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Hello there! I write a lot of Rammstein fanfiction. I'm primarily a Till/Richard writer judging from amount of deviations alone, but I'm fine with all other pairings and value them equally :heart:

I do custom commissions and requests. PM me for details.
A lot of my fics are critique requested, if you see anything worth commenting - please do so and help me improve!


Vision: This is clear enough. I comment on the music-video aspect of it in the section below so I'll leave it for that - your storyline...

by Edgirl

I'll be offering critique to this work as a whole, thus including parts 1 and 2. Sincere apologies that it has taken so long for me to ...

If you request critique, I'll be happy to oblige. I consider myself fair - if I like what you wrote/what you did, I'll tell you.
If I don't, I'll tell you that too. Always backed up with reasons, for that is indeed the point of critique.

I wish more people would critique the shit out of me too. My self-assessment pretty much consists of me taking potshots at my own work with other works. I have several works open for critique, please tell me what you think!



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All I Was Doing Was Breathing (Part 03) - A Daft Punk Fanfiction

Pairing: Explicit Thomas/Guy, Thomas POV.

Warnings: Extremely depressing. Hedonism, fundamental character death, drug use, philosophy, angst, sexual themes, plenty of sexual situations/fantasies, deep-seated emotional instability, screwy formatting (diary), and most of all, based on a real life event. I am only thankful that things turned out okay in reality.


01 July

Use book token from birthday - close to expiring. (Ionesco/Nin?)
Maman asked for the kitchen to be cleaned before 6pm.
New icing bag.
Bird feed for garden.
Le Parisien for Papa.
Another date coming up. (Cancel?) (Cancelled.)

03 July

Dream: very brief but intense, under club lighting or a flickering white streetlight, surrounded by many faceless others.
Your lips tightening around a cigarette, firm and pink, pouted softly even as you took it away to exhale...

Woke up aroused, painfully aching, and covered in a thin film of sweat. Chain-smoked until I could go back to sleep.

(Surprisingly, did not see the irony in this until later on.)

04 July

Independence Day across the ocean.

There is no particular significance to this date where I am, but nevertheless, every year I remind myself of it. I do feel some kind of musical/cultural connection to the USA: the land of the free, a young country still filled with immense potential. One day I would like to live there.

Start over, kind of.
Where no one knows me nor my past.


04 July

Though I'm not sure I quite get their notion of patriotism.

I think it's different to how we think of it here. And I'd hardly call France an unpatriotic country, myself.
For the longest time I have felt that they still believe in the old adage - dulce et decorum est pro patria mori - and, well, I don't know. I just know how horrible it is to see one's best friend, among dozens of other people at death's gathering, having to be the one in the coffin. I'm not sure if there is any cause noble enough to justify so raw and brutal a pain - enough that praise for the action should be allowed to overcome the sadness of others.


Not even if the cause was, ultimately, to save another...



oh my god
oh my god, just...

please come back...

06 July

Small cities also have small places to stroll around in. But alas, Paris is not one of those cities.

If only I could get away from those people...!

07 July

The dreams come at me with a vengeance now.
But it's nice, kind of.
It's nice.

Last night's was very pleasant. I don't really remember where we were, only that it was warm and soft, and that we didn't go anywhere else. Just the two of us, lying together on what might as well have been the top of a cloud, a sun-warmed mat in a cabin by the beach, or even my own bed with the door locked and the nightlight turned on. The location isn't that important. I was with you and that was all that mattered.

What happened in it? Oh, nothing notable or anything. I wouldn't say anything happened, because we remained in comfortable stasis until the very end. We were lying together, skin against skin, splayed lazily upon my bed. Specks of dust danced in the beam of sunlight located a foot away from the bed; we were in shadow, but it was hot, so we'd kicked off the covers, lying only on cool flat sheets and enjoying the faint breeze blowing in from the window. At some point I might have stroked your hair, moving to tickle slightly down your spine. At some point you might have nestled into my arms, comfortably fitting in against my chest, our legs tangled. All summer in a day when we lay naked in the shadows, more than together, unashamed and adored.

I dream of intimacy with you as if I deserved it.


I am never sure what to feel about dreams like those, when we are intimate together without actively doing anything; the dreams are always nice in themselves, and whenever I wake up I always feel well-rested and content. But the feeling never lasts beyond the first couple of hours that I am awake. At that point the gears in my head begin turning, and I must slowly tread my way back towards that inevitable realization - that even if I had confessed while you were here, your response would not have been you touching your lips to mine in that lustful display of affection (otherwise known as a kiss), but you smiling that devastatingly gentle, let-down smile before telling me with a shrug: "I don't think so, Thom, you're a friend."


So what if I was a friend!
Water is wet, ice is cold - I was in love!
I never would have forced you into anything, and if you hadn't wanted it - well, then, what argument would have remained? But I at least wanted to ask. I at least wanted to fantasize, practice asking you out in front of the mirror with the expectation that I would actually get to try it out on you - I wanted to take your hand even during the times we were silent, to run my thumb over the back of your hand, hoping that you would read the affection contained in that gesture. I might not have felt entitled to be anything other than a friend to you, but being a friend didn't mean that I had no intention to try at being more.

And what if you had said yes? Can I imagine that too, right here, out loud?

I'd have wanted to jump into it straight away; you'd have wanted to give the relationship time. Give it a few days before we told other people, family first then friends - all those social rituals. We would have built up something so unbelievably lovely, and yet it'd have started from a fundamental disagreement. We'd have laughed together, held hands, sneaked out of clubs together and left our friends behind if we didn't like the music. We'd have bought balloons. Let them go, watch them spiral into the air. I'd have cooked you breakfast if you promised to cook us dinner, and vice versa. When you cried I wouldn't have been able to make many promises, nor would I have been able to say very much - I've never been good with words - but I would have held you until your tears dried, and once some measure of calm was attained, I would have sought a way to move heaven and earth to help you. We would have been just as special and just as completely ordinary as any other couple out there, sharing scarves and spending all day in bed, and I would have wanted to take pictures of you, make such intense love to you that you would never look twice at anyone else, make promises that I had no intention of keeping, get into petty fights with you and leave you to walk home alone from the club, make up afterwards with days' worth of kisses, total adoration and good food to win back your heart, be upset with you when you remain stoic and stiff-lipped for days on end, have the tension culminate in a physical altercation (leading to passion) upon a half-made bed at nine in the morning, huddle in a corner smoking marijuana and have you borrow my books and never give them back and - and-

- and it would have been real, and wonderful, and even if we'd broken up we would have been able to move on.

We would have been able to further our happiness.
As is my constant refrain - at least you would have been there.


So many people to love in my life, and yet I worry about just one, who will now never need me as much as I need him for a multitude of reasons too obvious yet painful to recall.

09 July

I saw your brother again today.
And today he saw me, too.

We encountered each other going opposite ways, myself coming out of a bakery, him heading back towards home. (... Yours? His? The semantics have become confused.) It took me a second or two to recognize him when we came face to face, though the very moment I did so, I froze at that spot; he, on the other hand, seemed wholly unsurprised to see me, raising his hand in greeting before he came to a stop in front of me.

"It's been a long time," he said, and that was the entirety of his greeting. (I mumbled out a 'yes' that I'm not sure he heard.) "There's something I'd like to talk to you about, Thom - could you spare me a half hour? I won't keep you past that, I promise."

He sounded entirely pleasant. Yet at the same time, he wasn't requesting this of me; no, it was a demand.
Of course I followed him - well, what else could I do? Take off and leave him standing? No, I'd known that something like this would happen at some point; it'd have been naive and even somewhat disgraceful to think that I could avoid this forever. But none of that was reassuring when I was following him back to your place, unsure of what he wanted to tell me or what I would find there; the walk felt like the longest one in the world, and I began feeling sick as familiar roads and corners began to come into sight. I was fully expecting an awkward encounter between me and your parents, and maybe even a long talk about what happened, where I would be asked to recall everything about their night...

But Paul was too kind to let me suffer that way. "Don't worry," he said gently, sensing my hesitation. "they're not home."

Not a great consolation, but it immediately lifted a burden from my shoulders. I could breathe easier, though in the absence of that great worry my head went somewhat blank, and before I quite knew it we were at the front door. Paul pulled out the key; the door unlocked with a dry, lifeless click; then we were in, with me absentmindedly taking my shoes off and putting them by the door as I had done so many times before.

He asked me if I'd like a drink. I shook my head. He seemed to understand that, too.
While he was hanging up his jacket I took a quick look around the living room. It was empty, and just as he'd said, I heard no other signs of life. We truly were alone. Somehow that room seemed barer than I remembered, I could have sworn that some of the pictures and small figurines were gone from the mantelpiece. I can't say more about this, though, because at that moment he walked past me to the stairs and gestured towards me, wanting me to follow him - to your room.

"Come in," he said, and entered without hesitation. I hovered at the doorway for a few seconds.
How strange it was that I had never expected to see your room again, the place that was my refuge too for the better part of a decade and that which I had loved so well. How strange it was to actually be there today, seeing how your bed had been freshly made, or the freshly laundered and folded clothes set atop the pillow as if you'd come back and reclaim it, or how very little about the room had been changed - and feeling nothing for any of this, far too affected by the faint ghost of your scent. The moment I walked in, it hit me, and it hit me hard. I've always thought you smelled quite nice - you had a darkened scent, a smoky-sweet and buttery kind of fragrance - but something as formless and capricious as that cannot survive for long without a body. I'd fully resigned myself to having lost that scent for ever, so to encounter it again was a strong, tearful shock to me. To hide the sight of my eyes welling up I glanced sharply at your desk, which was clean save for a thick book set in the middle of it, a purple bookmark sticking out past the halfway part-

"Hugo," Paul explained without prompt as he sat down carefully on your bed, and invited me to sit next to him. "he was reading his poetry when he died."

I could do nothing but nod, even though I was surprised enough at this to marvel silently over it. I have only read a couple of Hugo's works and found them to severely test my patience; I hadn't thought you'd be interested.
If I'd known earlier, had been more open-minded...


I sat down. It was the least I owed him, and the vestiges of your scent, still heavy in the room.
It was driving me mad, not knowing what Paul wanted to say to me, but I held my tongue and waited for as long as it took.

And eventually, after what seemed like over an hour, he spoke.


"You... ruined us," he said in a low voice. I closed my eyes, knowing that the dreaded moment had come, tears stinging behind my eyelids as if I had any right to be upset.

"Yes," I managed.

"When it first happened, the thought of blaming you for anything never even struck me. He wasn't someone who'd have acted without a good reason - and he especially wasn't the kind of person to jump headfirst into danger, no matter who was in trouble. So I knew that something very, very bad must have happened - something nobody had any control over. It wasn't until after the funeral that the resentment began, when I realized that you no longer wanted to even look at us in the eye," he paused heavily. "but all I could do was to wait. Wait for us to meet again. Wait as long as it took to see you in person and tell you exactly what I thought of you. So many times in the past few months I've played this conversation out in my head. And every time you are so regretful and apologetic - you even seem to be suffering far more than any of us are - and every time I listen to you and I am still so angry. And now that you're here, finally here..."

