About three days in La Rochelle (end)

La Rochelle, 1985

Then my rage rises like the tide, and I don’t know exactly by now all that I tell him. Of course his disrespect gets me mad; but I am especially ulcerated because he ‘s dirtying a song. And a beautiful, most poetic one; I can’t bear it.
I start insulting him, a lot, violently; so much that I clearly see his jaws twitch; and he grabs my hand, twisting it in a very brutal way. There are threats in his voice, but he still pretends to kiss me.

“ What the hell is going on , Eponine ?”
It was Virgile. Surprised, the guy let go of my hand. They stared at each other for a moment. Virgile was a little taller than him, but the other held his gaze, obviously ready to do battle; in any case not at all impressed by the beautiful eyes first full of incomprehension, then filled with a rising thunderstorm that Virgile darted on him.
“ You’d better go the fuck out of this place.”
The guy jerked his shoulder off the wall, still looking Virgile in the eye; he didn’t answer and pretended to walk away, but I was sure he wouldn’t go very far.

Virgile took me to the bar, however; and in any other moment I would have been happy feeling his arm around my shoulders; but there I was terrified and in the most total misunderstanding.
“ He’s not gone.
– I know, but you must drink something and calm down. Holy shit, it seems to me he’s  a “regular” though. No place is safe. But where are all the others?
– Dancing I guess. You’re not at the set?
– I just needed a pee break… it was charming, as you can see. Coquelicot is replacing me for a bit. Well take some “fruity juice”; how do you feel now?
– Still spoiled. But thank you so much for intervening.
– So natural; you’re part of us now “Lark”. But I can’t help wondering what your brother’s doing in a moment like this…”

By the time I was so scared, I didn’t enjoy the end of the guys’ set. Music was far away in my head, still good; the beat of my body hung up to it at times, but I no longer had the energy to really care.
“ We have to go back to dance, said Virgile, you know it’s like when you learn to swim and drink the cup, you have to go back immediately in water.”

On “ Laughed” , the US remix of Propaganda’s “Sorry for laughing”; our bodies have been close to each other in the dancing crowd. Music caught me again, and pleasure; so that I barely saw Alb and Colin crossing the dancefloor, followed by Diane, Valentine and Maude. It had been the last song of their set , at almost three in the morning.
“ We must go with them, told Virgile however. Alban seemed very upset; we’d better avoid a riot if we still want to mix here eventually.
– But don’t worry, Alban is not the kind to fight…
– Don’t believe that ! Sometimes the dock worker’s blood awakens in him. It’s rare, but it may happen.”
I was a little annoyed that Virgil himself mentioned once more the social origins of Alban, as if it was absolutely necessary to be a “working-class” guy to defend feet and fists the integrity of his friends.

But for the fight, Virgile was right. If the guy hadn’t been impressed by Virgile’s threatening tone, he no longer allowed himself to laugh when he saw an Alban, livid with anger, swoop down on him. Because it wasn’t just about me.
In this brief moment I could see the embodiment of wounded honor taking cynical oppression by the throat. The guy had apparently brought his pals back to get the shit, but seeing him suffocate in the collar of his branded shirt; they did not insist.

More, there were some guys from La Pallice, the merchant port where Alb was from in the dancing room; and obviously the guy’s friends were only brave to show off in front of girls.

“ You’re part of us” , Virgile said this night. And I felt at that moment how much it was true, and later when we sat all together ; drank and laughed the rest of the night away. We were building our own family, and even if I was not accepted in Dautet’s high school the following year I knew that I could count on them all, even Virgile , by whom I was more and more charmed; but in secret, because Valentine was there.

No need to tell you that we had a little trouble getting to sleep with Diane then, in the little bedroom that Alb left us next to the main room he shared with Colin in his flat.
“ Don’t worry , she told, they’re both deep asleep …
– I wouldn’t be that sure, Alb never sleeps.
– Really? And he never fights either it seems, you should see him with Colin in his arms …”

About three Days in La Rochelle (3)

La Rochelle, December 1985

The boys installed Virgile’s Emulator next to the turntables, and when it comes to “Shake The Disease” sampled voices of radio hosts announcing the track with dreadful french accents rise and mix on the extended version; which makes people laugh and dance at the same time.

