zaterdag, mei 13, 2006

Pacing The Bird

One afternoon we were walking and as we walked she started telling me about this Parisian girl named Amélie Hélie, a singer at the beginning of the 1900s. She was nicknamed the Casque d’Or for her lengthy, golden hair. The leaders of two rival bands in the neighbourhood, the Corsican Leca and his rival, Manda, both fell in love with her, madly, brutally. Their competition for her eventually grew into a big battle one day on this very street, rue de Haies. A big battle with knives and guns. They were arrested and then appeared before the magistrate. The magistrate keeps badgering Manda about why the battle grew in the first place, refusing to believe that it wasn’t over neighbourhood territory, but a girl. Manda said something to the magistrate like, we fought each other, the Corsican and me, because we love the same girl. We’re crazy about her. Don’t you know what it is to love a girl?

So what happened I asked, thinking the magistrate saw the logic of the explanation and let them free to fight some knightly battle for the girl’s hand. We both had stopped walking and were simply standing off to the side of the street as passersby dodged us.

I think Manda got life and Leca got many years and they were both deported off to hard labour.

Hmmm. Magistrate frowns on violent demonstrations of love?

Something like that, but worse still, after all of this…she paused, waiting for me to light her cigarette. A friend of Leca, seeking revenge for his comrade, stabbed Amélie one night in the club where she sang. She didn’t die, but she could no longer perform as a singer. She’s buried at Bagnolet. Sometimes it isn’t sufficient in life not to let yourself fall in love because letting someone else fall in love with you can have equally damning consequences.

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