He trailed off and looked towards your desk. Then back at me. The purple bookmark glittered in the sun.

"Now that you are here I find that I'm not even half as angry as I once thought I should be," he said finally.

All I could do was to nod slowly, not trusting myself to speak.
His eyes were just as blue as yours, though brighter with emotion.

"In fact, I'm not sure if blame had any part in my anger to begin with. It was your avoidance."

He reached out and rested his hand on my own. It was not a gesture meant to reassure as much as it was one meant to hold me steady, to prevent me from running away again.

"I wanted to hear you say something. Make excuses, weep, come to our arms, swear that you'd never show your face to us again, anything. Just something from you to prove that you hadn't forgotten us. I wanted the chance to respond to you, even it was to tell you off profusely and give you a hug afterwards. But seeing you today... I realized that I'd thought of that as something simple, something you could have just done and was obliged to do, without considering closely what this must have meant to you. We didn't reach out to you either. You were suffering just as badly as us, at the very least - and if you blamed yourself, wasn't it more likely that you were struggling with that already? Instead of your silence being some kind of deliberate attempt to stay away? It was an unfair thing to expect of you."


Paul nodded, though mostly to himself. "... And in the end, is this what he would have wanted? I hardly think so. He wanted you to be safe and for us to be happy, and what happened-"

"What I did," I interrupted gently. (I hope.) "I won't... I... the mistake that I made shouldn't be diminished."

His face relaxed ever so slightly, and he smiled a little down at his folded hands.

"If you must insist - but then, I was going to say, that doesn't change what he wanted. We've had a lot of conversations amongst ourselves since, and it really does feel like we're healing a little, day by day. We've moved past all and any idea of blaming someone. Our first impulse was right all along; in the end, it was nothing you or anything else could have predicted or intended. Sometimes things do happen because of a person, but only because they were physically there at the wrong place and time. Nothing to do with what they meant to do or not do. It doesn't mean that they deserve to bear that burden forever."


I... I didn't know what to say to that!
What could have I said? What should have I said?

"We've missed you, Thom. So, so terribly," he said - squeezed my hand - and pulled me into a tight hug. "... I lost one brother, I won't lose two, you hear me...?"


Yes. Yes, I did.

I wrapped my arms around him and hugged him back. His head rested on my shoulder and he let out a shuddering sigh, one of both relief and sadness, sounding as if within him something had been extinguished forever. He had pointed out an essential truth: I knew you for a long time, and by definition that meant that I'd known your family for just as long. Paul was barely ten years old when I first got to know you. We all grew up together in a good and honest sense, is the point I'm trying to make. And I think you'd have wanted me to look after Paul, or at least have the two of us check up on each other when times were difficult, regardless of whether you were here or not; it was something I had forgotten, or else had tried to put out of my mind, during the past months in my sorrow. We didn't cry - I think we might possibly have been too inconsolable for that - and we didn't speak, but for that moment, we understood. For the duration of that hug at least, we were connected.

But it didn't last long.
I must have been holding him tighter and for longer than he was comfortable with, because he tensed and began to shift about as if he wanted to be let go. I hurriedly broke the embrace, and he looked down at the floor, looking rather conflicted for a second before he raised his head.

"I'm sorry," he said, and smiled sadly. "I'm not my brother."
In that instant I knew that he'd known all along, too.

My mind began to race with questions: how long have you known, Paul, how did you even find out, oh God, did he know as well? And I was very close to asking all of this in rapid succession, I'll have you know, the words were at the very tip of my tongue. But I couldn't look at that smile and put myself ahead of him in good faith, so all I could do was to blush, lower my head, and say:

"... I don't expect you to be."


I felt his hand touch my shoulder and squeeze slightly. Bidding me to look up. There were tears in his eyes then.

"Thanks," he said, and pulled me into another tight hug, this time only a brief one, but probably in the same manner as he once hugged you. Into my shoulder he murmured something else, and once the words had sunk in, the flood of regret came crashing down upon me all over again.


"I wish Maman and Papa always felt the same."



He gave me your Hugo, with the bookmark still in it and everything. On my way out he asked me to visit again, or write to him at least if it hurt too much for the time being - and if I had any photo albums of yours lying around my house (I do), could I send them back by post? He was mindful of my feelings to the very end.
I had to sit down a few times on the short way back home. My eyes were so blurred with tears that I couldn't see a single step ahead of me.

I'm so sorry.

10 July

Doing what your brother requested; this morning, painfully returning to the photo album (one of many). Overwhelmed by one in which you, then unknown to me - a discreet, gentle little boy, are soft-faced and laughing in your mother's arms.
I weep.
Not even the desire to commit suicide.

But I manage to put the album in a large envelope and post it, for I have to do what was asked of me.

(Would you have been proud?)

11 July

To whom can I possibly pose this question and receive an honest answer -

Does being able to live without someone you loved mean that you loved them less than you thought...?

12 July

On one hand I did need to talk to your brother that day, it was long overdue.
But on the other hand I am now back to square one. All else unravels. The Liebestod comes on; pillow wet with tears.

13 July

Wir haben die toten Augen
geseh'n und vergessen nie.
Die Liebe währt am längsten
und sie erkennt uns nie.

15 July

One in the morning; I can't sleep. Pacing in some kind of fervour.

15 July

Immediate continuation, under another subheading only for the sake of separating those events.
I sneaked out of the house. I am now sitting in the bus shelter, using the pale streetlight beneath me to write; there's a kind of faint nausea within me and I'm fairly sure that it's from my surroundings, which are in an abstract way too familiar to the memories I have of that night. But at least I am not anxious. There are no good choices for me at the moment, I might as well choose the less painful option.

A bus stops. Two young men disembark. I wave the driver on ahead to signal that I won't be getting in, and it slowly leaves; as it passes by, a bored-looking woman sitting by the window meets my gaze, one pale hand clutching limply at her purse. The two people who left the bus take no notice of me, laughing noisily as they put their arms around their shoulders and walk away into the distance. They sound very drunk.

Sad, depressing sensation of a social stereotype.
What comes to my mind is that you are no longer here and life - stupid, stupid life - continues.

16 July

A night out with the film society: private showing of Jean Genet. I wouldn't have gone otherwise, because ever since that meeting in May and those awkward/failed dates I have found socializing a tedious chore. I regard it as an exercise in acting like a human being for several hours and little else; I suppose that there is a certain charm in pulling it off successfully, which results in me coming back exhausted but filled with a temporary conceit. If I don't stay up too late, I can even manage to have a good long night's sleep after such a day.

This outing was successful. I am calm for once.

Film: Un Chant d'Amour. Only twenty minutes long, but it left a powerful impression on me. (For the rest of the hour, we discussed the film in solemn tones while we ate the snacks someone had brought for the occasion; some stayed behind to watch The Maids, a few including myself left at that point.) Neither you nor I looked anything like the people featured in it, nor was I wholly comfortable with what happened in it; but if I cannot understand that desperate longing and the agony of being barred from a loved one, who else could? I sat there, completely enthralled, a pang of pure joyous pain resonating deep inside my heart. I had not felt so intensely about a work of fiction in a long time. It was a good feeling.

How a man can conceive of such beautiful eroticism: the smoking scene through the wall, the imagined kiss, the black-and-white embrace, the garland of flowers. Inventor, lover, poet. An angel before his time.
Saint Genet.

18 July

In Carnot you were in a Franco-Germanic speech club. How jealous of them I was, even then; every Thursday you would give me only the briefest of goodbyes as you grabbed your bag and ran off in the direction of the club meetings. Every Thursday they took you away from me and you never looked back.

This film society is quite well-known, but with limited membership. Suppose I mentioned belonging to it to make you jealous in turn, though it didn't work. Instead of envy, all I received from you was genuine happiness, with a small nudge and a request for film invites now and then, before you moved onto something else.

You have no idea how excited, and yet so low, you made me feel that day.

20 July

Six months exactly since you were gone.
As if to mark the occasion, I had a dream about you - a fond one to soothe the ache. Let me tell you about it.

A prelude first, before I move onto the dream itself. Do you remember our holiday at Ibiza? The hot salty air, the nights filled with music, our exceedingly comfortable accommodations; two suites in a fine hotel, one for us and one for them, hearty breakfasts every day. I remember the first drink I would have there every morning, the taste of the rich cold milk in a tall glass, to this day. Then we would make our own way to the beaches, or else the outdoor pool if we didn't feel like going that far, and spend entire days tanning and listening to music. We barely ever talked, though we moved around plenty, rolling around to make sure that we didn't get sunburnt every now and then - and buying ourselves drinks or ice cream to eat in comfortable silence. With you next to me, all other sound save for the waves and your faint breathing was drowned out, and in their place my heartbeat settled in, melding into the rhythm of the place.

Yes. Yes, I remember.

We rubbed oil and suntan cream on each other. You sometimes took a long time to do this, other times you were faster, but you always took care to meticulously cover every inch of my narrow back. I was so ticklish I could barely keep still, but you were patient. I on the other hand always took my time. Your skin, smoother than mine - by the end of the first week exquisitely golden - the curve of your spine, and your lean legs (long for your height), I treasured them all.

I told you that you had a nice broad back once and you blushed wordlessly, ducking your head. Just a small memory.

I remember that your features underwent a remarkable change from the moment we landed and you breathed in the warm air. You closed your eyes - inhaled - then looked straight at me for a moment with expression impenetrable. I have always felt you to have a snowy face, cool and either pensive or neutral more often than not, but during those days tension simply seemed to fall off you. You let your hair tangle, billow out behind you like a cloud whenever you dove underneath the surface; you wore the same outfit for days on end, knowing that you could get away with it because we so seldom kept a set of clothes on for the whole day; you became indifferent to the idea of baring our naked bodies to each other, and would change nonchalantly in front of me if you couldn't be in private. You eased up, you slowed down. It was hard to tell how old you were as you lay there underneath the shade, for you had a poise years beyond what your physical form betrayed of your age. Sometimes people would come up to you to chat you up, both men and women, though you spoke not a word of Spanish nor English (more accurately, you pretended not to understand either) and it was never long before they gave up and left. So we would stay like that, until we got hungry and one of us went to buy piña coladas and a juicy broiled burger, or when the sun set and we had to return to the hotel.

That is the recollection. Now the dream itself.