All three take each other by the shoulders in front of us, and move frenetically for a bit , chained like that; before returning to their respective positions. Virgile adds chord and voices effects several times. Of course they don’t have their own mix table yet, and they get by with what they have.

But the temperature has gone up a notch in the room, and we have the impression of moving in a sphere of heavy steam in which the violet light diffuses.
I met on “Just One Kiss” the same trance of tears I had on Val’s birthday ; a smooth trance, but one of those I often have when I’m with friends , and the music is so good , that neither my mind nor my body is anymore in conversation; or just with the melodic lines and the imperious pulsation of the rhythm. I’m not with anybody anymore, even not with myself I think. It is likely that this passion for music has at times made me a little asocial; because I no longer belong to the world around me when I’m in states like these.

What has been magical in all boys ‘ set , is that from mockery moments , with their own contagious beat, took over pure puffs of amorous lyricism in forever-extended songs like those of The Cure. As I was not to myself , I felt briefly some presence around me though.
And it was not a good one, even if it disappeared quickly . In an instant all my flesh came in alarm; and I came back to myself.
Maude and Diane were looking at me with a devastated air.
“ Didn’t you feel it , Epo? The boy, he touched you .”

I was still all dizzy, unable to answer anything; feeling all the weight of shame grab my flesh.
“ We will not accept that, said Maude, come , we’re gonna find him; he needs to hear a few home truths…”
We didn’t find him in the crowd, but Coquelicot who just arrived from Marans where she was working, Girls must have told her what had happened, but I felt the event was drowning in the pleasure they had to meet each other again.
Where the fuck was Colin? Enjoying himself, for sure. Everybody was enjoying himself, but I couldn’t share their happy mood anymore. Something twisted my stomach and made me tremble all over the place.

I don’t think they noticed that I was walking away; I really wanted to go to the toilets; to lock myself in and let my tears of rage run free. What was going on? I felt so dirty and I couldn’t help but fear that they would despise me, because I had not reacted, because I had not defended myself; because in a nutshell I was elsewhere when it happened.
From there also I had to go out, because other girls were getting impatient at the door.

Leaning against the wall of the room where we danced, He was there. Quite tall, and I could barely see a look that I yet felt cruelly ironic:

“So you never resist, like that?”
Against all caution, I stuck my head towards him, I wanted to see him; to see his pervert face within reach of my spit.
He had nothing from a thug, on the contrary. Judging by his clothes, he even seemed precisely a motherfucker from a good family. But with the features weighed down by unashamed concupiscence and alcohol.

“ Just fuck off. I was immersed in music.”
I still remember his nasal and unbearable burst of laughter. I remember it like the very sound of the abuse; the one perpetuated for centuries by this kind of privileged little guy, for whom the whole world must be at his disposal or even at his mercy. But I didn’t have the strength to spit, anger and fear had made me run out of saliva.

“ Hey c’mon baby, it’s obvious you’re made for me. Just One Kiss …”

About three days in La Rochelle (2)

La Rochelle, december 1985

Oooh Our Love is like the floweeers …

That’s what Virgile stubbornly sings in a falsetto voice in front of the bathroom’s door. Colin and Alb are not coming out , giggling in the bathroom, for an endless seance of “self-approval” ( that’s how we call it) .
Valentine ends up taking him by the elbow and dragging him to the living room.
“ Old chap, you’re really in an unbearable mood. Leave them alone!
– Colin is supposed to have a boyfriend. But it will end up like last time.
– I told you, Virgo, not in front of his sister…”

Apparently, Virgile didn’t notice that I was here, or he told it on purpose. But it doesn’t bother me, I gave up understanding about elder’s complicated feelings.

