White Flags O’er Brooklyn Bridge

Earlier in the morning five people climbed the tower of the Brooklyn Bridge and hauled up a dyed white American flag.

The NYPD have no suspects and called the act a ‘stunt’ rather than an act of terrorism.

The Freaked Fearful expressed their consternation to the Daily News with one construction worker stating, “This is where you land the plane. X marks the spot. It was really scary.”

The flags were iden

Earlier in the morning five people climbed the tower of the Brooklyn Bridge and hauled up a dyed white American flag.

The NYPD have no suspects and called the act a ‘stunt’ rather than an act of terrorism.

The Freaked Fearful expressed their consternation to the Daily News with one construction worker stating, “This is where you land the plane. X marks the spot. It was really scary.”

The flags were identified as stolen.

Outrage was another reaction.

The flag hanger of the bridge said, “I’m so angry I can’t tell you what I want to say. It’s senseless. Whoever did this should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”

Police found no bombs or messages, however Daly News readers responded with attacks on the NYPD’s lackadaisical security for the major bridge, claiming that the cops are more interested in writing tickets against the citizens of New York that they haven’t the time to insure the public safety.

I agree with this consensus having been fined for riding my bike down a subway platform at 12am.


To pay for the taxes of the rich.

Fuck ex-mayor Bloomberg who had the PIGS arrest over 400,000 low-level pot offenders.

Over 80% were black or Latino.

All of those arrests should be expunged from the court records.

ps a white flag means surrender, which is what the police should do about the enforcement of the marijuana laws.
tified as stolen.

Outrage was another reaction.

The flag hanger of the bridge said, “I’m so angry I can’t tell you what I want to say. It’s senseless. Whoever did this should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”

Police found no bombs or messages, however Daly News readers responded with attacks on the NYPD’s lackadaisical security for the major bridge, claiming that the cops are more interested in writing tickets against the citizens of New York that they haven’t the time to insure the public safety.

I agree with this consensus having been fined for riding my bike down a subway platform at 12am.


To pay for the taxes of the rich.

Fuck ex-mayor Bloomberg.

ps a white flag means surrender, which is what the police should do about the enforcement of the marijuana laws.

CASSE-TOI BRIGITTE by Peter Nolan Smith

Working at a nightclubs I met a lot of people; famous, infamous, and nobodies. Sometimes I had no idea who was who. One night at Hurrah I stopped a skinny bearded man from entering the club for free. His massive bodyguard steered me right.

“It’s Mick Jagger.”

“That’s him.” The rock star was with a blonde model. She knew who he was.

“My bad.”

A year later at the Mudd Club Steve Mass called down from his apartment, as Meryl Streep approached the ropes. The quirky owner had seen the actress on his CCTV and shouted over the intercom, “Don’t let her in?”

“Why not?” The blonde actress had won an Oscar for KRAMER VS. KRAMER in 1979.


“Me too.” Especially her scene where she turns her head on the quai and I said to the Hollywood star, “Sorry, but you can’t come in.”

“Don’t you know who I am?” Her voice threatened me with contempt.

“Yes, but tonight’s not your night.” I didn’t have to explained why, for in the 1970s doormen ruled the night and that privilege followed me to Paris in 1982.

“Here you are not a doorman, but a physionomiste.” The manager of the Rex was a socialist. He wanted an eclectic crowd based on fun.

“No, problem, but I don’t know how to speak French.” Two years of grammar school French from a nun with a lisp had taught me how to ask, “Ou est le Bibliotechque?”

“Pas de problem,” Olivier shrugged with ease and said, “You only have to say two words. ‘Ouais’ or ‘Non.’”

“Okay” I had learned that trick at CBGBs, Hurrah, and Studio 54. “But I don’t know anyone in Paris. Not the famous people. Not the people who go to nightclubs.”

“Pas de problem.” His partner and he were tired of everyone getting in for free. “Make everyone pay and I don’t care if it’s Brigitte Bardot.”

“But how shall I treat them?”

“Comme le merde.”

“Like shit?” I didn’t think that I had heard him right.


“I’ll do my best.”

