An uncle of mine – I call him uncle because he’s like family, has discovered he’s got lung cancer. He is a painter who came to Paris in the 1950’s and claims to have met everyone: Michèle Morgan, Orson Welles, Zao Wou Ki, Henry Miller, Henri de Montherlant… the other names escaped me…The line between his imagination and what really happens is now part of the mystery.
I’m going to see him tomorrow to have a look at all the sketches he’s drawn throughout his life and make a selection for a little artbook project about his work, something that could be entitled A Vietnamese painter In Paris, a compilation of letters, sketches and little comments or memories from such and such places, such and such people.
And suddenly this character will emerge from the unknown and surprise people who do not know of this idealized time of the Paris of the 50’s, Saint-Germain, artists and writers seen through his eyes. I’m curious to see what treasures he’s hiding in his drawers.
It took me some time to see Nicolas again. I didn’t want to rush things. What he had told me really shook me and a couple of months were hardly enough to ease my mind and soul.
We eventually met some ten days ago for a walk. The sight of this tall and sharp young man made me feel uncomfortable, yet I tried to keep my composure and waited to see what he would say.
We decided to meet in the Quartier Latin. Starbucks Café on the bouvevard Saint Michel. We could have picked some better place, but I was in no mood for anything fancy.
Of course I was happy to see him. But more cautious as well. I'm too happy when tension finds its resolution. My parents were never able to solve their issues with each other. I try to learn the lesson and not be afraid to step into the electric zone. I'm aware that's the way Nicolas is and that I should expect other volcanic outbursts from him.