Friday, July 20, 2007

je ne regrette rien


Met a friend for dinner tonight, two hours after he learned that the judge signed the divorce papers his wife surprised him with a few months back. Wine flowed freely, of course, and the subject turned to love (of course), time, relationships, the wondering how to make any of it work.

Most surprising was the optimism that shone through the conversation (given the chief subject matter), and the mutual agreement, as we polished off the tiramisu, that what matters in life is the loving – even when it fails to find its mark; even when the one you’re loving doesn’t get it; even when you wind up cold and alone despite having given it all the love you’ve got.

Of course, one hopes for the inverse, but if that doesn't materialize you've still got something – because time spent loving anything or anyone sure as hell beats that same period of time spent not loving at all.

Cue music, roll credits.

But wait – there’s more.

R’s a movie freak too, so sensing that maybe he didn’t want to return to the home that his ex- still occupies, and knowing that I wouldn’t be in such close proximity to an art house for a few weeks at least, I figured I could entice him with a late show.

Turns out I could.

Curiously the place was abandoned when we strolled in – front door wide open, ticket booth shut down, not an employee in sight. All the late shows had already started. So we did what any normal movie freaks would do: we sneaked in to the first available screening room.

It was the tail end of La Vie En Rose (La Môme) -- just as our sweet little sparrow is preparing to perform Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien, just before she settles down on the ocean shore with her knitting and grants an interview with the French speaking American who wants to know: “What advice would you give to other women?” and Ms. Piaf replies, as if on cue, Love.

The refrain continues: “What advice do you have for young women?” Love.

“What advice do you have for girls?” Love.

Cue music. Roll...

Wait.

Heading back to the car we pass an old Creole fellow who has set up shop and is telling fortunes on Wells Street. Of course I nudge R to get his fortune told. And of course our new friend rubs his palm with cheap cologne, mutters a white magic incantation and proceeds to tell him 1) a few remarkable things that make R start and go "whoa", and lean to me whispering: "how did he know that?" -- and then 2) outlines a beautifully optimistic, highly successful future in which love is given and received. (Along with a funky remedy for his restless sleep that involved rosewater, spinning around three times, and reciting the Psalm 23.)

Don't you just love it when the whole night unfolds like it was scripted for the movies?

(And yeah: of course I had mine read too, with mixed results. Who knew my color was purple?)

4 comments:

I, Rodius said...

A quiet tale, well told. Thanks! And love is definitely the thing. The complicated, complicated thing.

anniemcq said...

This is wonderful, D. One of your best ever.

Here's to Love, and the mess of life.

Anali said...

Very cool story! I really want to see this movie too!

Rahul said...

"what matters in life is the loving... even when you wind up cold and alone despite having given it all the love you’ve got"... I love this!

Brilliant... as usual.

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