Treating Parisians like shit was a dream job for an American and I obeyed Olivier to a tee and favored my friends with glory. I built a new clientele of rockers, punks, models, gangsters, pop stars, and normal people for the basement club under the famed movie theater on the Grand Boulevard.

For the most part the owners liked the mix and rejectees called me ‘le ras-de-ped’ or ‘homo’, which was Verlaine or slang for pederast.

My French was getting good and the owners of Les Bains-Douches hired me to replace Farida. The Algerian Amazon was leaving her post to pursue a career in modeling with Claude Montana. She was that beautiful.

The owners of the club off Rue Sebastopol were a little more deferential about their upscale clientele, but also concurred with treating their regulars ‘comme le merde’. I liked to throw them a curve ball and one night a decrepit clouchard approached the entrance.

The bouncers prevented the derelict’s climbing the stairs.

“Leave him alone.”

“Pour quoi?” My security were off-duty Legionnaires and shouldn’t have been questioning my orders.

“Because I said so.”

They shrugged and resumed smoking Gitanes.

“Why do you want to enter the club?” I asked the grizzled drunk in Boston-accented French.

“Because I’m a good friend of Moses. He told me to meet him here.”

“Come on in.”

“Are you serious?”

“Mais ouais.” I had heard plenty of excuses from people seeking to enter the Bains-Douches. None of them were as good as that offered by this ‘friend of Moses’.

“I have no money.” The clouchard patted his pockets.

“A friend of Moses doesn’t need money. Here are two drink tickets. Have a good time.”

His raison d’être granted him entry to the elite boite de nuit. I went inside from time to time to check, if he was having a good time and the snobby clientele of the Bains-Douches opened their hearts to the Friend of Moses.

My boss was not amused by Moses’ friend and stormed up to the front door.

“Are you fou?” Americans were crazy estrangers to the French.

“What’s wrong?” I didn’t have an idea about what was amiss, but I was sure about the ‘who’.

“That clouchard drank a bottle of wine from Thierry Mugler’s table.” My boss had a sweet spot for the fashion czars of Paris.

“Really?” I laughed at the audacity of ‘le Ami de Moises’.

“You think it’s funny?”

“Just a little, but if you want him to leave, then I’ll show him out.”

“Why did you let him in?”

“Because he’s a friend of Moses.” The excuse meant nothing to the patron. “I guess you never saw Charlton Heston part the Red Sea in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.”

“I know ‘the Parting of the Red Sea’. It was special effects, but the God of the Israelis killed their enemies with unforgettable style. Get Moses’ friend out of here.”

I signaled the bouncers or ‘videurs’ to escort out my guest and the clouchard cried out, “You can’t treat the friend of Moses like this. Just wait until I speak to Moses. He has more plagues up his sleeves than I have fleas.”

Nothing as evil as the killing of the first-born ever visited the Bains-Douches.

Several weeks later I spotted the friend of Moses in Les Halles. He cursed everyone with damnation at the very popular Cafe Pere Tranquille. The junkie and drunks laughed at his predictions of doom. I looked to the sky. The madman pointed a finger at me.

“That Amerlot loves God.”

And I wished it were true, but I had been a non-believer since 1960>

I gave him 20 francs.

My girlfriend Candia asked, “Why?”

“Because it’s not a bad idea to have the friend of Moses saying good for you to the Grand Seigneur.”

“Il est fou.”

Crazy, ouais, but the believer’s God moves in strange ways, so do the mad.”

Everyone was amused by this story, except for my boss and I was let go from the Bains-Douches.

I wasn’t unemployed for long.

Albert and Serge opened a dance club near the Paris Opera 1984. I was hired to be the doorman. Le Reve’s plush décor harkened to the glorious 50s. The young rich loved to dance to the soul and classic French hits stitched together Albert’s skill on the turntables.

They hired a young black bouncer to handle the voyous or thugs.

Jacques had run with several gangs from the outer suburbs. A two-year stint in prison had not ruined his smile. The young girls from the good neighborhoods found the muscular Martiniquean handsome and flocked in droves to try their luck with the ex-con.

These beauties in turn attracted men who brought them drinks.

