Not a day goes by that I don’t remember. For 70 years we have been more than brothers, companions, soldiers of the light, visitors of the astral. But when it’s February 14th, your birthday, my heart goes deeper than usual. I remember the hundred thousand tricks we did, the hundred journeys, the ten thousand delusions, all the follies of the wise that we did. And I am crying.
But it’s not sad, my Devic. Your memory is moving like life. Your death moves me less than your life. All life moves me. Yours has delighted me. Thank you for these years of companionship, then mastery, finally old age that we have granted each other. Thank you the living, thank you the dead. The dead. Clean slate, feeling of loneliness that cannot be filled… When I sing the warbler or a stream, I laugh again.
The memory is there, complete, unmistakable. We climbed summits, in turn first of rope. In turn exhausted. Two fingers to give up. The courage we have given ourselves. The love of love. Sweet intimate memories, sour sweetness of love, grief, madness, dominates sweetness. A friend like you doesn’t see himself twice.
“You like to complain!” said my darling. “She is right.” I love to complain, and I even prefer to be complained, head on a reassuring breast. There is no age to make the baby. My darling fills my life. But despite all she is, all she can be, this great love cannot fill the enormous void that your departure has left me, my friend Devic. Not a day without your memory. Little nothings. Laughter. The warmth of still being so close after so many years of wandering. And mistakes.
Then there are sensations, impressions, diaphanous mists, soft sounds in the background of the distant. A whole life of friends! My most faithful relationship, my friend Jean-Claude, was with you. Wherever I smell these mists, a smile comes over me. And I laugh. Emerging from afar your laughter returns to me, shaken with sighs. You laugh as we breathe.
We were three companions on a lonely, uphill road, ignored by most. Life flowed full of mysteries, crazy magic, laughter and hugs. The warmth of our friendship laughed in the cold. A few horny women called us the infernal threesome. What did hell do here? Inseparable threesome, yes, that’s right. Until death separates us…
She did it, the filthy beggar. She reaped the best of men, saving billions of worse. Much worse. And I find myself alone, stuck to my Brittany like a mold on its rock. Certainly, new friends visit me. I’m not alone, no, that’s not. But there was Flornoy watching over Devic and me. After he left, Devic moved away a little, not long, not too far, but still.
For nearly a year, he was bedridden by illness. We met again, he was an old invalid. It is said that the hospital heals, it damages, it mutilates, it also kills. Devic did not bear this loss and its inevitable deadline. He fought, against himself, against his humiliating weakness. And then he left, at the end of his rope. And here I am tonight.
The infernal trio boils down to the angelic Xavier. I have changed. The weight of years has been taken away from me. Vigor has allowed me to make further progress. My readers, all these new friends, taught me a new spring. For how long? Many. Years. With this sword of the lady with the dog hanging above my face. Do not swell me. Do not settle me. Do not leave this humour that leads me, the irony, the distance that laughter creates in order to resist the frightful temptation of emptiness.
Not that of death, no. That of pride. To believe myself indispensable. Irreplaceable. Let this ego come back stronger than I have never stopped fighting. Flee from admirers, worshippers, adulators. They think they’re right when looking for a guru. I’m not one. I won’t never be. Never.
I am very small, seek the road with me, I wrote forty years ago. I feel it still, and it will last.