Their Daddy

Modifié le : 2019/08/05

One could eas­i­ly believe, from read­ing these “prom­e­nades,” that my days are an insis­tent ars morien­di. Yes­ter­day was the sec­ond funer­al of the year for us, my uncle, Bruno, past away, and there is so much to say.

It is the oblig­a­tory fam­i­ly encounter where we have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to see and love the kin­ship, to real­ize that every­one is get­ting old­er, to rec­og­nize our­selves in them and, at the same time, to feel deeply alien­at­ed from their lives, real­iz­ing that we know lit­tle about the sto­ries of our fam­i­ly, that there would be much to write about. Michel Trem­blay et co. have under­stood this and they are draw­ing the bulk of their cre­ation from the same source.

Funer­als are the occa­sion to talk to your own fam­i­ly, to see your father and moth­er, your sis­ters, to enjoy laugh­ing with them, to be pleas­ant­ly frank while still keep­ing a lit­tle embar­rass­ment. We reas­sure our­selves that we are still alive, begin­ning to think that we may see each oth­er more and more often for such meetings.

The low­er stra­ta of the lin­eage sink slow­ly, the upper thick­ens and takes root in the soil thus formed. We all real­ize this and, like con­victs, face death which, embalmed, occu­pies the front of the room, ready to hear the mem­o­ries of the living.

I was touched by the tes­ti­monies of Bruno’s chil­dren. They described in turn, with emo­tion, the exis­tence of this “ordi­nary guy,” an unknown Leo Fer­ré, hav­ing a beau­ti­ful vocab­u­lary and wash­ing floors. Like a work­er priest incar­nat­ing his exis­tence in the world and pre­sent­ing a deaf ear to the slan­ders of his Church, Bruno sang of injus­tice, scraped his gui­tar to light­en the exhaust­ed hearts of the lit­tle people.

Pre­cious lips could sug­gest that he was just an artist or a failed poet. I will retort that it has very lit­tle impor­tance, because only Time, Death’s broth­er, will decide, and long after the Phar­isees have fin­ished mar­i­nat­ing in their vine­gar, who was a poet and who was not. Bruno did not have the suc­cess he deserved, many would say. We won’t know a damn thing about it. End of the discussion.

On the wall, above the deceased’s open tomb, the word “dad” writ­ten in large orange and flow­ery let­ters. On the left, a gui­tar in bloom, anoth­er on the right, in the same tone. Bruno and his gui­tar, the uncle who sang, for my moth­er’s fam­i­ly, the broth­er who put pep into the meet­ings. For his fam­i­ly, in light of what I under­stood yes­ter­day, he was the singing father. The chil­dren all know his some­what west­ern com­po­si­tions by heart, for his broth­er and god­son Serge Giguère who made a doc­u­men­tary of them—L’homme qui chan­tait s’ua job (The man who sang at job)—. Bruno rep­re­sent­ed the voice of the peo­ple, the one that will always insist on being heard, in its own way, and with­out any means, that some­times express­es itself a lit­tle too close­ly, but always with sincerity.

We will say that this voice is con­fused with child­hood, that it is naive. I would say that it is under no illu­sions and that it is thus clos­er to the truth, and that, when we think about it, we are all sit­ting in a small dark bar, sip­ping our desire to live and get­ting drunk on a few plea­sures, lis­ten­ing to an obscure singer gen­tly telling us our four truths. Remem­ber that you will have to die. And for now, it’s all about liv­ing well.