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The Tenderness

On the evening, when Florence came back from work, she kissed me on the cheek. She was happy her clumsy husband could make new moves a three-year-old child fulfilled easily. Wonderful Florence! Everything was so simple with her. Nevertheless, you should have never met. When I thought about it! My parent wished for me and according to their beliefs a “beautiful and good marriage” with an “ideal wife” – that is to say a woman from an equal, social background, bourgeois of possible but especially practising Catholic. It never occurred to me I would upset them. The little Eric had suffered a lot for more than three years for not having a family. Once I was “ at the Hilgers” and I had become “Michel” I only had one obsession: being accepted, thanking and filling them, making them proud even if I had to prettify some little lies. The young adult I was become dared to agree to marry someone who would be suitable for them.

After I did my military service in the “Orchestra of the Garde Republicaine”, thanks to Roger Boutry who took me under his wing and thought he could enlist me in underground circles of influences, he admitted me in his writing and orchestration classes. Pretty quickly, I was enlisted in a business orchestra reserved for recording TV shows, musics for movies, ads and pop music. That was how I met – when I was very young – very prestigious names, in particular, Michel Legrand, Vladimir Cosma, Charles Aznavour, Gilbert Bécaud, Michel Sardou, Michel Fugain, Patricia Kaas, Stéphanie de Monaco Didier Barbelivien, Sylvie Vartan, Dominique Magloire, to only quote them. Little by little, as my protector told them I was a talented violinist with a generous tune, I was also an arranger and a good orchestrator. From this moment, I have become the ghost-writer of a lot of influent personalities in the show business. I already traveled through the countries with the “Orchestra of the Garde”, Alexandre Stajic’s orchestra supported by the Ile de France Region, The “Pasdeloup Concerts”, the “Orchestra of the Marais”, the “Symphony Orchestra of France” which I had recorded as a solist Jean-Sebastien Bach’s “Concerti Branbourgeois” with and my “French Quintet” (wire instruments and piano) I had just created with friends and which got the “Mehuhin Foundation” prize. Everything was very convenient for my parents but marriage was a very serious thing.

When I turned twenty-three, they started to worry because I had not yet met the ideal girl. They registered me in a highly-recommended by the magazine “Christian Family” marriage bureau. I met several young girls who followed the same process than I. I chose Marion who planned to take over his father’s company specialized in the craftsmanship and the marketing of luxurious furniture and an owner of antiquities shop. She was cute, so posh, practicing and spoke sevral languages. She liked the “Carrés Hermès”and collected them. We got on well and decided to get engaged. Her parents welcomed me very warmly. I was an old musician of the “Garde Republicaine”, a viola teacher at the “National Conservatory of Metz Region” and an university lecturer in the “Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes de Paris Sorbonne”. It was enough for them. They began to look for pieces of furniture for our future home. Likewise, my young fiancée was welcomed warmly by my parents, even though the Hilgers understood pretty quickly they didn’t own the same estate than her parents. My parents and Manet made manufactured a very beautiful engagement ring. Everything seemed to go alright!

I left for my summer tour with the “Orchestra Alexandre Stajic” and my quintets. The wedding was planned for September, 5th, 1989 in the lovely, historical, impressive Saint Pierre de Dreux Church. The wedding announcements were printed.

And bang! A disagreement with my fiancée’s mother regarding the preparations and the whole organization of the event made collapse everything. The wedding was cancelled! I was so furious when I heard about it! Marion and I were too young and too obedient to bring into conflict with our parents. I thought we were probably not very determined. My young and pretty Gypsy from Saintes Maries de la Mer I had not believed in the past did predict a few weeks ago.

This was how Florence enter the Saint Martin of Sucy en Brie Church on November, 11th, 1989, but also in my heart and in my life.