it is also implacably severe towards young girls.
And I believe this is precisely where the music of our generation plays a role. It can free words and bodies , to become the bishop’s whirlwind on a chessboard, which overturns the towers, the old queens in its path; before he stands himself in front of the tyrant to defeat him.
So , what should I say now Eponine, what could I tell you other than to dance again this year, to dance and to succeed; and to love, a lot ; under the beard of all these junk kings that we are going to bring down, one by one; with music and dance, and real love.
You’ll find what you need for it with this letter , and all my wishes for your parents, Colin and you.
Read you very soon , Lark; and lots of kisses !