Francofolies, and Barney’s voice

La Rochelle, July 1986

My dear Epo,

It’s always extremely funny , when I read your letters having in mind Colin’s phone calls to note the variations in your two stories. That’s so nice of you not to mention the frightful drunkenness with Rioja he had in Madrid… But you didn’t told anything either about your exam of June.
You poor know well that your elders didn’t need to write it to enter High School, you’re a pioneer, and Colin told me you did it wonderfully. Congratulations, Lark ; this , I hope, will boost your self-esteem , it should…

It is now 4 o’clock as I answer you, and I don’t sleep of course, not because of insomnia; Saint Nicolas’quarter is constantly noisy with the Francofolies’ festival days … It’s only the second year of it, but thanks god, it brings a lot of people and tips are plentiful. It’s time to work damn hard, but also to enjoy some free places that we can glean from the organizers who come for a drink. You won’t believe it, I dragged Virgil to the Indochine’s concert ! He spent the evening bitching, as the Cure’s obsessive he is; but it was fun.
Whisper Breathless like a mermaid She sees her waking body She throws off all her clothes in his ears and see him swing my cushions, my glasses and myself is a very special pleasure which I can’t refuse myself when I feel his grumpy and sissy mood … He hates summer. He hates beach. Even with Valentine.

You’re lucky to have real beach enjoyers with you. To take the ferry for the island of Ré during this overcrowded touristic season is quite as hard as crossing the Mancha , maybe… and Virgile almost gives me an old husband fit because of my trip in Lucca which will prevent me from going to the Cure’s concert in Orange. I know it will be an historical event, but I think we’ll have traces of it; and I don’t want to compromise on this moment in Italy that I can finally afford after all these years.

I liked what you wrote about Subculture, and the fact that you’re attached to keep Barney’s voice and inflexions on the first plan. Well, it’s an old story for me, maybe comparable to the epiphany you had in this fitting room by listening to “Shake The Disease” for the first time.

I was almost 15 when “Movement” was released. I had been playing guitar for two years with older guys from La Pallice who were absolutely devoted to Joy Division. They logically listened to the first New Order’s LP with great mistrust; it sounded very Joy Division like ( except for a visionary song like “Senses”) .
It really emerged on “Truth” , oh what a jewel, spread over the port landscape, with the cranes silhouetted against the stormy sky, with , between the slate clouds,  these treacherous sunshines at sea. The mesmerizing deep bass, the plaintive melodica; and of course the words Oh it’s a strange day
The guys looked at each other with suspicion, and curiously I was afraid of their judgement, I was afraid they would talk about a too obvious sham, because I was so convinced, or even conquered. He was struggling. He was truth.
He was hesitation, fear, misunderstanding ,claustrophobia.

I don’t give the slightest fuck about what people might say about Barney’s voice. What is the unanimous voice anyway ? It is the only one which in my opinion suits to the constant instrumental research of the band and production, which has perpetually broadened its sound spectrum, and which has imposed itself all the time the difficulty of live performances.
This voice that speaks to me is forged in the most arid industrial world; and it fumbles, uncertain and genuine in the eternal darkness of human feelings.

Well, that’s it Epo, and very personal as always… We may cross the most animated season , let’s cherish our elegiac mood however , after we’ve laughed and danced.
I may write my next letter from Lucca; so have the most beautiful Black Celebration live until then …

All my kisses,

Cherries and Joy

La Rochelle, June 1986

My dear Epo,

There are cherries in Virgile’s father’s garden. Of these big Burlats which are almost black when ripe.
Their liquor-like and warm-sunny taste when they burst in the mouth would bring anyone to the gates of orgasm.
No, no, I’m not straying; I just think you’ll taste them in June, next year. For all goes well, Lark.
All goes wonderfully well.

You’re in town next year, and that’s all we wanted; not true? So let slip this veil of sadness.

You’re not accepted in the musical section. So what ?  Name just one of the musicians you love who followed such a course … Do you really believe that they presented their conservatory curriculum when arriving in the recording studios ? Let slip this veil of sadness, you’ll make music . There’s a guitar by me which waits for you.

Colin told me they live in the city center. I would be curious to know how they will be able to constantly keep an eye on you. More, I wouldn’t be surprised that Sixtine let herself be drawn into the race for independence. I’ll even have to watch Virgile who’s got a strong taste for the first Communion girls’ genre …

Nice name, I must admit; but even nicer is the way you talk about her. I don’t seem to find the lexicon of jealousy in there; if jealousy had always this soft lyricism , how many dramas could we avoid ! What you feel about nice girls could not be jealousy. So let slip this veil of sadness.