A glass of champagne cost $20 and Le Reve coined money.

My job was to filter out the uncool.

A week after the opening an older man entered with two dowdy women in fluffy down coats.

One of the blondes might have been attractive in her youth, but she had let her blonde hair gather streaks of gray and no make-up masked her age. Her unfashionable clothing dated back to the early 70s and her feet were clad in tennis shoes.

I figured the old man for a boxer.

His nose was splayed across his upper lip like a wet sox.

An argument ensued with the cashier about the cover charge.

“What’s the problem?” I asked the cashier. She was very strict with the guest list.

“They don’t want to pay.”

“We never pay.” The fighter scowled at the cashier without acknowledging me. His damaged pride revealed that he had been someone once.

“Excusez-moi, mssr. Give one reason you don’t have to pay and you can come in for free.” Any excuse would work, even that he was a cousin of Moses.

“We never pay,” the ex-middleweight rasped in a punished voice. He had won more fight than he had lost, but not by much.

“That’s not a reason.”

“I do not have to give a reason to un putain Amerlot.”

“Fucking American?”

His insult was rewarded with an immediate response.

“Jacques, chuck this ‘vieux’ out of the club and have him take the two old pallisons with him.”

“”Pallisons’ was the French word for doormat. My French was getting better every year, but puzzlement muddied Jacques’ face and the fiftyish blonde woman glared with dazzling blue sapphire eyes. They had belonged to a younger woman once. One who would have considered me beneath her.

“Salud.” She had said that to more than one man, but I wasn’t not a bastard and countered, “Casse-toi, puts.”

The three of them left without further argument and my boss approached to the door.

“Is there a problem?”

“Nothing I couldn’t handle.”

“Then explain why you threw out Brigitte Bardot,” Serge demanded with blasé curiosity.

“Brigitte Bardot?”

“Yes, Brigitte Bardot.”

The boxer’s companion re-assembled into the legendary sex symbol as would any woman who was Brigitte Bardot.

AND GOD CREATE WOMAN and CONTEMPT were two of my favorite films of all time.

I had dreamed about the blonde sex goddess as a boy.

“That’s wasn’t her?”

“Ouais, c’est elle.”

“Merde.” I ran out to apologize for my faux-pas, except they had reached the boulevard and a taxi stopped for the trio. I returned to nightclub expecting a reprimand, instead Serge suggested that I act with more tact in the future.

“We will be old one day too.”

“I know.”

The story of Bardot’s rejection from the Nouvelle Eve hit the morning papers and I expected the Paris Police to institute deportation proceedings against me for having insulted a national treasure, however the passage of time had rendered the animal lover’s beauty passé to today’s youth and our business doubled with their appreciation of my indiscretion.

A week later Mickey Rourke showed up at the club with ten friends, who were mostly young junkies from the Bains-Douches. We never let them in for free. I made an exception this time and Serge came up to me.

“No Brigitte Bardot, but hello to Mssr. Rourke.” He never let me forget this error in judgment and it remained a joke between us till this day, even more so now that the American actor slipped down the ranks from his heyday, although we both agreed on his best line.

“Drinks for my friends.” Mickey Rourke had called out in the same voice from Barbet Schroeder’s BARFLY.

It seemed to be a line he must have said in real life more than once.

“A guy like me changes hard, I didn’t want to change, but I had to change.”

Same as the rest of us.

We all get old some day.

Et resole Brigitte, because je sues con, and con is not a nice word in French.

Dead As Hunter S Thompson

Hunter S Thompson.

Forever a man lived life to the fullest, because oblivion is easier to achieve than enlightenment.

No Se Olvide L’Alamo

On March 6, 1836 thousands of Mexican troops under General Santa Ana stormed the Texas stronghold of the Alamo. None of the defenders were shown mercy and to this day Texans rally to the cry ‘Remember the Alamo’.

On Monday Governor Rick Perry announced the mobilization of the National Guard to conduct air and ground operations to help the police and border guards stem the tens of thousands of illegal aliens swarming over the border.

