jeudi 7 juin 2012

Desperate Altar

 What does it mean to me? I’m not sure. The idea came suddenly as we were not far from the cemetery. I suppose it made sense. I’d just missed meeting up with B. D. the previous day after he changed the date of his performance. Well I thought, I would go and see the man instead. The other man. And I wouldn’t really see him either.

 We got to the cemetery. It was a perfect day, blue clouds flirting with the sun, and a crooked grid of cobble stones showing the way through a peaceful village. The dead outnumbered the leaving but I didn’t feel threatened. I didn’t want to look at the map, felt a bit too self-conscious, so I sent Mister French to take us to the grave. We took our time, moved by approximation.

 Of course it is shameful – or rather shame-making. A million visitors came here before me, all with different hopes and reasons. I didn’t really have a reason. It was something to do, an act that would result in disappointment. A failure. But if failure is also part of the process then completing the process becomes purer, devoid of a search for success. And I think our man understood this. Maybe it is one of the reasons why he was laughed at, revered and crowned as the king of ether, his slippery tail piercing through gravity to tickle you under the armpit. Any person who took him seriously would tell you he was an idiot, and any person who thought he was an idiot failed to understand something important. His importance, why his music and his words and his persona mattered.

 We finally found the grave. Amongst the crowd of the living I became even more self-conscious. His grave was encircled by a metallic rail. There were flowers on his grave. A mum was taking a photo of her teenage daughter under the watchful eye of her balding dad and his friend. The girl was American, blond, discovered her braces when she smiled in a longish pause. There was a Brazilian man and a few Japanese tourists taking pictures, middle-aged French men destroying myths, a tree covered in chewing gum.

 I didn’t want to stay long. This wasn’t a pilgrimage. I just wanted to make sure it existed. We left, walked down an alley with more beautiful graves. Then in between two tall graves I caught a glimpse of a flower. From that side, at the back of his resting place, no one was standing. At last I was on my own. I was allowed an intimate ordinance with this man. And I don’t remember how it felt.

MV and EE - Common Ground (2012)

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