We are in the hotel pool and the sun is swelteringly hot. The pool isn't crowded, but we're hardly alone, either. (I don't remember the other swimmers in detail.) I am thrust into the dreamscape suddenly and rather unexpectedly, opening my eyes underwater and hurriedly surfacing as the chlorine stings them. When I raise my head, brush my curls to the side and look back, I see you at the other end of the pool, one leg dipped lazily in the water as you stay perched at the edge. The ceramic tiles are deep blue, worn, and vaguely chipped beneath you. Although you say nothing - and indeed during the entire dream, I never hear your voice - you eventually notice that I'm watching you; you bite your lip, half-shrug, then roll over straight into the water as if you were some kind of golden fish. Your body is a mix of still-boyish elements and a budding maturity, raw and wrenched open by the flow of time; somehow those two things mingle together without contradiction, the resulting form glistening like some ancient, polished ceramic. You surface, gasping for air, and wade out towards the shallow end to brush back your hair. The light reflected in the water lends a strange tension to your nipples, pink and perfect.

I feel myself harden in my swimming trunks. The cold water does nothing to dissuade it, yet I am not embarrassed.
Merely appreciative.

The Ibizan landscape is as I remember it in my past, yet we are comfortably grown-up in it. I know this because our bodies have changed from what I remember. It really feels as if heaven as I think it must be - your happiest memory playing out for eternity with no regard to age - has manifested around us. I can't say that your attitude towards me has changed massively (I would not have wanted it to), what with your occasional smirks and that quiet assurance that you are more worldly-wise than I. Sometimes I felt that you saw me as someone to protect, that you and I were like a hen and chick respectively. But I am now someone who wants to be naked with someone else. I am someone who loves the feel of skin, of sweat - of kissing - of coming. I want sex and beyond anything else I want closeness. So I stay at the other end of the pool to quietly admire you, seeking my comfort first and foremost in your mere presence, and I wonder all sorts of things - whether this is the right time to offer you a lemonade (and that I'd go and get it, of course), whether you wonder the same things about me, or if you are thinking of me at all. I wonder if that water isn't too cold for your tastes, whether you are virgin, who else might be looking at you as longingly as I am. I lie back and think that I would like to date you, one day, that it would be nice if you said yes. Either way, it's nice. The feeling I get in my chest from seeing you is satisfying enough on its own, though I would hardly protest more.

I dream of you like the white vanilla ice cream that we used to have on the beach, so soft and sweet and creamy that it would drip onto your fingers as we licked the cone; once it dripped right down your wrist, and as you hadn't yet put sunscreen on you were able to lick yourself clean without fanfare, only to have a few more drops fall onto and trickle down your bare thighs. Then I needed to look away out of both respect for your person and a desire to hide my burning face. This memory would be a further arousing one if there was nothing more to this dream than what I have described of it so far. But you were only sixteen when we actually went to Ibiza, and I only fifteen, so when I wake up and remember that little fact I just end up feeling immensely weirded out by myself.

And that's the end of that dream.

21 July

Didn't we fight while we were in Ibiza, too?
We did. I forget that often.

I was younger then, but... I think I'd be lying if I said that my attraction to you had nothing whatsoever to do with that fight. It started that long a time ago. I was afraid even then that you would dislike me if I let on, that was all, and I had no idea how to deal with frustrations. Besides, you really wouldn't let me take a sip out of your mojito and you really did try to stop me going to that club. They were legitimate reasons to start a scuffle or two. Fair's fair.

21 July

(... But I just as often forget that the morning after the fight, when we heard about the double murder that took place in that club, I thanked you over and over and decided that this was a genuine case of a blessing in disguise.)

23 July

having no one at home to whom you can say, I shall be back at x time (so don't wait for me/leave the door open/etc.), or,
having no one whom you can call out as you walk through the door, voilà, (darling/sweetheart/my friend/etc.), I am home now.

25 July

My loneliness got to be too much. The day is beautiful outside but I cannot enjoy it. Spent hours riding aimlessly on the Lines 2 and 4 so I could feel free of you for a change.

(Nirvana is apparently releasing a new album...
but without Cobain, how?)

27 July

Six months and a week gone.

All day I spent reflecting on what the year has been to me, reading over the pages of this diary from the very beginning. And I have come to the conclusion that I have thoroughly failed this bi-yearly review; I thought by enduring your absence, I would become someone 'stronger', acceding as I might to worldly indifference. For what other abstract, yet objective truth is there except for the fact that we all die? Do I really believe that I will lose no one else for the rest of my life, am I still so naive as to believe that my loved ones are invincible? - how absurd! I believed that you would at least help me prepare for my future losses. But this hasn't been the case. I am more fragile than ever, in a complete state of abandon, and I don't know how to fix myself.

Though not sensible I feel that you are with me still; half a year on, survival guilt endures. The nightly sweep of traffic still fills me with fear, grazing the raw wound that your absent presence has left. All I can hope for is for your image to fade and retreat, becoming smaller and smaller until I sense that you are hardly there at all. I wish to eventually feel as if your distance from me is like the furthest star, too far away to induce any feeling or consequence within myself.

Like a heartbeat, my friend - you are indispensable.

But it is when I'm most myself, most alone in the midnight darkness - so dark that I could raise my hand to my eyes and not see an inch of it - there, I can freely desire to close my eyes and whisper your name, summoning you back to me without hurt.
I sincerely welcome you and you return, improbably close by, your scent washing over mine again...

... though, of course, by now - you cannot come.


01 August

You left me and doomed me to live ever after with an asterisk next to certain events in my life, all ones that would have been better had you been there.

02 August

(Fits of nausea during the day)

I've not said much about this before, but:
since you've been gone, digestive difficulties, as if I am suffering precisely where you took the greatest care: food.

Or maybe it is the heat - though I don't believe that it is.

05 August

Ran across Sven while I was taking a listless walk in the park. Not one anywhere near where I live, no - across the Seine, which is why I ran across him in the first place. I hadn't seen him for most of the year. We had a coffee together and sat together largely in silence; we are only distant friends, but a needed friend is still a needed friend. He knows what happened, too, and I think he was there at the funeral (not that I was paying attention to anyone there, only the coffin) though not for very long, and he knew better than to ask me questions about what was going on in my life.

I took it as a sign that my suffering was readily visible in my face, still. I don't really look in the mirror nowadays, I don't recognize the stranger within. It takes practice to learn to shave without looking into a mirror, I tell you.

07 August

I have not a desire but a desperate need for freedom
(from you)
(from myself)

09 August

Now look here.

I'm tired.
I'm tired of letting you down every day and night, in reality and in dreams. Tired of never being enough, tired of never being able to hear your voice, tired of being deprived of the approval that I so desperately seek. Tired of being left behind. I am tired of writing. Explaining. Crying. Being angry. Wondering. Wondering, exactly, what it is that will make this pain stop. You hover over me like a ghost with unfinished business and I just don't know what you want.

It was for my sake that you were hurt so badly. You left me so abruptly that I could only hold onto the hope that if I approached this slowly, taking it one day at a time, I would one day be okay. One day I would be forgiven - one day I would be able to forgive myself - and even though I might not be happy, I might at least be okay again. But half the year has passed, and not only am I not okay in the slightest, I am beginning to doubt that okay ever cut it in the first place. If okay still means that I feel your loss like a stab to the heart, when I am least expecting it, or that I keep hearing you call my name when I'm listening to music or walking somewhere, then I don't want it. I don't need it. I just can't do it anymore; they say something like this can last months and years, but I don't think I am ready to invest that much into mourning your absence. You were my friend seven years. People have abandoned longer-lived friends over much less, and I daresay still for well-justified reasons. And the more I think about it the more I think the ghost of our friendship, with you alongside it, should not be allowed to interfere with the relationships I'm going to have in my future.

Our friendship evened out after a while, it never carried on the upward gradient that I'd liked it to have. So I want to move on.


I want to fall in love again.

And right now you're in the way of that.


Because of you my next relationship, and more than likely the few after it, will not be fulfilling.
Oh, I don't have to worry about ending up miserable. I'm already there. I want the next object of my desires to be more beautiful than you are; they'll be sexy, they'll know how to have fun, and they'll like any random bullshit that comes on at the club and our relationship will be superficial and I will never have to write them desperate letters like this, pouring out all my hatred and anger and all the love in my heart. They won't make gnocchi from scratch, or read poems in German, or walk around with criminally tangled hair. They will never debate Leninism with me, go with me to Ibiza, or fight with me in Ibiza, or make up less than five minutes later with an awkwardly-offered hand and a chilled bottle of cider. They will never want to wear sunglasses in the pitch-black darkness when in underground clubs, just in case the strobe lights start blazing, and they will never fuss about making sure where the exits are and which way the doors open because they will never read up on or care about nightclub fires. When they go to Germany for a family vacation I won't worry about them calling me because they will never be going to Germany, nor will their cheeks redden when they accidently cite the current capital of Germany as Bonn and not Berlin. They will never challenge me or force me to grow, no matter how long I stay with them, and they will - they will -

- they will never, ever be able to take the place you carved out for yourself in my heart.

I loved you unconditionally, chastely, and for the longest time with no intention of asking for my share.
I look back on how much I loved you and it makes me sick to my stomach.

But we were never anything in the end, right? It's not like you'd have noticed anyway, right?


This cannot go on.

I have to let you go.
You have to let me go.

09 August

Why can no one love me like I want to be loved?

Translation: why can't someone near me turn out to be a completely new entity, at the same time neither you, nor not-you?
(For you also did not love me.)

09 August

He is currently having some kind of nervous breakdown and is wishing he was born richer and kinder and elsewhere

10 August

he is contemplating cutting ties with the day-to-day farce of getting through the next few hours in an attempt to ward off the fact that he doesn't know how to get through the next ten/twenty/thirty/forty/infinity years all on his ownsome

10 August

he's talking about himself in the third person because the idea of being who he is/what he did/the person he has become is more than his pride can take

10 August

he's sick to the fucking gills of himself
and he wishes and wishes and wishes that something
anything at all
will happen to make the clock tick for him again

10 August

just someone else, anyone, any other body but this.

10 August

remembering you is like opening a vein

11 August

i write the truth and it is killing me i cannot do this any longer.
fuck you and fuck everything I cannot believe
how much
I fucking miss you
every single day that I am living
and this is absurd and completely against nature.
there is no goddamn reason or right
none whatsoever
for me to keep hurting this badly every fucking night
you've run out of reasons to do this to me.

go away!

All I Was Doing Was Breathing - 03
Disclaimer: I do not know any of the members of Daft Punk, this is strictly a work of fiction and I do not profit from nor claim to represent true aspects of their lives in this story.

I haven't really familiarized myself to the DP community on here.
Could it be that I already know a lot of people from Tumblr, though?

Three chapters on - what is the impression that this Thomas is making upon you?
What is the impression that I, as author, am making upon you?

I treasure the July entry very highly; I think that and October are the highlights of this long and sad story. Even in the midst of mourning there is room for beauty, whether nostalgic or new.

