I was her fan, her so-called friendly stranger. I hardly did know her, she did know me even less. The person was strange to me, but the voice all the more familiar. I did know her voice already when she didn’t even know that I existed. I could listen to her night and day, whenever I wanted to listen to. Her incredible voice was given so much energies to me, and she was not even knowing about. Nobody believed me, that I didn’t fall in love with her. /As if I would be obligated to fall in love with every woman, just because I am gay!/ I was fascinated, that’s right, but not in love. How I could ever explain, also to her, that I did only admire her voice? That would have been close to an insult. We were keeping email contact, that was cool. I hoped for an exchange between artists. Our interests were very similar, she was painting and writing too. But we met only in the world of music. And one year later we met in Paris. Thinking of the Eiffel-Tower, I still see her drawing and have to smile, the paper was too short, the tower too long, so she did turned down to the left the top of the tower, like a bedcap. /Long live the artistic freedom!/ And oh, of course we did the photo of the millennium in front of the Eiffel-Tower. I like that photo much. She was on a vacation there but did a gig too and I came to Paris only for the weekend. Although it was my first time in Paris, in everything I saw or did there, I had the feeling I had seen or done it before, that I had already been there. I was amazed, how similar the buildings were to the buildings in Budapest. But well, both cities were rebuilded about the same time at the turn of the century. The Déjà Vu started and didn’t left anymore as we visited the House Of Rodin, in Camille Claudel’s honor (again an amazing woman behind a man). We walked and took lunch in the rose garden. I still see her bending down to a rose bush holding carefully a fresh yellow bud to smell at. At that place we were not the diva and her fan, but friends, two no name tourists with a map in the hand on the Champs Elysees. We treated ourselves a delicious, high-priced dinner on the top of the Monmartre, (they accepted VISA) but most of the time we spent in her hotel room, drinking exquisite french red wine, playing and singing. I even sung the russian hymne, which I could sing even if you wake me up in my deepest sleep. I learned that at the school forever. In Paris we had so much fun and a wonderful intense time together. Even if our friendship didn’t survive my second trip to Chicago, I wouldn't like to miss those memories.
EDITH PIAF • LA VIE EN ROSE