“Drug cartels, human traffickers and individual criminals are exploiting this tragedy for their own criminal opportunities,” Mr. Perry said, adding, “I will not stand idly by while our citizens are under assault, and little children from Central America are detained in squalor.”

I work construction in New York. The large percentage of workers are Mexican or Irish or European. There are few Americans, because once the labor unions were smashed by the GOP, jobs were given to anyone other than Americans to prevent the re-establishment of organized labor.

My friend Oscar crossed the Mojave Desert for three days.

He had two bottles of water.

They were gone the first day.

“I thought I was going to die.”

Oscar is not a criminal, simply a man looking for work, but I’m not living on the Rio Grande, so I understand the Texas governor’s need to control the border, however the Texas border is 1200 miles long. He is deploying 1000 National Guardsmen. If they work 8 hour shifts, that means 1 National Guardsman for three miles of border, where the temperature runs in the high 90s, but the Guard is used to deserts, having spent almost ten years in Iraq. At least there won’t be any IEDs.

But wait a second.

100,000 US troops tried to stem the insurgents from crossing the Iraqi border, which has a length of 1500 miles. Result = failure, because idiots like Rick Perry and George W Bush don’t understand math.

My friend Al Harlow took acceptance to my comment, “Perry is an idiot…because he wants to defend our border?? At least he’s attempting to do something..

No, he’s an idiot to pretend that 1000 national guard troops who spent 10 years going back and forth to Iraq will fix this situation. The numbers do not add up to anything other than a window dressing. Most effective would be changing the name of Dallas to Tijuana and Houston to Guatemala City.

Plus the ratio of frontline troops to support i.e. tooth to tail is 1 to 3 or 1 soldier for every ten miles of border.

So Rick Rerry is still dumber than a stump in those glasses.

Al Harlow argued, “I’m sure he doesn’t mean the guardsmen will be holding hands to span the border….they will use more troops to beef up patrols in between outposts…Mr. Obummer needs to send a Division of troops, (10 to 30,000) and take the border security seriously.”

The Mexicans take the border seriously.

I know, because Oscar almost died there.

Y Oscar es me amigo.

THE ONLY YEH YEH GIRL By Peter Nolan Smith

The stars of the 1960s were transported by TV and radio to my three red-light suburb south of Boston. The teenagers of the 50s worshipped Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, and Buddy Holly as dead gods, but my generation’s focus was dedicated to the living.

Bob Dylan’s BLOWING IN THE WIND knocked Elvis off his throne and the Beatles enthralled girls with I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND. The Ronettes defined hot with BE MY BABY, but young boys worshipped movie actresses as wingless angels fallen to Earth, even though their visits to Boston were plastered on the silver screen.

Julie Christie won our hearts in DARLING in 1965 and a year later my older brother chose fur-bikinied Raquel Welch as his muse after her debut in 1,000,000 BC. The seductive virtues of various starlets were debated by the boys in my high school. I held my sand, because I was searching for a goddess to call my own.

One cold January night my hand slipped on the radio dial and the antenna caught a signal from Quebec transmitting a wavering female singing ‘La maison où j’ai grandi”.

This song had nothing to do with DOMINIQUE by the Singing Nun.

This singer was telling a story of love.

I cursed myself for not paying attention in French classes and looked over to my brother’s bed. He was asleep on his side. I turned up the volume and rode the magic radio waves to the last fading notes of the guitar. The Montreal DJ announced with breathless admiration, “C’etait une autre tube par Francoise Hardy.”

I didn’t understand a word, but understood that Francoise Hardy couldn’t be anything other than beautiful.

For the next two hours I remained glued to the distant station and the DJ rewarded my patience with LE PREMIER BONHEUR DU JOUR, QUI PEUT DIRE, and L’AMITIE.

“Bonne anniversaire, Francoise.”

Somehow my brain translated those words into ‘happy birthday, Francoise’.

The DJ said Francoise was twenty-three. I was fifteen. She lived somewhere French. Paris was three thousand miles away.

“Turn off that Frog crap.” My older brother mumbled from his pillows.

“Okay.” I shut the radio and went to sleep confused by conflicting images of Francoise Hardy.