  • 01 July – Eugène Ionesco and Anaïs Nin.
  • 04 July - 'Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori' is Latin for 'it is sweet and glorious to die for one's country'. You might know it from Horace or Wilfred Owen's poetry. This entry is also not intended to be an objective judgement about patriotism in the USA.
  • 09 July - Hardly anyone ever mentions Hugo's poetry...
  • 12 July - The Liebestod here refers to the final aria sung in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde.
  • 13 July - A Bachmann poem (Reigen), 'we've seen the eyes of the dead / and will forget them never / love lasts to the end / but apprehends us never'.
  • 16 July - Jean Genet directed this film in the 1950s. It was considered too obscene for its time; even now it comes across as a powerful example of the so-called 'queer cinema'. I recommend it highly, and Genet's works in general. Jean-Paul Sartre wrote an essay about him called 'Saint Genet', which Thomas is referencing.
  • 21 July - They did fight at Ibiza. I don't know why exactly.
  • 25 July - Lines 2/4 of the Paris Métro. The truck incident happened in reality on April 1994, the night Kurt Cobain was found dead; I've adjusted the times/dates for this fic, but this entry is the homage to this incident, and the connection Daft Punk themselves made to Cobain's death.
  • 05 August - Sven Hansen-Løve. Brother of Mia Hansen-Løve, director of Eden. He was confirmed to be a friend of DP at least from the time 'Da Funk' was first debuted, which is admittedly later than 1994; but I thought it not improbable that they'd had some acquaintance earlier.

All I Was Doing Was Breathing (Thomas/Guy): COMPLETE
[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5]

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All I Was Doing Was Breathing (Part 02) - A Daft Punk Fanfiction

Pairing: Thomas/Guy, Thomas POV.

Warnings: Extremely depressing. Hedonism, fundamental character death, drug use, philosophy, angst, sexual themes, plenty of sexual situations/fantasies, deep-seated emotional instability, screwy formatting (diary), and most of all, based on a real life event. I am only thankful that things turned out okay in reality.


17 April



It's me again.

17 April

I'm sorry for what I said a month ago. I really am. I was so sad and angry with myself and...


Enough self-pity. I don't deserve it.
The truth is, I was... I was frightened of continuing this diary, for the fear of making some overblown literature out of it. Sure literature thrives best on truths like those, and on loss and sorrow and all it connotes, but there was no reason why this loss should have resulted in any such thing. There was no art in what happened to you; the very thought horrifies me. No art is so unobtainable, so unspeakably beautiful, that it justified losing you for it.

But I'm back now. My fear was overcome. I am not a good enough writer, nor egoistic enough to want to make art out of this, and no one else will see it anyway; if I am to cope with my feelings properly I ought to stop thinking of them as pretentious, unjustified, or some other inauthentic device. I'll carry on.

17 April

Just thought I ought to tell you that.

18 April

I saw your brother today.

Both of us have lost weight, it seems. He was wearing his hair long, like you did, and when I saw him he was wearing an old white Primal Scream shirt. You remember, the long-sleeved one you had? The one you saved only for special occasions and concerts. In fact that's why I saw him to begin with. That familiar, yet uncommon flash of white caught my eye while I was coming out of the butcher's - I turned - and there he was.

(I don't think he saw me.)

I confess that the very first emotion I felt upon seeing him was a kind of mild outrage that he should be wearing something of yours. But then I thought: well, why shouldn't he? You and I swapped clothes sometimes, too - you and he must have done so far more often - and that was when you were still here. Even then you were generous with most of your clothing; there was no real reason to protest the fact that he was wearing that shirt. At least he gave it an owner again.
Besides he wasn't wearing that shirt as if he felt himself entitled to it - no, he walked carefully along that pavement with a plastic bag (groceries?) in hand, slower than his usual pace, edging around everyone who came too close. The last time I saw him, which was at the funeral, something had been gone from him; I saw him depart today and knew that whatever it was remained acutely gone, but even so, he was taking care not to ruin that shirt.

I can't confirm this, but if he has been more graceful with his mourning than I have been - I wouldn't doubt it.
He carried himself like he had purpose, though his usual sprightly walk had slowed, and he didn't look happy.


A part of me was tempted to stop him and talk to him - say hello - but a tidal wave of guilt washed over me the moment I thought of him turning around to face me, and I realized that I had no idea what kind of expression he would regard me with. So in the end I let myself lose him in the crowd. Maybe he blames me. No, not maybe - almost definitely. I didn't think I would be able to handle that.
I'm not sure when I will be; perhaps never, even though I know you would call me cowardly for admitting to this.

19 April

Spurred by the almost-encounter yesterday I tried calling your house.
They really haven't changed the answering machine message. Hung up in tears.

20 April

Violent outburst. Went out to dine with family; the waiter came around with a large plate after we placed our order and the wine had been poured, he set it down and exclaimed: amuse-bouches.
You'd sometimes say you would cook for me, then return bearing only a plate of delectable but tiny snacks, nowhere near enough to fill me up. Just to tease me. I used to find that anywhere from amusing to totally infuriating, but the point is you used to announce yourself and those snacks with that exact same phrase and I startled so bad that I tipped over my glass, and then when it was cleaned up I had to excuse myself to the bathroom, and there I sat and cried and cried until the person in the stall next to mine knocked and asked if I was all right.

Do I sound like I'm all right, I asked right back. Then there was nothing.

Awful. Couldn't finish the meal either. There was a metallic, salt taste in my mouth all the time.

20 April

I have to stop using this one word.

Don't say that I am mourning. That word is too psychoanalytic, and we all know that psychoanalysis isn't real.
I'm not mourning. I'm suffering.

21 April


Listening to Glenn Gould playing Bach. The records from 1963-65 in a row.
Under his fingers the clavier is exquisitely well-tempered. I hear them herald the sixteenth fugue, your most beloved, then my heart is filled with a terrible sadness and I bury my head in my hands to cry.

When are my tears going to dry up, when is this going to stop hurting?

22 April

sans fin
ni trêve
à rien

25 April

I promise to visit in the next week or two. I will visit. I will.

25 April

Mourning has made the act of shared enjoyment very difficult. I wasn't here to tell you about it, but returning, briefly, to around three weeks ago; the first of April. I had hoped, faintly, that for that one day some semblance of normality might resume. If we couldn't be light-hearted that day, when else? I even went out that night with some people from class, just for the sake of it. But it appears that I've been too blatant in my sorrow; all day and night I received not a single absurd jest nor a poisson d'avril, nor attempts to pin one to me, even though I usually get plenty of both.

I think they did this to not upset me, but really, I just became more sad.
How fast one becomes that person, the killjoy in every party, all from the natural act of grief...

26 April

'Thomas Bangalter suffers from his death.'

27 April

Groceries: candied peel/pistachios/lemons (x2)/mascarpone/chocolate (dark)/two white roses from the garden
Resume reading Les Thanatonautes.

29 April

Maman baked a cake today. I helped, briefly brought out of my mood by this mystery having been solved. Admittedly that last reminder for groceries baffled me even as I was writing them down, once I got to the roses I couldn't fathom what could be made with those. But the roses were mostly for decoration - far more innocuous than I thought.

First she ground the pistachios, then mixed them with breadcrumbs, sugar, baking powder, oil and eggs. This mixture she then baked to produce two delicate sponges, which she left to cool before making the filling: ricotta and mascarpone beat together with icing sugar, lemon zest, candied peel, lemon juice, chocolate and some leftover pistachios. (I licked off what was left behind in the bowl after.) It was a splendid two-tier cake, dusted with sugar and whole rose petals, light and soft-looking like spring.

But why do I detail this? You know this already. It was a favourite cake of yours whenever you came around.

I helped her shell the pistachios, spread the filling on the cake, and cleaned up afterwards. Despite knowing that this was a cake you liked - I do think this was partly why she made it, she misses you though probably not as intensely as I do - we spoke nothing of this, and because of it we were able to work in comfortable silence. I felt okay for the first time in a while.

When I finally left to go upstairs she cut a slice from the cake and gave it to me on a plate. I would have eaten it the moment I was sat down and settled, if not for nostalgia hitting me at that very moment. Why it couldn't have come earlier, I don't know. I closed the door behind me - sat down on my bed - and just looked at the cake for a long time, admiring its softness, imagining its taste. When I held my hand over it I could almost swear that it was still warm from the oven, though that was surely impossible (the filling wouldn't have held up otherwise), and then my thoughts drifted to you again. I naively wondered what angels eat or if they eat at all (childish concerns really) and felt rather sad that you weren't here to enjoy this with me.

But I wanted you to look at it, anyway. I wanted you to know that this cake was made for you, anyway.
I wanted to believe that you were watching.

So in the end I left the cake on my desk, this diary set next to it, and withdrew for a few hours' nap. I wanted you to enjoy it first, in whatever way you could. One may call it a variation on shamanistic offering, if they were so cynical; honestly speaking, though, I think such an attitude is not far off the mark. There are countries where they still offer a feast to their ancestors or loved ones long since gone, and keep a respectful silence for the needed period, before partaking in the feast themselves as a shared ritual. To think that the dead can enjoy the taste of food, or that they can resent, or that they inhibit certain places to watch over their family - such things are not myths or superstitions. They are a way of understanding the differences between the living and the dead before reconciling both worlds into a natural whole; everyone is connected, everyone dies, and this is neither something to fear nor treat with disdain.

Easier said than done, but today I wanted to believe.

I woke up feeling well rested and relatively peaceful. Short-lived, I'm sure, but it was a nice feeling.
The cake was still moist and soft when I finally dug my fork in.


01 May

I am either lacerated
or unnerved

and occasionally subject to gusts of life

03 May

I went back to your grave today.

I was carrying a fresh bundle of red roses with me. But when I got there I saw two sets of flowers from your family, probably no more than a few hours old themselves, already lying atop your grave. One was a full basket of lily, rose and chrysanthemum; one was a carnation wreath woven through with irises.

They looked beautiful. Pure, soft, just the right amount of melancholy. I didn't think that they were you - the realm of the florist couldn't be further away from yours, I remember your blindness to the language of flowers ever so clearly - but they were put together with the utmost care, and weren't out of place at all. I can only imagine what they would have thought and said to you as they laid those flowers down.

I wondered which one was your brother's. One seemed to be from your parents and one from him, but there was no note nor letter attached to either, so I couldn't tell. I was careful to not dislodge the flowers as I sat down in place and gazed at your headstone for a very long time.

My poor friend - did you ever imagine that this would be your fate, lying here smothered in flowers as white as the falling snow? Spring has come and yet where you lie it feels as if the past season has never gone at all. You took your leave in winter, but at the same time you have held it fast here upon this small grave, as if you would remain tethered to earth if you clung on.

I stayed there until the breeze became too chilly, then I left. Three hours exactly by the time I caught the train.

03 May

I went home with my bouquet, by the way.
I said above that the flowers already on your grave wouldn't have been your thing, but neither were mine. No, they aren't even half as good as your family's tributes - my roses are selfish. These roses are a manifestation of my feelings towards you, guilt and adoration and all it connotes, rather than anything you'd have genuinely liked for yourself. The flowers you liked were few but I actually know them; there's no excuse.

I did leave one rose for you. It's nestled between the other flowers, out of sight but occupying some significant spot. I'm coming back as soon as I can, and I'll have a properly thought-out bouquet then, I promise.