You already didn’t let the anger stiffen you, and believe me; it’s an excellent sign. All my respects for our dear Colin, , but he doesn’t adopt the right strategy. We don’t deal with Edouard there, and even when I was in front of him , for the first time, and quite nervous to be honest; did you see me let go of my smile?
Too much resentment unfortunately closes all the locks, while fun is most often contagious. Let slip this veil of sadness; we will eventually tame them. One step at a time, and music shall help, as always.

So, you’ve joined the “ Big Mac”’s admirers team ? You would be to say the least surprised by his personality.
L’Equerre mentions his “his reserve and his almost sickly shyness” , I wonder where they went to get this; he must have had a serious and solid hangover when they saw him … Because he’s far, but really very far from the ethereal romantic who they imagine… Virgile will tell you !

Last thing, Lark; I’m sorry but I won’t be in Royan for Depeche Mode’s concert. I’m invited in Lucca for the all month of August, I’ve never been to Italy and in fact, I’ve not taken real holidays the last three years. I need sun, sweetness and idleness; which I dream about so much.
But let’s write to each other, like we did for almost a year now … if we ever get old, we’ll be able to laugh at our youth’s stupidity by taking all these letters ! But I love them so much, I feel like chatting open-heartedly with you, like on the terrace of a café, without style effects.

Have the best summer, Epo, and for this , I give you a prescription of joy.


Nocturnal Sixtine

Pontaillac, June 1986

Dear Alb,

It’s been a while since I’ve not written to you. I didn’t want you to be worried during your exams , but I thought on calling you several times.
There are some news for me , goods and bads I fear; but you’ll tell me. I need your positive state of mind.

I’m not accepted in the musical session, but I’ll be in Dautet High school next year however. I’ll be in bilingual german class which relieves me even if I’m a little disappointed. I think I’ll never be a musician.

My sadness comes from elsewhere, what to expect next year. Parents don’t want me to be full boarder, I’ll have to live by a woman and her daughter , who mum and Edouard know. I guess they don’t want me to meet you and all the friends , as dad suggested after I tried to steal the Erasure’s 45 rpm , you could have a bad influence on me.

And my sadness comes from elsewhere. I saw them, they were at home yesterday. This woman, the kind of elegant and emancipated person, divorced and self-confident. Not mean, but quite indifferent. And I saw her daughter ; Sixtine.
We’ve got the same age, but she’s been accepted in the musical section , her. A perfect girl, not that tall, blond and without roughness. A perfectly clear and pure skin, a perfect discreet air of intelligence.  And in me that whiff of shameful jealousy, Alb; this tetany of despair that I always have, I must confess ; in front of all girls. Why am I like that ?

And my sadness comes from elsewhere again.
They both came , and talked ; it was like I didn’t exist at all. Attention, it seems , was concentrated on Colin who looked at them silently during all the time they were there with an air of extremely hostile contempt. Especially when Sixtine played the piano for us all.
“ What for comes this stuck-up cooze , who allows herself to take my instrument and do the show here? “
But it is not him who will live with her, and I don’t want to be like that.
I don’t know why, but I don’t want to start this new life in constant rebellion and in constant competition.

I thought about running away last night, and then I thought of you to calm down.
And I’m writing now , and listening to my “shabby tape” taken from “High Meanders”
Nocturnal Me.
I’m in love with the voice of this guy. It seems that cords, and those inflexions who change octave with such agility dress my sadness and give it a more combative tempo.

So far, I haven’t found anything better than to melt my being in this rhythm, and write to you at the same time.

Have the best week Alban, I hope to see you at Depeche Mode’s concert in August.

Loads of kisses


About Shame, etc …

La Rochelle, May 1986

My very dear Epo,

I wouldn’t like to know you on anxiolytics in a year or two. Really not.
So let’s give a good doc’s kick to this patriarchal and secular construction that is shame.

What is shame ? It is often justified as a necessary safeguard, an interior director of consciousness, which without recourse to the force of others keeps us on the slope of savagery. Shame would be civilization instilled into the unconscious, through centuries of education. But in all this good work, who finds him/herself wearing this antique corset most closely?
I don’t believe that it’s from young girls of fifteen that the return to barbarism should be the most to fear. So, shame, wouldn’t that be a very practical way to guarantee full and complete obedience, while preserving a good image of peaceful virtue guardian?

