Chasing l'Esprit d'Alain
I'd done the trip only on a business directive.
I said I'd never go back, something about too much perspective...
But the plane landing past the city lights again--
CDG--brought lancing into me, the spirit of mon cher Alain
In another time:
He said, Je m'apelle, Alain.
I said I didn't know when.
I'm late for my math final
And it will be a mother of a blunt edged spinal.
I'd said it a little stronger, more stupidly flip than hip-
I said, Frere, je m'apelle, Michele.
He said, Ma belle, oh hell,
You're standing in line
With an empty glass of wine.
I had nothing at all in my hands, I remember...
From a bota bag
This Alain grabbed by the tag
He'd poured us both a tasse
That I still called a glass
These are names that go together well,
Alain and Michele.
He showed me it's really not that rude
To light a cigarette on the range in the nude .
Quite hip suddenly, must have been the expensive pot.
He filled and refilled infinite glasses.
I never got to my classes,
He loved my cute little American ass.
We only went up for singing at mass.
Up wasn't exactly the word for as high as we were.
He was wealthy beyond wealth,
But it was his older friend Fredo possessed the true lovers stealth.
Alain and I played the Beatles records day after day,
But the anarchist Fredo, with a look, stole me'eart away
The Beatles came to the Olympia, that next year, January '64,
Day after cold day, we screamed until we could scream no more.
In a drugged pact we vowed to follow them on to Germany,
But instead, we and screaming thousands more only watched them depart Orly
Au cathedrale, on my knees,
I prayed for better ideas.
It tasted like cardboard toast.
I looked up and saw Alain,
Coming my way again.
The speed of my genuflection
Was only matched by Christ's resurrection.
I'd done my Credo,
Sung it and caught that wandering eye of Fredo.
And we both ducked Alain,
Laughing so hard since we didn't know when.
We were so giggling high at the time.
I'd hoped he wouldn't take it as rejection,
But our constant change in direction
Wasn't meant as any reflection
On his, truly, aristocratic complexion.
I'm telling you, it was just a game to us, and...
If by chance,
You're ever in France,
Chasing 'cross the Seine
If it's all the same,
Turn back to Notre Dame.
Then you won't regret
That which I can't forget.
But before that...
Alain et moi, in church,
Finding at the end of our perfect search
That the Holy Ghost
Was the perfect subject of our confessional toast.
But after a year, Alain and I,
Never ever again were eye to eye.
It was the senior Fredo broke the holy rule,
He seduced the sorrowful Alain in a corner vestibule.
Because in Paris,
I'd run off with the businessman Harris.
I couldn't watch, and wasn't made of collector's wood.
The Virgin carried while the Father tarried,
And the Son never came out to see
My bon ami, Alain, being both French and short,
Ending it all as a most sorry sort.
He ran up a ridge
Bounded off a bridge,
Leading a profane screaming charge
At a glass-topped tourist barge.
That then was mostly frequented par les Americains.
Tant pis, mon ami. Only Alain,
Knows what could have been,
Main dans main sur Madeleine,
Au Louvre, petit Alain, je te couvre, avec regrette, pleine.
And I thought then-
Un jour, je crois que je me trouverai
Dansant sur le meme quai
Comme mon petit copain.
Une triste legende, certaine.
Keeps coming back to this, doesn't it?
In this time:
A plane, landing through clouds to sudden rain.
The first tears in tens of years.