Please still like me.

04 May

Exam 9am-12pm in usual hall, 9th May.
Exam 9am-12pm in Room 12F, 10th May.
Exam 2:30pm-4:30pm in Room 34GD, 13th May.
Exam 9am-11am in Room 12F, 15th May.
Library opening hours extended, from 8am-10pm to 6am-midnight, make use of this.
Meet up with friends, 15th May.
Le Monde for Maman. (I will read after.)
Groceries: Boule/apples/avocado (x3)/aubergine/eggplants/shrimp (shells on)/milk/jam/chocolate.

05 May

Outing with Maman.

It begins with a trip to buy a new butter dish. Do we go for a standard butter dish with a lid on, or shall we be adventurous and choose a cloche à beurre? Porcelain, bone china, stoneware, glass, or stainless steel? This visit soon turns into a hour-long browsing of the cookery shop, and even though we leave without the butter dish (or even a consensus as to what the dish should be made of), we are in good spirits and decide that we don't want to go back home just yet. So we head to a nearby restaurant for lunch; omelette for me, onion soup for her. We sit outdoors. The rest of Paris drifts busily around us as we eat. For dessert I take a sip of sweet icy coffee, look at her across the table as the warm spring breeze caresses my hair, and just for a moment I can pretend that I have found some peace.

Are you having a good time, she asks.
Yes, I answer. I liked looking around - the food's good, and it's nice weather.
You look happier than you've seemed in ages, she says, and pauses. Are you still writing to him, she asks.
Yes, I reply. She gives me a long look and I realize for the first time how much she looks her age. Maman has always looked five or four years younger than she truly was. The past four months has aged her more thoroughly than two decades of raising me, and I hardly claim to have been an easy-going child.

Not that I want to stop you now, she asks, listlessly reaching for the sugar cubes, but why.


I look away. Faintly, from the inside of the restaurant, a lieder broadcast over the sound system - how sad!
But why, that is the question, though she made it sound like a statement and not an inquiry. From that I make the selfish assumption that she 'asked' more out of exhaustion than of a genuine need to know, and that I am not in any way obliged to provide an answer. For there is no utility in it. It is a long and complicated answer with a simple essence of four words, but those words carry with them a tragic gravity that I myself have not begun to puzzle out. This answer will have consequences that I am not yet prepared to face.

(The four words in question: because I loved him.)

Does it matter? is my eventual answer. We don't speak again for the remainder of our stay; I make no attempt to explain because I don't feel that she will understand. I don't think that she would be unwilling to accept the fact I could be in love with another man; that is not what I mean. What I fear she will not understand is the process by which all of this occurred, because in full honesty, there was no special or notable reason why I fell for you. The after-school walks, taking the long way around, sharing soda during lunch, the way you scolded me or praised me (sometimes within minutes of each other), the world-weary look in your eyes, seeing your date casually take your arm, all the records and the cigarette smoke and the flashing neon lights and your sacrifice and the memories of a lost love that never really existed...


Never mind.
It was all done for anyway.



She speaks my name and someone else has died.

08 May

Victoire. First without you in a very long time.
Made myself a potato gratin with cream and slowly ate it over the course of the day. Opened a red wine to go with it and have been downing it ever since. Dessert is maybe blueberries if I'm still conscious by then. The colours of freedom.


(It was your presence that stopped me structuring my life around such ridiculous rituals.)

09 May

I may be absent for a few days as I finish up my exams.
Please forgive me this, as well as all you can forgive; I can't ask you for much more in good faith.

13 May

This is the way I grasp my agony.
Not directly in solitude - not empirically etc., - granted, I have not been graceful in my suffering, so everyone generally knows how in pain I must be when I am out and about. But at least I have control enough to not show it overmuch most of the time, certainly not enough to merit worried questions. But it comes over me when my love for you is torn to pieces once again, just when I was thinking that there was nothing left there to tear, the most painful point at the most abstract moment...

15 May

I should not have come to this meet-up.

Today I had my final exam, so I was already mentally exhausted as it was. This was a meeting with some friends from Carnot whom I hadn't seen in a long time; they had all heard the news about you, and wished to give their condolences, though that was not the initial point of the night. I had expected some quiet words of comfort and a simple evening spent all together - Laurent was there too, he was my support for the night - and if the mood was right I'd even have liked a round of fond reminiscence. Because despite it all, grieving over you is difficult; because I do wish to get better at some point, and who better than others to help me through it? There is no shame in admitting that you can't go through this on your own. But then I began to hear this kind of talk:

"The world is poorer for his loss..."
"Yes, yes..."
"He had all his life ahead of him..."
"Did I ever talk about the time I had a crush on him, it was unexpected and I thought it was so wretched at the time, but something about the way he spoke... captivating..."
"Well, I don't mean to downplay your experience, but I think we were all a little in love with him. I think it'd have been difficult not to be, not after hearing his voice or seeing him write. You all remember his handwriting, right? How he was always the one who got asked to write up announcements on the board, or the time when he did the lettering for those posters in the library?"
"He was like art personified..."
"I asked him out once, he turned me down... somehow coming from him, it didn't really hurt at all..."
"He and Thomas made such a good pair together, I sometimes thought..."
"How did he go? ... Drugs, they said?"


"Yes," they were all saying nodding solemnly and eagerly - an awful contradiction. "we were all a little in love with him."


If you will pardon me for getting angry.
They thought little of you in Carnot, regarding you as more odd and stoic-faced than likeable before the two of us became friends. When you grew up to become a dreamy-looking, beautiful teenager, then they couldn't get enough of you. Then we left school and they cared very little for keeping in touch with either of us until this happened, and now they speak of abstract love as if that alone meant that their connection to you had any meaning whatsoever - while I sit here with my entire world thoroughly snuffed out. This is nothing to compete over, this is no joke - this is a life! I don't care what they think. Who the fuck do they think they are?

15 May

[Postscript: writing before bed, feeling calmer]

Laurent rescued me, thank God; from the look on my face he seemed to have noticed something that no one else did, and pulled me aside to ask what was wrong. My non-reply spoke volumes to him, apparently, because immediately afterwards he made an excuse to get us both out of the building. We did not speak again, nor did we look at each other, until he had settled us down in a café two blocks away. He ordered us an espresso each that neither of us drank, and only when the drink arrived did he begin to talk, albeit with a slow, almost guilty hesitation. But for ten minutes or so I could only register the world around me as a distant roar, my pulse pounding in my head, and I regretfully don't remember much of what Laurent said or what the surroundings were like. I can guess, however, and I picked up enough to briefly retell what he said:

I had feelings for you, Laurent knew that I had feelings for you, but he hadn't known just how intense those feelings were.
He too was incensed by the talk that was going on, but he'd never expected me to be so furious.
He was even more worried about me than ever, and he wanted to help.

He stopped there to await my response. I did not give one. I was too busy staring blankly in his direction.

"Thomas, I think you should see someone-"

"Don't," I said before he could finish. "I'm fine," I said, knowing it to be a lie. He shook his head, for I had misunderstood him.

"I think you should see someone new," was what he finally said, and we both knew as soon as he had said it what he meant. "so let's set you up on a date, Thomas. This isn't making you commit to anything, and I know you're too decent to ever hurt or use someone else, regardless of how lonely you might be feeling. You're not the kind of person to lead on somebody for weeks on end. But I can't bear to see you so sad. A few dates here and there might help, you know, just being out and talking. Getting used to knowing new people."


I regret to admit that my first impulse to hearing this was to walk out, or to bury my head in my hands, or to throw the espresso (by then cold) in Laurent's face. It was a singular, violent, directionless impulse that faded away after one white-hot second. Then I had to start thinking, and had to concur that while the time hadn't been right, nothing Laurent had said was bad advice. There probably wasn't any kind of right time that he could have said this in, anyway. I'm here and you're not. Practically speaking there is nothing I can do about that fact, but I am able to make other choices. I thought about the distant future ahead of me and saw that while I mourn you intensely, I could not see myself doing this same exact thing five years on, ten years, twenty. I am appalled by that idea. I think you would be appalled by that idea, you would not have wanted me to suffer for so long.

I am doing this to heal. And tonight, Laurent was sitting in front of me, offering me another method of going about it.
What harm could come of it other than it not working?

"Okay," I said. "what the hell. I'll do it."

He said he'd try to set a date two weeks from now. Until then I wait.

17 May

Now that I have finished my exams I have more time ahead of me to read. I've just closed off the final page of Les Thanatonautes; beautiful story, but too sad for me in hindsight. What wouldn't I give to journey beyond death myself, and see what lies there! Perhaps I might even encounter...

... None of that thought, now. It is as Laurent implied. I must try to be realistic.

I must go and visit the bookshop at some point. Maybe a touch of classic wisdom, Maupassant perhaps, or Montaigne. But hopefully nothing that will take up all summer to read, like Hugo for instance.
Hugo! Who could stand to read him?

18 May

[On the radio, Trois Gymnopédies.]

Now everywhere, in the streets and in the café, I see all individuals under the same umbrella of irrevocably having-to-die, that being the reason we called ourselves the Mortals - at least, according to Arendt. And yet at the same time they can be grouped underneath another state, that of not knowing that this is so.

Aside from that contemplation - sometimes the urge to make music. I hope that is not a betrayal.

19 May

I have talked of betrayal immediately above this entry; despite this, it is hard not to resent you sometimes.
I have been feeling this way for a while, but I blame our fellow lycéens for lighting the fire.

With you I almost wish to revert to vous; that is a soft word, exhaled like a breeze or the faint buzz of a diligent honeybee. It is distant, it is gentle; it is impersonal, skimming the surface of someone's being purely as a matter of politeness. But tu, that is a hard-sounding term, tumbling off the tongue like the shot of a pistol, cutting right through to the quick. Whereas vous is a mere inquisitive whisper of a breath, tu is immediate, a figurative tap on the shoulder - that one denti-alveolar syllable demands a response. It is unfair to me that to refer to you truly - to refer to the relationship that we had - necessitates that I talk to you as if you were still here and capable of responding.

What I feel from that is not sorrow but rather a faint, shameful annoyance. Hence the resentment.

But to consciously use vous is to make you a stranger, instead of letting you settle into a place of acceptance - unthinkable!

