Melinda made me repeat the word potatoe a good fifteen times
– « Potator » – « What is that? » – « Melinda you never had potatoe before? » She ignores it
– « Patatoe. Funny in French we call them patate »
– « I honestly don’t know what that possibly can be »
– « a potatoe maybe… 🥔 »
After a never ending ten long minutes Melinda finally ends the exchange with a New York: [po’tato]! and a « Of course we have those! » .
– « Where you from? » I found the question a tad disconcerting.
– « He doesn’t even know where he’s from he’s so cute »
– “Belgium Tokyo London Belgium London”
– « But where you before? »
I wondered what the « partner » of the US ambassador in Paris was doing in such a modest place like this (that will later make Melinda says « Did you think they would have the paella poisoned? ») sited next to a guy named Marni (who looked the part of the wealthy young Belgian-fashion-photographer). Fred informed me that to be able to hijack the UBER of a certain « Alina », Melinda bribed the driver with a fifty euros note. I exclaimed: « But she said she didn’t have to pay extra! ».
« Oh, you know Charles I’ve been around a lot. I was at the studio 54. Don’t be surprised I’m here [and then she delivers the Melinda quote – She did it twice that night – something about being married to herself and then married to something else but I quite didn’t get it]. I had been everywhere round this neighbourhood but never in this Goddamn street, rue Ramponeau.
– « Melinda how did you possibly end up here , even me was panicked. Hopefully everything I wear looks fake. (“Oh THAT is a Marni coat? Really? Ok…”) Look at this Gucci bucket hat, it couldn’t look more fake. But anyway, where were you last presidency? »
– « Oh I like to travel, my job… »
– « No I mean when there’s no democrat in the house » [ from far away ( he was actually sited right next to me) I can hear Fred : « Charles haven’t you ever heard of something called Washington? »]
That’s when in a great laughter, (God she looks Gorgeous) Melinda concludes: – « But Charles she’s the ambassador of Salvador in Paris! Not of the US! »
The waiter was checking on us every other minute. I was hesitating to call Courtney. After our wild trip to Vegas and our never ending shenanigans in Palm Spring O felt a bit down and the more I was talking the more he was disappearing in his seat. I can’t remember what we did that night. I can actually. I starred at Manila Luzon on Hollywood boulevard for hours until she left the room. I also draw a lot in the bar of the chateau while drinking (check menu) I also had later best chicken nuggets I’ll ever had in my life. Breakfast with Marine the day after but I wasn’t sure if it was the right moment to meet Courtney even though Andreas set up the meeting.
We would meet eventually but a year and a half later. After my third lockdown. Just the day after Andreas left Paris after the infamous Balenciaga couture show. Fred and I had set up a little diner table on the balcony facing the Eiffel Tower. There was a construction crane that day. It was the Eiffel Tower and a crane. This is when I smoked CBD for the first time. Something called Hi Stevie.
I wasn’t exactly sure if it was Courtney who misunderstood that I was leaving the Chateau Marmont the morning after or if it was me who was dramatically shy and unable to organise the meeting. It was so sweet of Andreas to put the two of us in contact that back on the last plane to France before U.S. borders were closing I felt very bad and wondered if I shouldn’t have called Love Connie as well while I was there.
When it wasn’t night just yet, I would watch from the bed that I was not allowed to leave the shadow of the lamp on the wall and the strange familiar grey shape elongated on this dark white surface was making me think of Mother. For no obvious reason. The sun coming down in my back was still very warm and even though it was obviously still the day it was already the night for me from this room that wasn’t mine and from where I could not escape.
It all started at the Chateau Marmont, a couple days before the world went on lockdown. O was slightly falling into a coma and that had made hesitate to call Courtney whom I had never met before.
Franziska welcome me with a big smile and a « God you look so fat! »
– « So fat?!? »
– « You mean fat like PHAT? »
– « What is that? No I said YOU LOOK SO FUN! »
– « I’m almost sure you used the word FAT, didn’t she Fred? Do I look fat? » – « So fun!!! God you’re heavy ».
It’s not that Courtney was not available for her last day in Paris, it’s just that museums are closed on Tuesdays in France.