You see what I mean now, I guess.
I know deep in myself what shame is, for many reasons. But I know even deeper what abuse is; and that in this archaic morality which still restricts us, shame does not fight abuse; but that it is on the contrary its most precious keeper of the secret.
So , that’s without shame that I’ll write again those Edouard’s words that you feared so much to tell me :

“ If a twenty-one  year old boy is interested in a young girl of fifteen, it is surely not for her conversation.”
You see, I’ve written it; and I could write it again till the end of this page, because it makes me laugh.
I regret not being in front of this dear Edouard, to ask him how old a man ceases to be a potential predator.
Why twenty-one?

Without wanting to do pop psychoanalysis, I think we got a nice case of projection. In his novels, he often speaks of his attraction to ingenuity. But he surely thinks that I am unable to read or understand them …
We’re gonna be serious for five minutes now, and unravel the real motives for this pathetic warning. Edouard knows perfectly well what my sexuality is, and he will never accept the fact that I helped Colin run away from him; even less that I was so close to him. He may be other than the triumphant straight you all know.

But in any way, it’s not your integrity that’s at stake, in the struggle that he begins to lead again there. It is, in fact, his power. He can no longer hold Colin, who’s of age; you remain the only one by whom he can maintain his influence over your parents; but also its toxic presence in Colin’s mind , who will not stand to know that you are under surveillance in your turn.
And don’t worry Epo, I won’t let you. We won’t let you. You may count on my continued full support, and I also owe it to Colin who will no longer be there to ensure your independence.

This writer , he thinks he gets through everyone up to date; because his stories are successful.
But what does he know about the emotions that unite us, when miles away we listen to the same music, the same lyrics? And with all this beautiful confidence of a dominant male,  what does he know of the sacred anguish that makes an Ian Curtis, a real writer ?

Have a sweet week , Epo, and once more be sure of our constant support.
Oh , by the way , Colin told me that Depeche Mode will give a concert in Royan this summer ?
Holy F … , and not in La Rochelle ???
It’s incredible. Dream on it, Lark.
I like Eponine, she’s got nothing to be ashamed of, and I love her conversation.

Kisses ,


Pontaillac, April 1986

« She will be happy, your mother teacher …”
Poor pathetic asshole, if she was a garbage collector, she would be “happy” too.

When I unfairly felt the weight of kohl on my eyelids, of leather on my shoulders, of docs at my feet; they ended up bringing me back home. To cum like bastards from my parents’ shock.
A few days earlier however, I had managed to slip “Tinderbox” under my clothes. I thought I was in this New Order clip, “Temptation”; where the girl builds her universe around her, her feminity ; in a movie going from black and white to colors; with all the things she stole on the way home.
The annoyment is that a thing named “reality” always ends up grabbing you badly by the shoulder. And the reality was that acrid breath of a supermarket security guard.

And there we were, an endless evening of disappointment’s sighs , with its procession of speeches about betrayed family honor, and the need for atoning shame. I said nothing, I went to my room, to hide “Tinderbox”and listen to “Black Celebration”. I liked getting lost in this ice tower; imagine the depths of it, push the door of his cellars; which opened at the back on one of these thin woods of city. And feel the anemic grass under my back, where  the loss of so much innocences had been probably played.

Greta came to France in her turn, Colin succeeded his interview for Berlin’s translation school; Virgil and Alb met us by car one day on the beach on Easter break, and they all found an Eponine in contradiction with the clarity of spring.

Diane was there also, and a group of german pals, who had taken it into their head to bathe, when the ocean was barely 16 degrees. Virgile ran after them in the sea, Diane screaming in his arms.
Alb took me by the hand.
“ Shall we be insane too?”
We came out of the water completely blue, but laughing out loud, with the impression of being covered with new blood; while Colin called us crazy.

Alb and Virgile would have dinner at home, on the terrace, before driving south to Maubuisson near Bordeaux.
Dear mum had prepared many mixed salads and we sat where we could at different tables, because there were many of us, and among all these people; Edouard and his doll, who automatically seated themselves at Diane’s, Greta’s and the pals’ table where I am also.
Colin, Capucine and Virgile found place near the house with dad and mum ; but there was no chair for Alb.

“ Come with us , otherwise Eponine will feel lonely !” Edouard shouted at him.

