A second with Fabrice

By Stephan Trano

A few years ago, while working on one of my books, I asked my close friend Pierre Berge, the CEO of Yves Saint-Laurent, what was his definition of friendship. True friendship is when someone calls you in the middle of the night to tell you “I just killed my wife” and you answer “Ok, where is the body so we can hide it?” Tough, but it feels right. No question. No discussion. I have made throughout the years long trips deep in the currents of friendship, surrounded by precious encounters which built me the way I am. In the middle of my so called life I acquired the certitude that friendship is the most elaborate feeling and quintessentially human.

Well. When it comes to Fabrice, the word friendship immediately comes to my mind. Not that we can consider each other regular friends. We live in some opposite sides of the world and our encounter was probably more than unexpected. However, there is one second that always challenges the rules of life. It is an indefinable second of trust which can pop up even in the middle of the most unlikely context. I believe this happened to us in October 2006 when we first met in New York.

I have always been fascinated by the ability of some rare men and women to give a chance to that second. I respect this because I know what it means. Many of my friends died aids as I started discovering love and affection. Then I had to accept the gift of surviving, despite my own wounds, some of them during one of the ugliest war on this earth, in the Middle-East. And also, I had to accept, that morning in hell, when my closest friend gave up on life. It changes a man to experience these things. It also gives another vision of what the people really are and what friendship means.

There was absolutely no good reason for Fabrice to open me his door. Nobody is less sporty, game playing or expressive than me. He even knew nothing about the very circumstances of my arrival in New York. And yet was that second. As time passed, I observed him a lot, the way I had observed other fantastic people. I was not surprised to discover that Fabrice is a guy deeply inspired by the almost mystical dimension of friendship. He has this impressive dimension of elegance and sensibility. And also this “Je ne sais quoi” (one of Fabrice’s favorite expressions) that I always perceived in the people I met who were destined for unusual paths.

It takes a long time to become the man we are to become. We need other people the same way sailors need the stars in the dark sky. We need other people to play with, some to share with and also, some just to be in the same life with. Is it always friendship? No. But it belongs to the wonderful and powerful domain of friendship. That’s why if one day, later, one was to ask me “why are you friends?”, I will probably answer with this quote from Montaigne which he used to refer to his unusual friendship with La Boetie: “Because it was him, because it was me”.

  • I am still trying to answer that question on friendship : your friends, and among them your best friends, are they here to support you whenever and whatever the conditions ? or are they the only ones to tell you what everybody else is saying behind your back ?

  • The former and departed French president Francois Mitterrand used to be one the most amazing figure when it comes to study how friendship can survive to the most hostiles conditions.

    Many of his friends, met when he was only 10 or 20 years old, were publicly blamed during his presidency, sometimes found guilty in the worst cases.

    Yet he would appear at the TV, facing the public disapproval, to say that you just don’t and can’t give up: your friend is a friend no matter how he deal with his life:

    “He is a part of you, of your youth, of your struggles, of your joys and sorrows. Sometimes he is the so different one that made you better. When it comes to face the hardships, you just can’t close your eyes and change your mind. Then you know why friendship goes far beyond any other feeling.”

  • Given Fabrice’s passion for video games, I would not be surprised at all if he called in the middle of the night and asked to hide the body of his wife. Actually, I’d be suprised if it was only one body. I would expect at least 500 🙂

  • Until you have a friend that tweaks out slowly but surely on meth you do not realize there are lines that friends can pass beyond which you must sever contact. If they do not saw someones head off after recovery you can reestablish friendship.

    The reality is unless you are a psychopath you won’t tough it out with someone unstable enough to commit murder or any of the other analogistic occurances you can substitute for that variable.

    Short version: I doubt you know anyone who has killed their wife! and doubt you ever knowingly will.

  • Wow Stephane!.

    What a great post!.

    This is one of the great things of OLX….We come from different parts of the world, we lived different histories but we all are interesting people (we almost try to!) with lots of different life visions, life histories, etc. to tell.

    At the end…It´s all about diversity and being a person interested (passionate on) in things like friendship, life quality and life pleasures, etc.