“ You could have made an effort for your outfit tonight.
– I’m perfectly in tone. Black is the color of my true love’s hair…”
Argument disappear in a kiss; Virgile did indirectly compliment Valentine’s Siouxsie-like hairstyle , and obviously it’s enough for her. But it’s true that Virgile did the strict minimum : black jeans, black turtleneck, black perfecto. And you know what? It suits him wonderfully and he doesn’t need more.
Virgil’s style is to piss everyone off, and he would disappoint if he applied more. Of course Diane and I try to steal a glimpse of him; this guy’s charm is truly addicting and unfair at the same time, especially when Valentine made up his eyes. A thin black line just below, and they take on a sparkling depth, swept away by his stiff and soft locks.

Oooh Our Love is like the floweeers …

“ You wanna play this, asshole ? says Alb, his face a little crumpled going out of the bathroom. You haven’t finished hearing it, this fucking song !
– Hop, hop, hop; you so vulgar, and in young girls’ presence?
-This is the first time I see you caring to be so decent. This evening will be historic on your way to civilization…
– Don’t forget I am named after the cantor of the biggest antique civilization…”

The bickering between Virgil and Alb are a real lifestyle, not only are they the sign of a very old friendship; but it’s also their way of stimulating themselves before mixing together.

And the night will be great indeed. Even longer than those we have lived until now.
We enter the nightclub through a small discreet door with a mesh skylight. Spaces are separated by high aquariums; and silence sequences of old scary films are projected on the walls.

Alb and Virgo are not the ones to start, it’s the official DJ on board. He doesn’t look like he’s that pleased. Young boys are voluntary and could constitute unfair competition. But they have attracted a clientele that seems to know them well and of which Diane and I eagerly note all the finesse of style.

We are immediately offered a drink, at a table crossed by the trunk of a potted banana tree. For a long time, I will love these fuzzy and smoky atmospheres; which give to laughing groups and to supple and dancing bodies an air of sulfurous elegance that most often smacks of deception. But music, in this overheated and spicy fog, loads with all the soul of our friends who play it; and of the artist who created it and who we love.

Tonight we’ll leave the tired leaves of the poor banana tree, to go crawling on the croaking samples of The Perfect Kiss .

About three days in La Rochelle (1)

December 1985

Once again we did it. Just in time, a 43-page dossier with photos, musical press articles, inserts about Fritz Lang and Edgar Poe,  lyrics and testimony of all these teenagers who loved Propaganda; one in England who Alban knew, one in Germany who Colin knew ; several Colin’s mates in Montaigne’s preparatory class, Coquelicot, Virgile and of course Alb himself.
Colin pointed out to me not without malice that he forgot to talk to me about former member Andreas Thein. It seems that the rivalry with Susanne made him leave (sadly) .

(Andreas Thein)

Over the course of this work, and throughout this year of my fifteenth birthday (1986) I saw two fraternal figures grow up; and it wasn’t always my real brother Colin who had the most influence on me anymore. Eventually I understood why; Colin sometimes tried to shape me while Alban always liked me just how I was. His company has always been both reassuring and stimulating, he had no prejudices; about nothing, and he made it his duty never to refuse anything to those he liked.

Colin, David , Diane and I took the old 4L and drove to La Rochelle in the beginning of Christmas holidays.  We believed in a punishment from heaven when the front left wheel burst in the middle of Rochefort’s swamp, still white from the morning frosts and drowned in the fog.
But when we arrived in La Rochelle, finally in the early afternoon, a soft light gilded the towers of the port.
“ It’s always like that; said Alb. Your road can be long, dreary and rainy; there’ll always be a bit of sun to welcome you when you arrive in La Rochelle”

And it is true that to see the young people walking around in ample gabardines, on the bridge leading to the Saint-Nicolas quarter, one would have thought in the early days of autumn for the air was so soft.
Alban rented an old apartment on the second floor of an old house, whose owner, he said, had the extreme advantage of being almost deaf. The main room, with its antique crisp floor, was the entire width of the floor, with a tiny balcony overlooking Saint-Nicolas street. He and Virgile had pushed the table there, so we could eat in the sun while the more cautious sat down inside. Maude and Valentine were there also, in red and emerald pull over dresses, quite short over their high varnished boots.