During all this period, I had forgotten the danger he represented. Colin had officially just escaped from the Parisian surveillance he had elaborated for him. And he couldn’t say much, parents were rather proud of his “tour de force”.
However nothing showed through Edouard’s terrible frustration; if not an unusual pallor of complexion…
“ But sure, I’m coming”

And now came cheerfully to us the boy who took Colin so easily from him, with much of the ascendancy he had over us all; and on whom no one would have bet anything on the start.
He likes to hurt himself, Edouard; because in an instant the embarrassment of his presence dissipated at our table.
Stealthily, Alb ruffled me with one hand and whispered
“It’s okay, Lark, you just won’t do it anymore.”
I blushed, noticing Edouard was looking at us, while all the others did not care; all to the joy of this shared moment.

What Edouard could well have understood? Himself took a detached tone in the conversation, stimulated and annoyed no doubt by the one who turned out to be something other than a moron from La Rochelle’s slums, with repartee, culture, a lot of spiritual traits.
Alb seemed to enjoy the trouble he caused him, I couldn’t explain it to myself otherwise; and as we shared a huge cup of ice cream, Edouard was still looking at us.

In a Rush

La Rochelle, March 1986

My dear Epo,

I said « quick » to myself this night. And hopefully quick enough to catch you packing for Germany , for I’ve been lazy those days, joyfully recovering from my ascent of the Mont Blanc.
Nature, physical stimulation, blinding sun have made me fly so far away from you all , I needed to be scorched a little bit; with the company of other guys,  to make my decision and write you, and tell you all.

Colin has always been reluctant to tell you what happened between us.  I wanted to respect his choice, not having had the experience myself of a little brother or sister; I did not feel well placed to judge what was right or wrong to do. But I think that from the moment you love someone; it is not coherent to hide anything from on the pretext that this person should be “protected”.

Colin probably felt from the start that I would not engage with him.
It is really important for me to help him, besides I continue to do it; we’re still in touch. But to understand each other so well, in his adversity that I felt as mine; we were seized with a fever that is not love. Your brother is a wonderful guy, physically, intellectually; his sensitivity is immense and the fact of having grown up in a favorable environment was able to preserve this sensitivity. Do not interpret it as a reproach, I believe on the contrary that it is a blessing; but Colin has not yet learned to beware of illusions.
He was distraught, I wanted to help him because at that moment I was more solid; this may be called a rebound relationship, although Colin was still with Simon , but not satisfied with him.

He told me he had to go and live his own life, for that he takes competitions to reach interpreting schools in Germany. We looked for leads together, we went to Paris together for the written exam who could open the doors of Berlin to him. He’s eligible to an interview over there in April. It was a wonderful joy until he asked me to go with him, and if he succeeds to settle down with him in Berlin.
Despite all the affection I have for him, it is not part of my plans. Since graduation (and even before) I want to go to finish my studies in England. I gave up music so as not to overload mom with worry but I want to be in the heart of  places where this music ferments, before this decade comes to an end. You understand that, Eponine, do you ?

I know my time is running out and I have already refused other things to make this dream come true. Virgile and I did our year of military service right after graduation. I remember us entering the barracks, exhausted because we had such a short rejoicing night… even if I had told him that I would not go in his sound engineering school in Paris ( far too expensive for mom anyway…)
England will be my time, which I’ll embrace with full arms and heart, once I’ll have my master in pocket.

But I don’t want Colin to spoil his chances by still nourishing dreams of us both. I’ll keep on doing everything I can for his success, but he’s not the guy of my life. If you’re not hurt by what I’m saying, you could accompany him also; to go over what I think is a fallacious attachment, while our friendship is true and precious.

You already both found a way, let’s enjoy this early and wonderful spring; let’s enjoy “Black Celebration” . I bought it.
I yearned for “A Question Of Lust” ; which Colin told me about. The more I listen to Martin’s lyrics, the more I realize their invaluable universal scope.
I imagine you felt side by side in the sweetness of this night the same feeling of liberation as me; as everyone who suddenly finds the outcome of a too tight heart when a stranger voice full of pure emotion miraculously comes to find its place in its intertwining too complex for the reason.
If I can suggest one thing to you though, when you’ll buy “Black Celebration” certainly in Stuttgart, that would be to listen to « Stripped”; I don’t tell you more.

Have a wonderful trip, sweet; I can’t wait to read you.


