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.

Greta’s Eyes

Stuttgart, March 1986

Dear Alban

I received your letter just before leaving, I read and read it again in the train, at night ; when everybody was sleeping in the compartment around me. I thank you for telling me things with such sincerity, and the problem is that I can understand you both in different ways but I don’t know how to help each of you.
I’ve been tired in the morning when we arrived, and people were lovely ; but all these “receptions” and all this food, when I just wanted to sleep and think …

The arrival by Greta remotivated me however. She’s living alone with her grandma since the drama of her birth. Her mother died life by giving life to her daughter, and since the dad refuses to see his girl , who’s the portrait of her. Very early wounded by life, Greta has shaped her own kind of devotion. In the little house where they live, in addition to her bedroom, she has a very small room where she devotes a real cult to A-ha.
Not a square centimeter of wall that is not covered with the languid or triumphant pictures of her three idols.
Morten , Magne and Pal, cut to life size, welcome you from the entrance, in the midst of a great jumble of themselves…

I am as impressed as my compatriot-girls who have visited the sanctuary three days later. I had never considered the adoration of my mythical band from that angle, of individuals and their potential for seduction. Or not so much.
The carnal relationship, I think I have it a lot more with vinyls.
And if you saw the record store where Greta took me… I’ve never seen anything like that in my life… Three entire floors !
I was mad, I wanted everything. I broke my piggy bank quite well … Propaganda’s maxi singles ( I don’t tell you everything) , “ In Visible Silence”  “Who’s afraid of the Art of Noise” and of course “Black Celebration”. I even talked with a very cute seller with a promontory hairstyle that you would have liked ( I guess you would have liked the all guy by the way) , but he told me that “Tinderbox” will only be on sale in April …

I realize by writing that I won’t talk to you that much about the activities and visits that we made with school, I could describe you Heidelberg with its wonderful medieval center , and its university. The place would suit Colin very well, as much as the scholarly discourse he could write you about all these historical things. I’ll never be a good relater I fear, concentrating only on what gave me emotions during this trip.
For example , this professional skater , as we had an evening party at a big ice rink in Stuttgart. When she learned that we, french girls, loved Propaganda, she improvised a choreography on “Frozen Faces” and it was simply magic!

A little anecdote to finish, and post this letter on time … We had a listening party in Greta’s “fan room” yesterday evening, with all the vinyls we’ve bought during this trip.
My “Black Celebration” record is light gray , a grenade as bright as the cover is dark. But I had to compare my acquisition with the trophy of a guy who’s known at school like a fine connoisseur of Depeche Mode. He also loves vinyls , cover’s artworks , rare extended singles, and if, in addition, the record is not black ; we are close to orgasm…

The pisslord also wants to make me swallow a privilege; that of owning two copies of “Shake The Disease” , one blowing red ; the other of marble with grey veins ( Colin found them for me !) . From his bag, he took out a “Black celebration”, also gray, but the black edges of the cover had small relief designs while mine are hopelessly smooth!

And I can guarantee you that at this moment he did not have a modest triumph …
Although it really pissed me off, already I can’t measure the importance that it may have compared to the musical discovery that awaits us …

We’ll talk about it again in ten years… I’m sure he’ll be a much shittier fan than me ( and I’m so humble …)

I kiss you with a muzzle full of beer foam ( chuuuut ! )