The guys were wearing berets, autumnal paisley shirts over their turtlenecks, wide pleated pants with tight ankles; and paraboots. I soak up everything; grilled fish from the port, lots of white wine , chocolate cake , joyful sounds rising from the street and sometimes greetings for Alban when he sat astride the balcony railing with Colin, to smoke.

Tonight would be their set, in a little club behind the port and near what was at the time called the “House of Culture”, they had to go there and install their equipment, bring some of their records ( Alb, David but especially Virgile owned maxi -tracks and remixes LP imported from UK, Japan or USA) while we girls would go shopping with Colin, with a lot of good thrift shops addresses in pocket.

“ If we’re not too destroyed tomorrow, we’ll go make our wishes in front of your future high school.
– I want it so much , Alb, all is so cool in here !
– I love the way you’re always happy , Lark, don’t become one of those high school girls who think it’s stylish to sulk all the time.
– I wonder why on earth I could pull a face right now …”

A Secret Wish

La Rochelle, November 1985

My very dear Eponine,

Yes, it’s victory; yes it’s relief. Even though battle is not completely over.
But I’ve been so joyful on this set, so excited that you all were here in this euphoric mood; and opportunities like this one are quite rare; I let my feelings explode by mixing. It even amuses Virgil when I’m an extrovert like that.

It was obvious for me to put Propaganda on it. Not only because we all love the band, but also because people generally don’t know any other song than “Duel”; and “P.Machinery” which was released as a single in September.
The whole album is a treasure, in its entire unfolding that tells a story.

I’m not a specialist of the band, by far, but I’m gonna tell you what I know and what I feel about them; hoping it will give you some ideas for your work. I noticed them as the new nugget of ZTT label; who also produced stuffs that I love like Frankie Goes To Hollywood, The Art of Noise and ( sob !) Anne Pigalle ( exquisite; in Everything Could Be So Perfect)
To me, Propaganda is the expression of elegance, and themselves told that they wanted to do some sort of elitist music…for everyone! There is in all details of their work a researched sophistication, in themselves first ; Ralf Dörper and his early experimental recordings already noticed by John Peel, Michael Mertens and his classical background as musician and composer and of course, of course the girls. The precise and metallic sound of Susanne’s voice, and the warmer and more pop inflections in Claudia’s vocals, they both form a mesmerizing duo which sometimes blows hot and cold on the synthesizer layers, sometimes take turns rising on enraged drum machines.

 I am of course thinking on “Jewel”, which approach is not obvious. Some “Duel” lovers hate this track, hearing only an uncontrolled outburst over a profusion of effects in it. Others like me remain breathless in front of such a daring construction which figures so intensely the discharge of aggressiveness going with the “Rough Cut”. Duel is a perfect composition combining the roar which inflicts cuts and the jubilant rythm of a dancefloor tune; Jewel is the shameful and awesome outpouring of it. That’s why you heard me playing, not “Jewel” , but the longer ”Jewelled in my set. I’ve taken it in a brand new album for the American club market : Wishful Thinking, composed of remixes of tracks from A Secret Wish.

You can recognize on it, in a more stylized visual, the iron meshes of the corset, or of the armor which holds the center of A Secret Wish cover. This instrument, eventually worn by Claudia; as well as the war paintings on their necks and bare shoulders evoke the martial aspect of several songs like “Duel”, “Frozen Faces”, “The Murder Of Love”.

You won’t avoid documenting yourself about the german cultural background on this album from our four Dortmunder members. The musical heritage of electronical pioneers like Kraftwerk , from Düsseldorf; but also the cinematographic universe of Fritz Lang which of course underlies “ Dr Mabuse”; but also “P.Machinery” with direct reference to Metropolis.
The opening and closing of the album to finish, which echoe in the verses of Edgar Poe; in the first long track “ A Dream Within A dream” , with his languid saxophone, and just after the wonderful final “Strength to dream” ; and its symphonic scale on a stormy background; Susanne’s voice saying again
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