20 May

Last night I had a dream that I was in a swimming pool. Doing my thing. Swimming. But the only thing was that the pool wasn't filled with water, or any other liquid, but it wasn't empty either. It was filled with syringes. Filled and used, tips burnt and blackened, powder stuck to it, fresh out of the pack, all kinds. Heroin needles. Not sure why anyone would go swimming in a pool filled with syringes in the first place, nor where all of those syringes came from, but there I was. No logic needed in a dream and all. My dream began with me falling, down, down, down through the darkness before the glinting needles broke my fall and pulled me into their embrace. Landing face first, I shield my face. Every stroke, every movement, intensified - pain and pleasure mingling together into a combination so unreal that I think I could chase that feeling forever and never reach it. Hundreds and thousands of sharp needlepoints stabbing through my skin at awkward angles, tearing at my skin, my flesh ripping in agony but the venom following it so beautifully numbing, I reach out towards the sky and my arm has dozens of syringes stuck in it, and when I raise my head the needles mark out a dotted line against my throat as if to say CUT HERE, and something surges in my jugular and I'm suddenly higher than I've ever been before, floating in a pool of syringes that I can't even feel, and the heavens open up and more needles shower down in me at the same time as the pool lurches and starts growing bigger and bigger. Syringes raining down from all sides and corners, straight down, impaling me directly from the top, so much that I would have been crucified a hundred times over before even the rainfall begins to dull from the sheer weight of all that metal and powder and rust pressing down upon me while the pool just gets bigger and bigger and never stops growing i am head down under completely fucking losing it, it's getting harder and harder to breathe and what little euphoria that got me going at the start is gone now replaced with complete fear and helplessness and it's only then that I realize that I'm going to die, and the realization causes me pain harsher than I have ever felt, even though by now it is not an unfamiliar guest in the abode of my soul but that's besides the point, acceptance never washes over me even as my death does and after I die no one cares nor misses me in the slightest I just disappear into the nothingness and fade to nothing and then I woke up.

21 May

Ever since that night I promised to never again touch another drug. It was a resolve made too late to save you, but it was something (at least I felt it to be so) and I hadn't felt much of a withdrawal the past few months. No urge to sneak out and score something, no urge to swallow a pill, nothing. The nightmare yesterday, therefore, came out of basically nowhere. Disturbing. Even now I feel the phantom prickle of the syringes upon my skin and can't help but shudder.

But it was good that I had the dream, in the end. Was offered a joint tonight, just outside a darkened bistro. The memories came flooding back in and I declined, hurriedly making my way back home. So what if they might have laughed? - I refuse to perform against your memory.

22 May

Dialogue with Papa:

D: Thomas.
T: Yes, Papa.
D: Have you practiced the piano recently? Or even played it for fun?
T: Fun?
D: (Pause) You have to move on, Thomas.
T: I know. I will. One day.
D: I'm not saying this because I just want you to take up the piano again, or because I think you need to be working. This isn't really about the piano at all. I'm saying this because I can't bear to see you so unhappy.
T: I need time. It's been four months. That's far less than the time I spent knowing him, and it wasn't as if he was just a friend.
D: There will be many more people in your life who will be more than just a friend. In time you will have to deal with the loss of them, too, or they will lose you before that. Eventually people go away, whether to follow their own path or due to factors beyond anyone's control. There is nothing you can do about that fact, Thomas. This is not something that you must let consume you.
D: Everyone is precious to everyone else. No one should remain so hurt like this for so long.

D: You can't let it rule you forever.

(But empathy isn't coal, Papa, we're hardly going to run out...)

24 May

Laurent's call: would you prefer to meet a boy or girl?
I said the former. He sounded quietly relieved.

Date on the 29th.

26 May

Recipe for a basic mayonnaise:

Stir egg yolks with a wooden spoon or whisk to achieve a creamy consistency.
Into this, slowly pour 225g of oil, whisking vigorously all the while to disperse the oil.
Once the emulsion has been made, add 20ml of vinegar, salt, and preferred spices.

The key to good mayonnaise is temperature; the egg yolks and oil must be mixed at the same temperature.
15C is ideal.

(If the emulsion is ruined, put in a teaspoonful of mustard and slowly whisk the oil-yolk mixture.
This cannot be hurried. Go slowly.
If you aren't just as (if not more) careful than the first time around, this will not work.)

26 May

I hate mayonnaise. I only learnt to make it because you liked it with your frites. The things I did for you...

... and the things you did for me.

26 May

(Entries above spurred on by the visuals of a patron eating moules-frites next to me, in the corner café, approx. 1pm.)

28 May

Sad day. Was overcome with a sense of deep malaise from the very moment I awoke; no dreams, bad or otherwise, but rather a dormant feeling that has forced out its release. To try to assuage the feeling I attempted to clean my room, for in the past months I have been rather negligent, only to find an artifact from years ago: the first ever mixtape you made for me. You made me others, too, but I thought I had the whole collection tucked away with my other tapes, not wrapped in tissue paper and tucked away in the bottom drawer amidst old sweaters and socks. And that wasn't the end of it. The moment I recognized the tape, I was seized with the absurd but absolute certainty that you had left me a message in that mixtape. It was a ridiculous notion, because I'd listened to it when you first gave it to me, and I remembered nothing of the kind. If you could record an intended message and give it to someone that easily, what would the point of a mixtape be? The very nature of a mixtape is to create something private and customized for the recipient. If whatever message you were trying to convey can't be told through the tracklist, or the content of the songs themselves, it's not a very good mixtape. But I simply couldn't shake off that conviction today, and desperate to hold onto any bit of you, especially your fading voice, I put the tape in and listened all the way through. I didn't dare skip anything, obsessed the idea that your voice might be hidden somewhere in the middle of the tape, if not the end or the beginning. Halfway in my tears started falling and they still haven't stopped, though why I was crying, I wouldn't be able to explain coherently. They were not tears of sadness; they conveyed more a delayed humiliation. They were directed not wholly towards you, nor the loss of you, but to myself for not being able to get a grip - so much that I was resorting to grasping at years-old memories better lost to time, when the two of us were only just beginning to mean something to each other.

I scoured the tracklist for hidden messages, acrostics, acronyms, anything at all. No success.
Your mixtape was made purely to cater to my favourites, with no regard to your feelings nor intentions.

And how bitterly I resent you now, nearly a decade too late, for not being more selfish with me.

29 May

Nineteen years old / Engineering student / wearing a red plaid shirt / blond hair / 2pm at the Le Sancerre.

29 May

It almost feels sordid to talk about a date I had with someone else in this diary.
But out of some strange feeling, of what could be anything from a desire to be reassured to mild spite, I'll talk about just a little.

He looked nothing like you. I was glad for it.
Glasses / nice wrists / well-manicured nails / short tousled hair.
He was well-spoken but shy.
The cheesecake I had was excellent; he only finished half of his piece.
(Something about not liking sweet things. I was not glad about this.)
The weather was nice. Lots of people milling around.
He had no interest in music besides classical, opera, and maybe a little Baroque. Slightly problematic.
We both enjoy Bernard Werber and Jules Verne, so that was a plus.

We were polite to each other, and the date was pleasant, speaking purely in terms of interaction. I didn't think there was more than that, though. As we were coming out of the café he asked if I wanted to meet again.
Now on most dates I've been I could feel a connection of some kind, even if purely in innocent terms, like liking the same books or having been to the same concert the previous year without knowing it. This was not one of those times. We didn't share all that many interests, and maybe it was just my mood, but even those harmless connections based on the things we did have in common refused to form in my mind. So really, I wasn't very convinced... but nevertheless I agreed to another meeting, around two weeks from now, hoping that something more would come of it.

After these arrangements were made, I walked him back to his dorm. On the way back home I bought a small madeleine.

29 May

Sometimes after I walked you back after a sleepover I would return to my room and the bed would still be warm from us.


02 June

Raining. Went back to the piano for the first time in months (much to the relief of Papa).
Beethoven, Sonata No. 32 in C-Minor; I took double the time needed but managed to play it through.

The most important composition for the piano ever written, and besides, it was better than Moonlight.

03 June

Still raining. I am setting the date for my visit. I'd have liked it to be today, but if not...


I think it will be the ninth of June. I've called up the florist, here's hoping all goes smoothly.

On a different note - Phantom of the Paradise was on TV today. Managed to watch all of it without crying, or even all that much melancholy for that matter. I think it would even be appropriate to say that you came only as an afterthought and not a dominant force for once. (A good film is a good film is a good film, Stein would have said, despite anything else.) When I came upstairs, the nostalgia of watching it with you rose up and enveloped my thoughts at last - but I felt it only as a soft caress, not a stifling grip. This is the embodiment of what I have previously described as you offering me light. During those times I do not feel guilt that I am forgetting you, because I know that to be untrue, but at the same time I am capable of being at peace with your memory. Those times are rare, but I believe that having those experiences outweigh the pain is the ultimate goal of healing.

... It would be nice to feel like this all the time.

05 June

Attempted a little Satie today, encouraged by hearing him on the radio a couple of weeks ago. Papa stayed to hear the third Gnossienne as I was playing it through. He said nothing but sat there with his eyes closed for a long time even after the last note had faded. A rare compliment.

(Not that I am trying to flatter myself.)

It's a tactless thing to want, so I've never talked much about this, nor have I dared to think much of it. But in truth - a part of my soul hopes that dealing with your loss will eventually lend it an air of tragic maturity, that je ne sais quoi that draws tears and soft sighs from an audience listening to a performer who has been enlightened in such a manner. Might I hope for it as a part of my growth, if all I can do to handle your absence is to learn something from it, whether I want to or not?

(Never mind. This is just as tactless written down as it is in thought. Please forgive me.)

08 June

Jeder, der fällt, hat flügel.

- From Bachmann.

09 June

(I'm writing this by your grave.)

I'm sorry it took so long for me to come back. Just over a month. It took me that long to sort everything out and fulfil my promise; exams needed finishing, final assignments handed in, thinking about jobs, and all of those quite unimportant things had to be done. Then the flowers I promised needed to be bought and arranged - but here I am now. It's quiet here, lovely really, away from the heat and crowd of daytime. I've been sitting here for maybe three, four hours now.

I hope you like the flowers: sunflowers woven through with baby's breath, primroses, and a heart of red rose. You liked sunflowers, but I don't think you cared much for the mythology; here's hoping that you don't mind the fact that I do. My bouquet is the only one lying by your headstone now - the other flowers were cleared away - that, and a letter I wrote you a month ago.

It's in English. Call it a measure of secrecy. I didn't know who else would read it.
Maybe that only makes it more likely someone will, I don't know.

Before you, cemeteries were liminal zones for me, separate and to be avoided for as long as possible. I never feared them, but there wasn't an appeal in them, either. But you can get used to anything, and really, the peace offered by a cemetery is second to nothing that the rest of my life can offer. I like it here. They chose a nice spot for you - maybe it's a good thing that I can make this judgement now, it surely says something about how my pain has dulled. I might have resented that you were not closer to me a few months ago, but then I think no cemetery in inner Paris would have lived up to your beauty. Too expensive or too crowded. Here you lie undisturbed, but not isolated, and with plenty of space. The sun shines on your headstone, polished black marble with gold lettering - you might have thought it grim, we won't ever know, you left no will because you were too young and you had no time - and when I lean against it, it's comforting. Solid.

Here the universe is quiet. The breeze rustles the flowers and your headstone is warm and soothing against my back.
A tendril of sunlight creeps down the side of my face - a ghost of your hair, brushing my cheek during the hot months.
I do not move as the world moves around me and I can dream I am leaning against you, just one more time.

The night is summered. We're warm.

And there's nothing wrong or fake.