I saw her as a blonde. I fantasized about her as a redhead. I woke early to a dream of her as a brunette.

I dressed and wandered down to the kitchen.

“You’re awfully quiet,” my father said at the breakfast table.

“Thinking about changing my language from German to French.”

“I thought you liked German.” My father had studied French at college.

“I did.” I spoke it with a Boston accent much to the chagrin of Bruder Karl. My best grade had been a D+. I had no feeling for Marlene Dietrich.

“Any reason for the change?”

“Maybe I’ll have more use for French.”

“Like for when you’re ordering French Fries.” My older brother joked and my younger brothers and sisters laughed along with my father.

I didn’t mention my restless night to my car pool friends, as we drove on 128. My daydreams of Francoise Hardy consumed the morning math and biology classes. I had a study hall for the third period and went the library to search through the record collection.

Brother Jerome, the librarian, was in his office. A freshman was sitting on his lap.

I wandered over to the record trays and flipped through the LPs without finding a single French record. A few music stores in downtown Boston sold foreign records and I planned on heading to Washington Street after school.

“I’m not going home today?” I told my car pool.

“Where you going?” My best friend, Chuckie Manzi, wanted to join me.

“To see the dentist.” No one liked the sound of the drill.

“You’re on your own.”

My friends dropped me at the Forest Hills T station and got off at Washington Street. None of the big department stores had any French 45s or LPs. On the way to the Park Street Station I chanced upon the Commons. The owner was an old man with a beard. The forty year-old looked like a beatnik. I was dressed as a mod.

“Can I help you?” The walls were stacked with records according to genres.

“Do you have any Francoise Hardy?”

“How do you know about Francoise Hardy?” The old man was mystified by my request.

“I heard her on a Canadian station.”

“Must have been a strong signal.” He went to the French section and pulled out a plastic sealed LP.

“Francoise Hardy dropped out of the Sorbonne to record OH OH CHERI with Johnny Halliday. He’s the French Elvis. She became one of the biggest stars of Ye-Ye music and her hit TOUS LES GARCONS ET LES FILLES made the charts in the UK. I think it was 1964. Here’s that LP. It came out in 1962.”

He handed me the album.

I held the cover in both hands.

The name had a face and that face belonged to an angel. A cinnamon strands of hair streamed across feline eyes. An ivory hand held an umbrella with a detached interest. Francoise was a woman made for a rainy afternoon.

“Can I hear a little?”

“Sure.” The old man r slipped the LP onto a Garrard 401 turntable. “This is LE TEMPS D’AMOUR.”

A patter of drums opened the song. A twangy guitar and solid bass joined on the next bar. The singer wasted no time getting to the lyrics. They must have been about love. 2:27 passed in a second.

“What you think?”

“I’ll take it.” Her pose sold youthful innocence. I gave him $5. “Is that the only one you have?”

“Of that LP, yes, but I can get some of her other records, if you’d like.”

I nodded my answer and promised to return on the weekend.

“My name’s Osberg.” He handed me a business card. “Call to find out when to come in.”

“Thanks.” I left his shop and caught the T to Ashmont.

That evening after finishing dinner and my homework, I went down to the basement and put the LP on my father’s record player. My brother had a better one in our bedroom, but I wasn’t sharing Francoise Hardy with someone in love with a woman in a fake fur bikini, even if Frunk was my older brother.

One play of her record and I became her biggest fan south of the USA-Canada border.

I listened to the Quebec stations in secrecy.

At school I hid my secret. My friends regarded our northern neighbors as Canucks and I didn’t want to risk their attacking Francoise. I bought several LPs from Mr. Osberg and he introduced me to the other Ye-Ye girls; Frances Gall, Sylvie Vartan, and Jacqueline Taïeb as well as the Sultans from Quebec and Serge Gainsbourg.

None of them were Francoise Hardy.

I dreamed about flying to Paris.

An airline ticket cost hundreds of dollars.

I settled for listening to her music with my eyers closed.

In 1968 Francoise Hardy released COMMENT TE DIRE ADIEU written by Serge Gainsbourg. Mr. Osburg said that he was the wicked man in France and played his hit with Jane Birkin JE T’AIME…MOI NON PLUS.