A Question Of Lust

Pontaillac, March 1986

«  Don’t worry bro, he’s certainly freezing his own balls on the mountain , while we have near 20°c tonight on this terrace …
– Precisely, I would love him to be here and enjoy the exceptional sweetness of weather. But he may not care, sun shined brightly in the Alps today.
– What’s going on Colin? You seem so sad. Is it because of yesterday afternoon, when dad caught you wearing this silver crop top?
– No, I piss them all off. He helped me for that, he helped me finding my way to escape them next year. But I wanted him to share the travel with me.
– And Simon?
– Sorry for him, but you can’t longer enjoy an ordinary wine when you’ve tasted a Chasse-Spleen
– He wouldn’t like you being desperate and emphatic like that, bro.”

Colin looks at me deeply. Maybe I’m farer from him on this soft falling night. I ‘d like to help him, but it’s impossible for me to have bad thoughts on Alban now. And it doesn’t fit with this moment we have both outside, brother and sister, with the lazy wind and the rising stars; and the radio sizzling in the open kitchen.

“ You know him better than me, don’t you sister?
– Nobody knows him, I think. But this mystery hasn’t got the right to spoil the holiday evening we have together … there may not be many more. It’s nice out, maybe nature is beckoning us to let simply go…
– You know him. You talk like him. But you’re right. “

At this point, the sound of our radio becomes clearer. They have a great announce to make. Their LP is out , on sale, and here’s the host’s favorite track by Depeche Mode.
I jump on my feet.

“ Oh, your Walkman again? Going to have an artisanal recording which you alone have the key?”

But we have to keep it , bro. You don’t know yet that it will be priceless.
Heavy sounds hit the spring air which still stammers, little by little they form a difficult melody by repeating; and the voice that emerges is not what we expected

There’s so much tenderness and supplication in the words we catch
be gentle
never willingly do you harm
my weaknesses, you know each and everyone

And most of all
Independence, is still important for us though …

Is it there the freshness of a winter which tries to take back its rights on the night?
We’re standing in each other’s arms , voiceless and suddenly transfixed.

What is this for a song? Not a slow, not a ballad, nor a damn romance.
It weeps gently , but it strikes also ; and it talks about us all , about all that far from false noise can shape and consolidate what really matters between two people ; desire, loyalty , despite the whim that governs and constantly threatens human relationships .
 And the heavy sounds of the beginning, that resonated in the background , they beat again louder in the end , obstinately, as if no end, no night could erase them anymore.

Who is Virgile ?

La Rochelle, February 1986

My dear Epo,

It’s been a while, and I’ve been so busy with exams lately; but during a conversation with Colin ( not what you think about, we’re just elaborating plans to make him escape from Paris next year) he told me about your new addiction to “High Meanders”. It really pleased Virgile himself, he begins to understand all the interest there is to embark the youngest in our passion for music.
It must be said, he is a rather complicated character. But I know very few New Wave’s fans who are not, and it takes a certain amount of grudge to be really in the spirit. The fascinating elegy of this movement cannot accommodate with conventional good humor; but a little nonchalant cynicism will however find its place …

I think I’ve had to learn all this when I left my fishermen’s quarter to come and study in a city center High School. But curiously it was an asset, to know gruff guys; and scratch my fingers on bad guitars with buddies who wanted to play Joy Division. Without that I think I wouldn’t have been able to approach Virgile, and even less to forge the friendship that you know between us. Music is a great medium for guys like me to gently fuck the boys from the upscale neighborhoods (not as much as football but almost)

Virgile belongs to an excellent background, where I was very learnedly explained that he had his annoying mood from his mother’s neuroses, and he lost her a year after we got to know each other. But already before that, Virgile was kicking in the stretchers : for him it was out of the question to follow the royal road and to study medicine. He still conceded to his father a science baccalaureate which would allow him to access sound engineering. And of course, the fool that I was followed him in this adventure…

However, we often threw our equation sheets to listen to records. In 1983, The Sister of Mercy’s “Body Electric” had already been released, and it was the glorious time of “Alice”. We were quite intrigued by a band which started by creating his own label even before realizing its first LP; and by the time there were only singles from The Sisters Of Mercy. It was already a real universe though, carried by the production of John Ashton ( from the “Furs”) of course, but also highlighted by the lyrics like “ Pass the crystal, spread the tarots / In illusion comfort lies” that the voice of Andrew Eldritch makes emanate in meanders of smoke.