10 June

je voudrais que mon amour meure
qu'il pleure sur le cimetière
et les ruelles où je vais
pleurant celle qui crut m'aimer

13 June

'He suffers from the death of his acquaintance.'

15 June

Failed date. He didn't turn up.
But a mixed blessing in the end, because I spent a very nice few hours alone in the Jardin du Luxembourg, discreetly feeding the pigeons. So in a way - not a failure at all?

16 June

The picture I found of you in March.
Back then, angry and frustrated with myself, I exiled that photo back between the pages of my textbook; I didn't even have the grace to return you to where you had been for a whole year. Well, no more. I have rescued the photo and have given you a proper home. You now reside in my room, framed elegantly behind glass and black mahogany.

This was back in May. I'm sorry I am so disorganized with my recollections and my time.

Don't think that I don't hurt looking at you, still. It was just the right thing to do, and maybe one day I'll be able to accept the presence of this picture as naught but a sweet, long-gone memento. But right now, all I'm doing is dusting the frame every now and then, and saying hello and goodbye whenever I come in or leave. Sometimes I feel funny about getting naked in front of you when I take my clothes off to bathe, so during those times I gently turn the photo away from me and hope to God that you aren't offended by what glimpses you might have caught.

18 June

Siesta. Dream: exactly your smile, all the midsummer sky contained in your eyes.
Dream: complete; successful; memory.

20 June

Even now, five months later, I can still see the skidmarks on that stretch of the road.

22 June

There was a man I loved, a long time ago. I can no longer remember his name.

For the longest time, the thought of us as men was embarrassingly quaint to me; we got to know each other when we were still boys in every sense of the word, and when we could see us being nothing else but that for a long time afterwards. He'd been twelve years old, and I a year younger, when we met. We cared about having fun, innocently enjoying each other's presence, and sneaking into cinemas to watch outdated films after school. I used to think he was odd, friendly but odd, and the feeling was wholly mutual, I am sure. It wasn't until a school trip to Somme (a treat for those who finished the year with excellent grades) - when on the bus, his sleeping head came to a gentle rest upon my shoulder - that I realized that actually, one day I was going to kiss him, and ask him if I might love him forevermore.

I could never be sure whether that feeling was ever mutual on his part.
But much to my despair, it had to be him, or it would be no one.

Even when I grew up and was forced to realize that such wants cannot always be fulfilled, nor should one expect them to be, my longing for him remained. I have often wondered whether it'd have changed anything if we had met as men first, if we had never known of each other's existence before a chance meeting in a club, or a bar, or in the library - whether we'd have shared awkward lunch dates where we tried to get to know each other over cakes and coffee, if we'd have made careful adjustments to our schedules to make time for each other's preferred activities, whether we would have come to a slow, gradual understanding of each other's quirks and foibles before we accepted them. As boys we treated each other so matter-of-factly, without having the capacity to understand why we had to be that way, and I think this has been a regretful consequence of what were still the happiest years of my life. I had loved and wanted him more than anything, but I never asked him that one important question - whether he could feel the same for me - even when I ought to have done.

Sometimes I look up from the breakfast table and imagine him sitting across me, and something inside me curls up and whimpers at the memory of his smiling, sleepy gaze - but that doesn't mean a thing.

That man is gone now. He has irrevocably vanished from my world, and only when I am in quite another realm altogether (sleep) do I have any chance of seeing him. Last night I was lucky enough to encounter him at his best, and for a long time we lay together, sharing each other's warmth. We undressed and held each other, though that was all. (I did not ask for much else.) Most of the time there is nothing particularly interesting happening in those dreams, but they are nevertheless lovely and I wouldn't trade them for all the other sweet dreams in the world. And last night, when I could feel my soul beginning to stir, I couldn't bear to tell the man whom I loved that he was merely a figment of my imagination so I actually bent my head and kissed him - and as the world lost its colour, I slowly woke up.

But aside from those occasional dreams, I barely ever think of the man who I'd wanted to share my life with.
(This might be a lie, but if it is, it's not one worth bothering about.)

23 June

Miserere mei, Deus.
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum, dele iniquitatem meam.
Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea, et a peccato meo munda me.
Quoniam iniquitatem meam ego cognosco, et peccatum meum contra me est semper.

24 June

Evening at the Saint-Sulpice, the strands of the Miserere haunt me so. This is the place closest to that feeling.
Every December the choir sings it here, I hope I will be able to come here to listen to it.

The Madonna gazes down at me from where I am sitting, her stony face blurred in the dim light - beautiful sculpture, with a hint of the Rococo perhaps - you'd have been known better about those things. For now I will merely describe her as beautiful (a poor substitute for the emotion).

25 June

Some days ago I mentioned how you could still see the marks left behind by the accident. Before that day I'd staunchly avoided going near there, but we'd had to drive past and I found myself staring at the road until the lights changed, we turned a corner and were gone.

Due to some morbid chain of thought I went back there again today, this time on foot. Same uneasiness and nauseous terror as before, but this time, I was kind of seeking it. Maybe I believed that it'd be cathartic, I don't know, even if it ended up with me turning around and vomiting liberally on the pavement. (This did not happen.) The rubber skidmarks are burnt into the asphalt still - as I said - and during the half-hour I was in the area I looked around for stains of blood or a discarded shoe, despite knowing how ridiculous it would be for those to have stayed around.

There was nothing of that sort left.
I would have liked to leave flowers or carve a few words of remembrance, but I thought it best not to.
No sign of recognition from nearby shopkeepers or passers-by either, either of me or the scene of the accident.

How fast a tragedy is forgotten, how one man's tragedy becomes a matter of no consequence to another. We are so unempathetic a species that I wonder how we ever manage to categorize tragedies at all, when they occur.

27 June

The almost: used widely to connote 'never quite', 'just shy of', 'inferior to', 'nearly', etc.
A disappointment by definition. Dreams are the best example of the almost - I often dream about you but the you I see in them are never quite you. Sometimes I will be blissfully lost in a dream until I notice something off about the situation - it is always something minor, things like the clothes you wear, something playful or casually misplaced, an off-handed remark of yours - that you in reality never would have done, said, or embodied. Even when we are close in body, I never quite see your features (but do we see in dreams, or do we just know?).

I dream about you. I do not dream you.

The photograph of you that I rescued is another case. I shan't go into detail about it again, though I do acknowledge that the first time I described it, I was unfair to you. You were aware of yourself being photographed and adjusted your expression and posture accordingly; no matter how casual you were, what I see in there is not an authentic image. (I don't think it would have been much better had you not been aware that your picture was being taken, either. A single printed photo is never enough to capture the duration and breadth of human action. A photo of you walking, for instance, can only ever be a photo of you pausing, or readying yourself for another step, or putting your foot down, instead of you walking.)

I despair over this preserved, beloved face of yours nevertheless. This is far from the only photo of you that exists - but knowing that those shadows are all there are, that is agonizing. You never liked being photographed all that much, anyway, and my heart breaks whenever I remind myself that every time you willingly placed yourself in front of the lens, it was with great courage and a genuine want. You did not suppose yourself; in those rare times you did not struggle with your image as I do with mine.

28 June

Exam results came in the post: passed everything, though not with exceedingly brilliant grades (not my goal anyway); approved to continue on to the next year. But before then, the holidays.

Papa woke me with the envelope around half past nine in the morning. Once we'd checked the results, and had celebrated quietly, I fell back into a brief nap until lunchtime; dreamt of you, a younger you, sitting at that well-worn school desk that was yours for over two years. The fountain pen poised in your hand, your notes aesthetically attractive, a lock of long dark hair pinned neatly behind the shell of your ear.
You looked up at me. Our eyes met. You pressed into my palm a note, and smiled. But before I could read it, I woke up.

Lost in the state of sleepy, sweet, intensely sad longing.

30 June

[On the radio, Erika Köth's interpretation of Mozart, Das Veilchen (lines 7-10):
'Ach, denkt das Veilchen, wär' ich nur die schönste Blume der Natur... ach, nur ein kleines Weilchen!']

All I Was Doing Was Breathing - 02
Disclaimer: I do not know any of the members of Daft Punk, this is strictly a work of fiction and I do not profit from nor claim to represent true aspects of their lives in this story.

I have traditionally found writing stories about Guy easier than writing anything in Guy's voice proper.
Because of this it is very hard for me to get a proper grasp on how to write Thomas. This story was a experiment in focusing only upon his life, his desires, and his surroundings.

I'm not sure how successful I was.

  • 21 April - Glenn Gould played through Book 1 of Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier from 1963 to 1965.
  • 22 April - A Samuel Beckett poem, 'dream / without end / nor ever / peace'.
  • 25 April - Poisson d'avril - pinning a paper fish to someone's back is a popular April Fools prank in France.
  • 27 April - Les Thanatonautes is a 1994 French sci-fi thriller by Bernard Werber, about death and the afterlife being treated as the last 'unexplored continent'. If you can read French I recommend you check it out. Two decades on, it still reads beautifully.
  • 29 April - I come from a culture that still holds some strong shamanistic beliefs. I am also a mild animist. Thomas is not referring to any country, nationality or culture in particular - this is deliberate - but I am personally basing his descriptions and philosophy off how we do it (in Korea). Making this note to clarify that this section is not appropriative or misunderstood.
  • 03 May - The flowers should all mean something along the lines of friendship, noticing one's absence, beauty, and gentle familial love.
  • 05 May - Cloche à beurre - French butter dish, in two parts: a vessel with water pooled inside, and a vessel where the butter goes in (that doubles as a lid). The latter is upturned and placed in the water, and the entire dish is kept in a cool place, keeping the butter fresh and spreadable.
  • 08 May - Victoire 1945 - Victory in Europe Day, WWII-related public holiday. I wrote about this in Wanderjahre, which is a fic so long that I'm not sure I can host it on DA. 'Colours of freedom' correspond to the French flag.
  • 17 May - Alphonse Daudet and Michel de Montaigne. Victor Hugo also, writer of doorstoppers such as Les Miserables and Notre-Dame de Paris.
  • 18 May - Trois Gymnopédies - Erik Satie's compositions for the piano. Exquisitely lovely. Philosopher Hannah Arendt's political thought revolves strongly around the contrast of Grecian and modern views on human nature, the 'mortal' aspect being one of them.
  • 26 May - This recipe is valid. I also hate mayonnaise. Moules-frites is often eaten with it.
  • 08 June - Ingeborg Bachmann, German poet, is first quoted here: 'All that which falls has wings'.
  • 09 June - Thomas's bouquet should connote a mixture of gratitude, innocence, young love/the feeling of being unable to go on, and his love for Guy.
  • 10 June - A Beckett poem, 'I would like my love to die / And the rain to be falling on the graveyard / And on me walking the streets / Mourning her who thought she loved me'.
  • 23 June - From Gregorio Allegri's Miserere Mei, Deus. Also Psalm 23, and also featured in Electroma.
  • 24 June - Church of Saint-Sulpice. There is a beautiful sculpture of the Virgin Mary here.
  • 30 June - Das Veilchen ('Violet') is a lieder by Mozart with words from Goethe. Erika Köth sung it in 1967; the song itself is about a young man's heart being broken.
All I Was Doing Was Breathing (Thomas/Guy): COMPLETE
[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5]

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All I Was Doing Was Breathing (Part 01) - A Daft Punk Fanfiction

Pairing: Thomas/Guy, Thomas POV.