Sex dripped off the record. Mr. Osburg was right about this Gainsbourg man. He was as ugly as sin. I had to save Francoise and as soon as I arrived home, I asked my father, if we could vacation in France.

“They’re having troubles there.” My father was very conservative. He tolerated the length of my hair, but thought I looked like a girl. “Students in the streets. Worse than the hippies. We’re going to the Cape.”

Our family rented three motel rooms in Harwichport. The pool overlooked the small harbor. The beach boasted the warmest water on Cape Cod. The sea was 65 Fahrenheit by the 4th of July.

Every morning I read the Boston Globe. The newspaper covered the War in Vietnam with little mention of the student riots, but I was certain that Francoise Hardy wasn’t the type of girl to get mixed up in trouble on the Left Bank. Not unless she fell into the hands of the evil Serge Gainsbourg and I plotted a trip to France. A rumor was whispered across Boston about a jet plane leaving Boston every morning for Paris.

Its cargo of Maine lobsters was traded for eclairs, creme brûlées, and pomme tartes.

Two weeks before the start of school I emptied my bank account and took the T to Logan Airport. None of the terminals listed the ‘lobster’ flight and I spent the greater part of Saturday hunting for the mythic plane to Paris.

“Ha.” A Boston cop laughed upon hearing my query. “Once a week some kid comes up looking for the ‘lobster’ plane. There ain’t none. Some bullshit story someone invented for who knows why, but the weird thing is that all these kids want to meet the same girl. Francoise Hardy. You ever heard of her?”

“No.” These ‘others’ feelings for Francoise Hardy could never rival my love.

“Me too. Must be some kind of film star. Like Brigitte Bardot.”

I fought back an explanation, not needing any more converts to the faith, and returned home in defeat.

That summer America was deep mourning after the murder of RFK in LA.

MRS. ROBINSON replaced Archie Bell and the Drells’ TIGHTEN UP as # 1, while Simon and Garfinkel sang about an older woman from the movie THE GRADUATE. Francoise Hardy was eight years older than me. I changed the words from Mrs. Robinson to Francoise Hardy. I never sang it in front of my girlfriend. Kyla was the same age as me.

COMMENT TE DIRE ADIEU was not a hit and the radio station in Quebec played less and less of her songs.

Kyla and I went steady. I liked to think that Francoise would have approved of my selection, but I was stupid and left Kyla for no good reason in 1969.

That year Francoise released Françoise Hardy en Anglais. Like the Catholic Mass in English her songs lost their magic in my language.

My travels in the late-60s and 70s were confined to hitchhiking across America. None of the drivers played TOUS LES GARCONS ET LES FILLES, but I defended French music to hundreds of hippies, rednecks, and disco fanatics by saying, “You’ve never heard Francoise Hardy.”

In 1973 she appeared in the film SAVE THE TIGER. The director failed to break the 29 year-old singer to America. She remained a creature of France.

The Atlantic Ocean separated America from the Old World. My opportunity to cross the waters came in 1982, when I was hired to work as a doorman at the Bains-Douches, a popular Paris nightclub. At first I was unfamiliar with the French pop stars, but over the course of the next year I met Johnny Halliday, Yves Montand, Catherine Denevue, Yves St. Laurent, Coluche, countless Vogue models, arms dealers, and other lightbulbs of the night, but never Francoise Hardy and I asked the owner about her absence.

“She doesn’t go out at night. Her husband, Jacques Dutronc, is very jealous.”

“Of what?” Dutronc was a rock star for the French. Nobody in the USA knew his name, but ET MOI ET MOI ET MOI was a great song. I had it on tape.

“Of other men.

“A boyfriend is a man’s best enemy.”

“Not Jacques Dutronc.” My boss warned that her husband was capable of almost anything against any man seeking intimacy with his wife. “He is very much in love with her.”

“Who wouldn’t be?”

My boss shrugged with mutual understanding, He was a Francoise Hardy fan too.

The nightlife was a small world in Paris and I didn’t mention Francoise’s name again. People had big mouths.