Well , these are just impressions, thrown without real order on my page; they’re a bit subjective, for I really felt in love with A Secret Wish; and you’ll be glad to know that Martin Gore did too…
I’ll try to study more and bring you technical precisions, but I guess I guess Colin will do the same on his side.
It’s such a pleasure to have met you both; and your parents. Your mother reminds me a german teacher I had in my last year in the Collège Saint-Exupéry when I was fifteen. Both seem so discreet, but with such an accurate sense of humor… The lady I’m talking about came to France when she was 18, and eventually, in her first year of marriage , became so attached to La Rochelle and its history that she settled there.
They adopted a big red cat that she didn’t like very much because of his “hypocrite manners” ; she called him Richelieu

I don’t what for this anecdote will be useful to you, but you know me now; I can’t stop talking.
Have such a great November time, dear lark; we shall see each other with Colin again in La Rochelle around Christmas; Virgile and I are invited to mix in a night club, for a very different atmosphere ; you’ll see…

Loads of kisses


( Most of my pictures are taken on Lansure’s Music Paraphernalia. http://lansuresmusicparaphernalia.blogspot.com/
Thanks to him !!! )

Soundtrack of our lives

Pontaillac, november 1985

Dear Alban,

There are so many things boiling in my head since you’ve freed my brother , since the evening ( or should I say the night) you gave us for holiday.

What a party… We were all stunned to see you, so measured and cool in “real life” being such a savage player on boards ! And first of all, Virgile and you are completing each other so well, does this long, and strong friendship make it?
Because if it is so, I want the same, I’d love so much to share all these musical streams, side by side with a dear someone; like you do.

And shall I thank you enough for playing several Propaganda’s songs? It seems you both rewrote our story by choosing them, at perfect moments, as if this set was also our scream of victory for Colin.
I love this thought that mixing could shape the soundtrack of our own lives, with songs created in a totally different context, with feelings that have strictly nothing to do with ours.
For example, I’ve read that there were huge tensions in a band like New Order, how is it that rivalry as its height can produce such a jubilant sound for us?
The sound of holidays, the sound of Colin running along the beach, freed from the future that was drawn for him, the sound of us all reunited in what our listener’s life is made of, for god’s sake…

You don’t know how much nights like this motivate me to work and to escape Cordouan High School next year. It’s so clear to me now, La Rochelle is the only place. But there’s a difficulty we found out by calling Dautet High School with Colin.
The musical section is in such demand that it is no longer derogatory. On the other hand, the strengthens german option can secure me a place in this High School. I’m gonna ask for both, time to be excellent in german all this year to put all the chances on my side.

We have to create a personal folder to prepare our March travel in Stuttgart. German pals must do the same work, it will allow pairings, but it will also be a mark with a large coefficient for us.
I want to do mine about “A Secret Wish” ; Colin shall help me for the writing, he’s an excellent germanist; but I was also thinking about you and all the knowledge you can have on the band and their sound.

I know I’m asking it while you are already overwhelmed with work; it could be just why you chose their songs on the set , in what spirit you did integrate them in it; if their lyrics plaid a part in your choices. But there’s time, I must submit the work just before Christmas break.

Have a nice month; big hug to you my Alb; and infinite thanks again for all that you do,


Sand & Light

( Photo by Benoît Jenouvrier)

In the light of Cordouan, end of october 1985

Indian summer’s light flows through the 4L windows, as Colin and I drive back from Royan, where we brought Diane and David home.
Me and my brother, finally, in a brief moment of freedom before all the questions parents will have for us.

But we are not the type to waste a twilight hour like this. Summer ventures so far in october this year, we stop on the beach, it would be a crime not to do so.
It’s as if in ten years we haven’t changed, we run screaming on the shore; the wind flapping in our clothes, we roll on the sand that goes into our ears and nostrils; with the sea fleas that jump in our sleeves, and the song of seagulls that turns triumphantly above our heads.

Then we seat side by side, to see the stars raising from the silver skyline on the sea. Colin lights a cigarette.

“ Give me one, I’m tired of being ridiculous”
But this time again it ends with a big coughing fit.

