February 14th. Hateful Valentine’s Day. False party imported from the States for commercial profit only. Lamentable pretense, trap for the naive, punishment for the lonely, double punishment for the single … But I had all my life, on that cursed day, another opportunity to rejoice …
I hate Christmas and Valentine’s Day for the same reason. These are the worst times of the year for the excluded, the homeless, the loveless. They shiver even more, even by the fireside. At Christmas, my children stayed in Paris with their mother. And the feast of lovers, stupid and cruel, came to remind me every year that I was alone in the world.
Nothing to enjoy in life
When you got no man or wife
Without love you cost no dime
You don’t cost a dime … (listen)
Not that I lacked love, I received as much as I gave. But I have lived alone most of my adult life. Useful experience, necessary for me. But formidable training as a warrior. It is necessary to overcome the moods, the vicious surges of self-pity, the puffs of flip which flank the heart.
Christmas remained my worst ordeal. Because as I told you, I had excellent reasons to celebrate Valentine’s Day, which was the birthday of my best friend Jean-Claude Devictor, born like me in 1949.
At the age of 4, we found ourselves sitting side by side on the kindergarten benches. We immediately became friends, the best friends in the world. And that lasted all my life, until that terrible day when I learned of his death.
Car accident. He was embedded in the only visible post, dead instantly. The road was straight, perfect visibility, dry and mild weather, the car was in shambles. “The warrior is responsible for whatever happens to him,” he liked to say.
Jean-Claude would have wanted to end his ordeal that it would have looked like this. Master of me as of the universe, did he like to repeat by joke. Could this pure valve have created a mental program?
I am master of myself as of the universe. I am, I want to be. (Pierre Corneille)
The warrior chooses the moment of his death. He chooses how he will die. He knows when his path on this beautiful planet has ended. And he goes on his own. I have infinite respect for this way of acting. The warrior remains his own master until the last moment of his existence. It’s beautiful to live. And sad to the point of death. I don’t want to celebrate his departure in any way, but his birth, oh yeah, I’m not about to forget the day.
Devic is gone. Flornoy had left before him. I remain alone — loneliness they say fits me like a glove. It would better fits me like a solitude.
I walk alone along the streets
where we both went before.
How can I forget you?
There is always a corner that reminds me,
always a corner that reminds me … (listen)
Eddy sang it for his lost love, I feel the same for my missing friend, a very dear friend, like there are not two of them. I owe him the best discoveries. He is inseparable from my life, my career, my research. Without him and friend Flornoy, this site would never have seen the light. I would have kept the sum of my lessons for myself.
It took me a while to match Devic. Flornoy and him, how many hours have I listened to them discuss passionately about the Etruscans, the Mayas, Jesus, Buddha, or remember their common adventures in the theater or the opera, and all the personalities that they had frequented.
I was speechless. It took me years of courage to come up with the things that mattered to me. I was clearly standing in the background to them. There it changes, thanks to this site. I advanced masked, finally I unmask by myself. It took courage for me. It takes discernment to speak without constraining, to tell without pride, to heal without attributing oneself.
How clever we’ve been to get old but not adults. (listen)
Devic, my brother, my inseparable companion, I speak of you as of a lover. I miss our sincere and selfless affection, it’s true. Like maternal love, infinitely chaste, gift of the heart, deep friendship is a tributary of the river of Love.