Jacques Dutronc visited the club on several occasions. A thick cigar hung out of his mouth. I hated the smell. He never came with Francoise. The rumor was that she was terribly shy after having been the Ye-Ye Girl for so many years. I made her husband wait to get in more than once.

Jacques complained to my boss, who laughed behind the singer’s back.

My job was to make French stars feel like getting into the Bains-Douches was a privilege, however my friends were granted an easy entry, especially Suzi Wyss, the mistress of a Getty Oil heir. On my days off I smoked opium at her oriental pad in the 13th arrondisement. The Swiss courtesan was superb cook and traveled through many cliques. One night she invited me to a dinner.

“Don’t tell anyone, but Francoise Hardy will be coming.”

“I thought she didn’t go out.” This was a miracle.

“She doesn’t, but she loves my cooking and I am always discreet. So not a word.”

“Silence will be my vow” I wanted her to myself. “Will her husband be there?”

“Not for dinner, but he might come for dessert. He has a thing for my Swiss chocolate torte.”

Suzi’s piece de resistance was a culinary delight and I prepared like a nameless suitor for this rendezvous with Francoise Hardy.

I bought a white shirt from Agnes B and a gray suit from Cerruti. No tie was better than pretending to be a business man and I purchased Cuban heels from the flea market. They dated back to the time of her greatest success. I cut my hair short and didn’t bathe for two days to emulate French men, who avoided bathing in fear of losing their masculinity.

That evening I showed up on time with a bouquet of roses. Suzi loved flowers. We smoked hash. Opium was for after the dinner. The door bell rang at 9.

Francoise arrived at the apartment with a young gay man. We opened a bottle of wine. She wasn’t a drinker, but was amused by my stories of New York nightclubs awash with beautiful women and crooked cops.

“It would make a good movie.”

“Only if you played the lead.” I envisioned us on the podium of the Academy Awards receiving Oscars.

“I’m too old to play that role.”

“You’re never too old to be a star.”

Suzi lit another joint. We smoked it before dinner.

I was falling in love again.

In fact I had never stopped loving Francoise.

She spoke about her music and picked up a guitar from the corner. The Ye-Ye girl sang two new tunes. I was in paradise and was about to tell her about hearing her music on a little radio twenty years ago.

A knock on the door trashed my moment.

The guest was Jacques Dutronc.

Francoise’s face said that she loved him and no one else.

Any man would have been a fool to not love her the same.

“I know you.” He pointed his cigar. “Bains-Douches. Doorman.”

“Yes, that’s me.”

“A writer too.” Suzi was on my side.

“Pouoff.” Dutronc had witnessed thousands of writers attempt to seduce his wife. “Women only love directors and producers. They prefer chauffeurs before a writer.”

Francoise laughed at her husband’s joke. Suzi thought it funny too. I might have joined them, if the riposte hadn’t struck deep. We rejoined to the living room, where Jacques Dutronc picked up the guitar.

“Francoise and I did a song in 1978. BROULLIARD DANS LA RUE CORVISART.”

He put down his cigar and sang the song’s opening lines. Francoise accompanied him on the song. I applauded their duet as well as their shared love. I didn’t stand a chance. The odds were stacked higher against me than the records in Mr. Osburg’s music store.

An hour later the famed couple left with the gay friend.

Francoise didn’t even said good-bye.

Jacques winked to me. I wouldn’t make him wait at the door any more.

“Poor Boy.” Suzi patted my cheek. “Everyone loves her.”

“Yes, I suppose we do.”

“And I know how to make you forget, if only for a few minutes.” Suzi handed me a pipe. Opium was a good doctor for a broken heart.

The three of us met several more times at Suzi’s apartment.

The same routine as always, dinner, wine, and a joint or two.

Jacques came late and they departed ensemble.

I imagined myself being him, but I didn’t like cigars and my French was even worse than my German. Francoise loved Jacques and that was good enough for me, because all men at one time in their lives need a goddess to teach them about love.

Even if they were another man’s woman

To Hear Francoise Hardy’s LE PREMIERE BONHEUR DU JOUR please go to the following URL