“Don’t worry, you have plenty of time to get intoxicated like us … You don’t need that to be someone.
– I’m just glad to seat here with you; now that you have escaped this asshole.
– It’s thanks to you. If you had not called Alban I don’t know where I would be running away now. And it was so simple in fact; friendship did it.
– Wasn’t it more than friendship? I ask , trying to take a puff again , my head on his shoulder.
– There’ll be nothing more than yesterday’s night; he’s an independent, and I’ve got Simon who doesn’t have to know… But you, Epo, with all these letters, what’s going on with him?
– Nothing more … He’s like you, bro !
– Listen to me and never trust soft blondies with sad puppy-dog eyes …”

I try to turn my neck to see if he’s serious, but all the smoke that I made is falling in my eyes. And he laughs.

“ Of course you can trust him ! Despite the life he leads with Virgile, the guy has principles. I wouldn’t say the same about the second …
– But Virgile helped you also; wasn’t it enough for you to become friends?
– It will never happen. You see, Capucine came to Alban’s. She always knew the pressure that Edouard put on me; for the studies, for the piano, for all the projects he had to mold me with the blessing of my own father. She didn’t know the guys before yesterday. Alb welcomed her like a sister, but Virgile couldn’t help banging her…”

Obviously it was a bit abusive on his part, but I think that Capucine is not a fierce girl; that Alban and Colin were doing exactly the same in the next room this night, and I wonder why my brother has such selective indignations…

But no matter.
We are so well there, on the beach; with the humidity of the evening, the sea breeze that make us shiver a little, the halo of Cordouan’s lighthouse slowly caressing our silhouettes on the sand.
I don’t want to debate endlessly. I will eventually understand, one day.

Brief moment on All The Things She said

Pontaillac, end of october 1985

We’ve waited for so long the guy’s arrival. Diane and I couldn’t sleep after Alban’s phonecall.
We were carried away with speculations, knowing deep in ourselves that they hadn’t moved from La Rochelle at all, and that they were quietly partying at Alban’s with all the girls and bottles around.

Their discomposed faces didn’t deceive us when they finally arrived at home at seven in the evening. Alb, in particular, had sharply drawn looking features, but always the same energy by giving me the best hug in the world.
I had forgotten this perfume of wild mint and bergamot he wore at Val’s birthday.
Then came my brother I was so happy to see again, tired also , but so released.

Effusions before the emotional shock that I caught in the face , when I saw the huge guy who was following them.
“ Hi, I’m Virgile”
Damn. He was beautiful.
Me, who’ve never been very attracted by boys, I had there the biggest glare of my life for a real person.
Everything in him , I felt, was calling me; from his stature and the bouquet of silky hair on top of it, to the tender glow of his brown eyes.

Diane and I looked at each other, and her glance confirmed me well that we were thinking on the same thing.
But at the same time, there was something bitter in this endeavor. He seemed to be perfectly aware of the effect he had on people, and unlike Alb , he usually didn’t make any effort to be kind because he didn’t need that to be loved.

In this first evening I spent where he also was, he seemed to be wandering around with a bored and ironic gaze.
David, who  always had this friendly and provocative attitude towards his former teacher ( my dad ) made him slightly laugh.
He and Colin were still eyeing each other, as if the adventure hadn’t managed to build friendship between them.
The only people he seemed to show interest in were Alb and mum.

Alb had gone to help her to bring back the ton of food piled up by Edouard the night before. The boys, them, did not shy away from her efforts; and in a few minutes everything was swallowed up, until the last crumb of tarte tatin, the last cloud of whipped cream in a now glittering bowl.
Daddy ended up finding this bunch of nerds sympathetic, and while he was serving a bourbon to David and Virgil; Alb (who drove back) went upstairs with Colin and us. “ Curious to see our rooms”

Colin played “ Once Upon A Time” from the Simple Minds which was just released, and that he had just brought back from Bordeaux. Alb offered us cigarettes, but I was the only one of the four of us who didn’t know how to smoke.
Laughing, Colin and Alb kissed each other.

Diane was stunned that they did it like that, in front of us, without any complex ; but she liked it, and I liked it too.

Because it was long, applied, tender; because there was fire in there, two hands that turned white as they clasped; two muffled sighs that curled around the billows of smoke, two sparkling eyes that fluttered throughout this brief embrace.

I didn’t know how it had happened, but it could have been the coolest couple of the universe.


