L’amour… This je-ne-sais-quoi that brings joie de vivre and raison d’être ; an oeuvre of lèse majesté against reason, a collage of cliché, a nuance palette, par excellence, of avant-garde romanticism. When a bel esprit starts to gaffe, to volte-face, cherchez la femme!
On meeting la jolie au courant in her bouffant beige blouson and béret, he was au fait, blasé even, but bon vivant nonetheless. A bon mot over café and brioche, comfy atop one another on a chaise longue after a rendezvous that lasted long in a night of ooh la la; he rested the fait accompli on the balcony of his pied-à-terre. He knew the brunette wouldn’t leave without a billet-doux he would find amongst his bric-à-brac and he would smile remembering how naïve she looked au naturel. Their first night was an amuse bouche that would lead to a folie à deux able to elude the déjà vu. En route for the extraordinaire… Allons-y!
He followed the etiquette, habitué. They had aperitif at restaurants à la mode because he was no cordon-bleu and went to the cinema or to galleries of art nouveau. They smoked cigarettes on the avenue, in front of chic boutiques, not willing to say au revoir just yet.
A frisson would go up his spine every time he saw her in her négligé. She was an object d’art, a bit risqué but oh so unique. Even her moue had éclat. Their liaison had panache. They had panache. They were the riposte to Romeo and Juliette; they would last. For their entourage, their entente was the tableau vivant of love conquers all, la crème de la crème; unaware it was a trompe l’oeil.
Coup de theatre, Monsieur grew a moustache to be nouvelle vague; it was her bête noire, she found him petit bourgeois and retired to the boudoir. Vis-à-vis her fiancé, the demoiselle grew weary. C’est la guerre! Her savant savoir-faire led the sabotage. Caprices after caprices, she brought him chagrin.
The ballet of their amour propre would turn into a noir boulevard and an encore was doubtful. The prestige blew into debris and ennui and fatigue set in.
Insouciance and laisser-aller in love are the lieutenants that strike their coup de grâce…
His gaucherie would overshadow his grandeur and the coquette’s coup d’oeil would turn fleetingly to another man en passant. The garçon in a cul-de-sac, in a glissade to oblivion, would protest; one fatal faux pas, enough to drive the femme fatale away. It was de trop.
In the décor of this brasserie, nibbling on a croissant, the ingénu was in an impasse, his idée fixe blotting out all finesse. Outré, her froideur grew. The malaise was palpable. It might have been just a mauvais quart d’heure but the boy was grotesque. The pas de deux had come to a standstill. They played a pastiche of their relationship but a final teary tête-à-tête was inevitable and the belle applied her rouge and said adieu.
And voilà, l’amour was no longer à la carte.
C’est la vie!
Zut alors !