one year, they went to france (where, it’s said, they kissed on main street*)

it was a young love song with clarion-voiced backup singers and an african beat. he was sure it was the first time he’d ever heard it this clearly with words he could repeat without the liner notes unfolded and laid on his lap. there was no hesitation in his delivery; he wasn’t sure if that was because he wanted it so bad and had waited so long or if it was the melody that every one of his friends who had heard it before were singing. all he knew was that he could open his mouth and the song sang itself.

cafe flore907

language didn’t seem to be a barrier nor did their differences (there were only the ones of hair and height) — although now when he looks back at this time he only sees a melding (hot wire soldering) of two dancing and jiving bodies and minds pressed up tight against each other, the bass beat of sex the common denominator (only divisible by 2.)


france happened (there was kissing, if not on main street, then on the champs elysée, les halles, pont des arts, café flore, giverny, chenonceau), times spent with friends in paris, then alone on the road, the exhaust of a citroën forming a heart of protection around them–recognizable by the french, it was a language they knew well–which was a free pass, that common bond; a honeymoon he would have called it, had that been a verse of the song he was singing.  if you have listened closely to the french singing when it’s your second — or third — language, then you will know why he decided to go with his own words; he wasn’t singing for them, but just for the two of them.


2 Responses to “one year, they went to france (where, it’s said, they kissed on main street*)”

  1. April 7, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    It’s good to see such a wonderful story connected to a pivotal album in my life. I was 18 at the time. Oddly, I relate it to my maternal grandmother’s death (which happened a couple of months after its release) and a frustrating chaste romance with a fellow English major from Rochester with whom I went to hear a reading by Adrienne Rich and a talk by screenwriter Joan Tewkesberry who was working on the screenplay of an upcoming film set in Nashville that had yet to be titled. They were toying with the name “Nashville”.

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© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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