I have often seen Virgile sitting on his bed in astonishment when later he was listening to “First And Last And Always” , and it’s not hard for me to understand; it’s a mesmerizing album. We had talked about the tragic loss of his mum ( and maybe he’ll tell you himself about it) , but in these moments , only the catharsis of words, on a harsh guitar line “ Because the world is cruel / And promises are broken” ( Some Kind Of Stranger) could really help him. Emotions are kept inside , the voice is deep, and just the guitar weeps …

You have it now Epo, Virgile is the melancholic one among us ; and certainly the most inspired. I usually work at the bar on Friday evenings but my boss allows me to record “High Meanders” and I listen to it on Saturday morning while I’m taking my bath.
Not last time. It was a Friday off ; and I had the chance to have my bath by listening to “High Meanders” live … But he didn’t tell me that his former Londoner girlfriend , Sheeranee , had brought back precious recordings from the Southern Studio. And the end, oh, what a wonder … Promise, I didn’t think at all about using my toes to make soap bubbles anymore… (it is likely that the atmosphere of “High Meanders” is generally not suitable for it, but there even less)

You can’t imagine how much I’m happy that you discovered “Virus Meadow” at the same time; it really means you’re part of the great alchemy that makes us vibrate now. Tell me what you felt. Or write it, because we won’t see each other in February’s break. With dancer friends that I’ve known in High School, we decided to climb the Mont Blanc. I’m probably the least prepared of the bunch, but I’ll do my best to stay alive because I want to read your letter from Germany in March…

Meandrous hug and gothic kisses,

Take this break … and dance

Pontaillac, January 1986

Dear Alban,

Happy new year my Alb, and once more, infinite thanks for your letter ; your understanding, your strength, all … You wrote just the words I needed to read.
I’ve thought so many times about this contrariety which almost ruined my night with you all , and I couldn’t find a real explanation to what happened… I’m so sure that I’m not provocative when I dance ; it’s just that I feel music so much that I become music by dancing sometimes. I mean, there’s no boundary between myself , my body; and rhythm, and words when I’m into it. And I’m not aware of what may come out of me when it’s like that.
I wondered if I could, if I was allowed to express myself in such a way again; if I wasn’t a little bit responsible for this guy’s behavior after all…
I know such thoughts could make you jump of indignation , but you know, I’m still surrounded at school by boys who sometimes act as if we were taken for granted , it’s a common way of being ; even if it’s not acceptable, and nobody tells them much about it; about self-education with girls …

But I received your gift; my own “A Secret Wish “ album , Colin had bought it already; but having mine filled my heart with joy. And I discovered it again; especially “Frozen Faces” that is made for this night…
Take this break and dance

There are so much nuggets in it ! Listening to a vinyl is magical.
I’ve got my own record player , as a blue pick-up now (my Christmas present ! ) … And I love to drink tea , and listen to an album from the beginning to the end ; with nothing more in my head than the blood pressure of songs.  Alone and concentrated , I felt exactly what you wrote me about Propaganda’s masterpiece ; how their universe formed in my mind over the tracks, how Edgar Poe’s verses shaped the strength to dream upon Fritz Lang’s buildings and landscapes.
There are only few weeks until my school travel to Stuttgart now, I’ll try to bring back all I’ll find about this wonderful band…

I got a great mark on my folder about “A Secret Wish” it fell into the hands of Greta, my penpal. She did a bit of the same kind of thing about A-ha.
But I have the impression that she is even more enraged than me … Anyway, she seems to be a cool girl , living with her grandma in a little house near the High School . And she’s got a “fan room” in it, what can it be? Of course I’ll write you about it all ; still hoping than the rantings of a dumb teenager in full age won’t annoy you.

I feel like having another  brother with you. But one who would come now with just what’s good in fraternity; without the arguments or the experience of stupid things done together ( even if stupid things are so good sometimes !)
I’ve seen your anger in front of this dumbass  who attacked me; and I usually don’t like anger or boys’ fights .
It really seems  anger is the only feeling boys can allow themselves , because anger is virile; and it gets on my nerves but here, it was such a rightful anger that no one has dared to stand in your way.
I was a little afraid that you would strangle this asshole who wouldn’t even deserve it, and we were all paralyzed because we felt it was something else than defending me.
It was putting a stop to all those who would allow themselves inappropriate gestures on girls this night; it was putting a stop to those privileged people who think that the bodies of others are at their disposal.

And even if it is not advisable to strangle idiots with their shirt collars; I think you did us, girls in particular, a great favor…
So, I send you all , all my wishes for this new year; and I hope Colin will drive me in La Rochelle again before summer, and I hope I’ll study in this beautiful town next year.

Loads of Kisses  


Enjoy the Music …

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 !