Pontaillac, end of october 1985

I’m upstairs with Diane and night has fallen on this Friday night.
We’re learning to kiss each other in the most languid way in the world while listening to what is happening downstairs.
Of course Colin should have been there for the aperitif. Mom had made a whole bunch of delicious little puff pastry, even after a day of teaching at 50 kilometers, and it’s for her that I’m a little sad.

I caress Diane’s fishnet stockings, losing my fingers between the stitches. Those stockings that dad and mostly Edouard looked with weird eyes as she arrived. As if wearing them, with leather perfecto, was automatically a invitation, even she’s not 16 yet.
Then we ate, in some kind of tension, because nothing happened. No Colin for the roast; no Colin for the epic tarte tatin that mum prepared the day before. Daddy’s anger was palpable, while Edouard tapped his fork with two fingers, and contracted jaw. They barely touched the pie, while Diane and I copiously helped ourselves a second time.
We wanted to laugh, even if we regretted not being with the boys; we wouldn’t  have missed this air of discomfiture for nothing in the world. And it was again poor mum who tried to keep the conversation going, and who berated us when Diane and me started to giggle.

Now it is 2 o’clock in the morning. Edouard and dad are still in the living room, we can hear their nervous footsteps downstairs, and from time to time mum’s tired voice . I think she would like to go to bed.
Time to play Propaganda’s “Duel” recorded on a free radio station from La Rochelle that Alb had advised me and which played the best New Wave stuff in the world continuously.

“ Won’t you stop playing your jangling music at 2 am ? You should be sleeping!
– Nobody sleeps in this house anyway , dad.
– Eponine ! Come downstairs right now!”

The ringtone saves me.
We have both rushed to the landing in T-shirts and underpants, to hear mum answer and everybody is suspended from their conversation. At first, we felt she was dying of worry, but then she started to laugh and even to exchange some words in English with his interlocutor whose identity I strongly suspected. And hanging up the phone, in this moment which should have been serious, she ‘s trying not to have a too happy face.

“ They’re out of order outside La Rochelle, in Dompierre-sur-mer , the boy told me.
– Who “they”?
– Well, Colin, David, and two other guys that we don’t know; Virgile and Alban. It is with him that I spoke.
– What the hell are they doing? I told you that he should have returned directly from Bordeaux, rather than going to party with friends; it had to end like this.”

I’m mad at daddy who seems to care more about this missed meeting than about four young guys lost in the countryside in the middle of the night. Curiously, it is Edouard who ask if they are okay.

“ They seem to be. They have a friend in Dompierre where to spend the night.
– Well, says Edouard by taking his jacket, it’s a shame but I will have to go. In five hours, I have my plane in Mérignac …
– We’ve not finished to deal with your brother …
– But who’s this “Alban”  you talked to, Anne-Marie? He seemed particularly funny.
– I don’t know, but he’s got exquisite manners. And his English is perfect. He kisses you, Epo.”

At that moment they all turn to me and I turn scarlet. Edouard can’t help but leave the room on a comment.

“ Yes, sometimes it’s surprising to find a civilized individual among all these crazy young dogs.”


Pontaillac, octobre 1985

I am the tiny lark singing on bloomy tree
When morning breaks, alive, in early spring’s glory
My wings shiver in grace, an eternal story
Of Joy falls from the sky wide open in beauty

I swear I’ll never leave
This ecstasy of mine
Little bird lost in light
And dew, and mystery
Joy comes from you my friend
Morning, sun, poetry

I am the little clock ticking in your bedroom
Which tells you now it’s time to take your liberty
To quit your heavy life of fear and misery
And rise beyond them all, brother, in equity

I swear I’ll never change
This wild passion of mine
When music starts to play
With chords and frenesy
Joy comes from you my friend
Rhythm, Heart, Harmony

I am the torn up flag which still slams in the wind
When battles are over and flames in agony
When all seems to be lost and left to barbary
To wake immortal songs of coming victory

I swear I’ll always sing
How much you mean to me
With your crystal clear eyes
And your laugh, remedy
Joy comes from you my friend
Boy, angel, purity.