Suppose that during that fateful night of 1994, only one of them survived the oncoming truck. Suddenly faced with a grief that he is in no way prepared to accept, the one left behind begins to write a diary of mourning, hoping that something valuable will come of it.
But no one ever said that healing was that straightforward.

Warnings: Extremely depressing. Hedonism, fundamental character death, drug use, philosophy, angst, sexual themes, plenty of sexual situations/fantasies, deep-seated emotional instability, screwy formatting (diary), and most of all, based on a real life event. I am only thankful that things turned out okay in reality.


25 January

I went to your funeral.
I cried.
Then I went home that was not home.

The formal beginning of this long bereavement, the acknowledgement of this loss.

26 January

One o'clock, the skies are starless and bleak.
My first proper mourning night.

Who knows - maybe something of value in those notes.

26 January

Six thirty, not as pitch black outside as before.
The rattling of trash cans, humming engines, the restrained calls of truck drivers.

26 January

I remember that whenever you slept over, you would stir awake at those sounds, and lie in bed staring at the ceiling.
When I asked you if everything was all right you would answer with not an intangible relief that the night was over at last.

Then you would close your eyes and spiral back into sleep.

I used to watch you. You always slept so serene.

26 January

I don't know if you sleep like that now. They wouldn't let me see you.

Nor did they let anyone else for that matter.

27 January

I think everyone can guess at the intensity of a bereavement from looking at it. Whether it's a funeral procession you pass by as you come home with the groceries, or personally watching someone mourn their loss, or witnessing a fictional one from afar. It works across all mediums. When one looks at something like that, they're tapping into a very human feeling, one that we all possess - what we can feel as a cold, deep-seated instinctiveness even when young, or when we're without reason to care about this particular loss.

But I think it is never possible to measure just how much someone is afflicted.
Nor do I think we ought to ever make a serious attempt at doing so. It's contradictory and disrespectful.

27 January

One full week since you were gone, forty-eight hours since you returned to the embrace of earth.

It's pointless to count the days now, as if you were capable of returning at the end. This is now my reality.

27 January

Maman bought some macarons and put them outside my door. I threw them all away.
They're the vanilla-bean ones I was asking for just over a week ago, you remember, the ones from that place in Rue Lepic. The new ones that I tasted just once and yearned for desperately, ever so tragically, like I would never to get to eat another. She bought me an entire bag's worth and now I can't bear to look at them. The desires I had before can no longer be fulfilled, because that would mean that it was your absence that allowed me to fulfil them; I could have had you, endless longing for vanilla, and no macarons, or I could have had macarons and no you.

That's only a very shallow example, but it's one of countless many.
But losing you has changed me. I no longer desire what I used to desire. I must wait, supposing that I can wait and such a thing is possible, for new desires to form - desires wholly following your absence.

27 January

I have had to leave my room. The vanilla scent is inescapable.

Across the river to the place de la Sorbonne.
In front of the frothing, never-ending fountain: sad/gentle/deep (relaxed).

29 January

I spent the past day in my room, crying. You were meant to come over last night, do you remember? We'd have gotten dressed and headed over to the Silencio together. One by one the days fall past and the notes I scribbled on each calendar square become irrelevant, whether from simple time's passage or the impossibility of the task in question being fulfilled. All night the phone rang, and just from that alone I knew that no one else we'd planned to go with had actually gone. Mourning in their own terms, but making time for me. To check that I was all right. It makes me feel worse that I didn't answer a single call. It's a given that I'm not okay, and that I don't feel like talking, but at the same time I feel that my condition doesn't justify ignoring all of those people.

You were meant to come back with me. I was meant to see the dawn of the twenty-ninth with you, the two of us giddy with drinks and whatever we'd managed to score at the club, and collapse on the floor of my room to sleep it off until midafternoon. Around two in the morning you'd have gotten up and placed a pillow under our heads, maybe. No different to any other amazing night out. But now I'm alone and I have nothing but the memories of you and this diary to assuage my pain.

How am I going to manage all by myself?

30 January

But at the same time it's clear that there is no other place.

30 January

To every man his little cross, until he is dead and is forgotten.
To each their own rhythm of suffering.


01 February

Not even a fortnight gone and life has begun the first of its grand interferences into my grief. Essay due on the fifth, fifteen pages max., regarding to what extent children learn language via mimicry. I put in an extension request because this is the last thing in my mind right now - grant me two weeks, no, one week, just so I am mentally prepared for what is to come in the next few days.

I wait and I hope - but until then, I'm staying next to you.

Over here it is night, eight o'clock in the evening exactly. Today I actually managed to sit down for dinner with Papa and Maman; they looked relieved, kind of, though they said little about it. The food tasted bland, but then most everything has for the past couple of weeks. Quiet, but uneasy atmosphere; I was glad to leave it.

Part of me keeps a despairing sort of vigil; and at the same time, another part struggles to put my trivial affairs into some kind of an order. I should have done this, could have done that better, and so on. The garden doesn't not need watering because you are gone, I still need to go to class, there's an essay to write, there are people I still need to meet if only to tell them that our projects cannot go ahead. I want nothing more than for time to stop its relentless march until I am over this grief, but the world refuses to wait for me - it is forever rushing, progressing, trivializing you with its accursed flow - and that makes me resent the world in turn.

This is the sickness you have gifted me.

02 February

No extensions granted. I can't believe this. But so much time has passed that I don't have much of a leg to stand on.

I have to finish this assignment.

I'll come back soon. I promise. Please wait for me.

03 February (midnight; taking break)

Spend the years of learning squandering
Courage for the years of wandering
Through a world politely turning
From the loutishness of learning.

- From Beckett.

05 February

Just made the deadline. I thought it would take maybe a day at most to write, I'd made notes for most of it. But I overestimated how willing I would be to sit down, shut off my brain and write, I think, for writing this diary and writing an assignment are two completely different things. As far as I'm concerned that particular essay was mere busy work, of no ultimate importance, while this comes straight from my heart. I need to be fully engaged with this endeavour if I'm to make anything out of those notes.

They offered some token sympathies when I went to hand in the essay. I'd put down why I asked for the extension, doubtless the word got around. The implications I got from those words amounted to nothing of any importance - they were sorry for my loss, they hoped that it wouldn't impact my work, I ought to take care of myself, and such. Take care of yourself, but be sure to work, even if it hurts you. Right. Ha. I got it.

It doesn't matter, though. It doesn't matter...

I have lost you, and right now there is a void in me that I cannot hope to fill on my own.
Healing first, then I'll be ready to return to the impersonal world of academia.

I need to protect you.

05 February

Meet Laurent and others, Silencio trip expected. (Slip out before ten o'clock) - 11th.
Groceries: rice couscous/lettuce/chicken/potatoes/shallots
Le Parisien for Papa.

06 February

Awful migraine the past few days, followed by a fever. It has not gone. I am glad for it. Let me be broken before the eighth.

06 February

Afternoon. Still unwell, but clinging on. That this death fails to destroy me altogether means that something in me still struggles madly - wildly - passionately in order to live. Does that not therefore mean that my own fear of death is still there, not having been displaced a single inch?

07 February

Dear God.

07 February

I almost want to lie about feeling better.

08 February

Our Lady of Paris rings her bells.
There are some mornings, so sad...

08 February

There's a box wrapped in gold paper and tied off with ribbon in the corner of my room and I can't bear to touch it

If you saw it the last time you were here thank you for never mentioning it


They're calling me to come downstairs now. Church. I've got five minutes.

08 February


Bon anniversaire, mes vœux les plus sincères.
Que ces quelques fleurs vous apportent le bonheur
Que l’année entière vous soit douce et légère!

Et que l’an fini, nous soyons tous...



Pour chanter en chœur...
"Bon anniversaire!"

08 February

In lieu of a birthday present your brother wrote and read you a small eulogy.
I reproduce it here. I like to think that you were listening, so it might be redundant - but just in case.

Not a day goes by that I don't replay the last night I saw you on this earth. I'm haunted by how it all happened so quickly, with you only a few miles away from home, so close and yet too far for us to reach in time. And what if we hadn't done all the things we did that night, would you still be here today? If I'd stayed on the phone a minute longer, if I'd never been asleep, if I'd stayed awake long enough to tell you that if you stayed there, we'd come and take you back home? What if I had known while you were on the phone, sounding rapid and breathless, that it would be the last time I would get to talk to you? Why didn't I notice earlier that something must have been wrong?

There isn't an answer to all those what ifs and maybes and whys. Or rather, it's the case that I have no way of answering them.
But I'm your brother. I was by your side for all of those years. I was meant to know you more closely than anyone else did, and it hurts me endlessly that I didn't pick up on your tone of voice, and that I didn't do anything about what was so obviously going wrong. I can't help but blame myself for the loss of you. I'm still here - we both got up to the same amount of mischief, had plenty of close shaves, but just because I was home that night and you weren't, God took you and not me. Maybe that's alarming to hear, but it's true. Speaking from the depths of my heart, if I could have gone instead, I would have.

But I'm here and I'm left to pick up the pieces and for the sake of you and our family, by God, I'll do my best.
But right now? I just want you back.

I'm sorry that we're saying all of this so late. When we buried you we didn't have the words. It's been two weeks since your funeral. Long enough for us to understand that we have no idea how to manage the next two months without you, let alone the next two years, four, six, twenty. You are everywhere and nowhere, now that our family is less than a collective one. It feels as if you only just left, and that we missed you walking out of the door by mere seconds; every night we're just waiting for you to walk back in, jacket slung over your arm, slumping down on the sofa and reaching for the remote. Your records are still stacked on the floor, your bed is made and the last shirt you changed out of is still there, only that it's been folded and set on your pillow. Sometimes one of us forgets and sets the table for four, and then none of us can bear to eat anything, being reminded of you who can never return to us. You said we ought to change the message on the answering machine - the one you recorded when you were sixteen - and offered to re-record it at some point. But I don't think we ever will change it, now. Not for a very long time.

You always promised me that you would never leave me alone in this world. That didn't happen, but it wasn't your fault. It wasn't a promise I'd have blamed you for being unable to keep, especially not now, not that I've seen how quickly and unknowingly a life can be over; you are no longer suffering, at least. But there aren't words to describe just how much I miss you, and maybe I'll live my entire life without being able to describe it. I almost don't want to, out of the fear that that'll mean I accepted any part of your death, since the step after acceptance tends to be forgetting. Maybe you'd have wanted us to forget and move on. But for now, at least, this pain is going nowhere.

They say that to die would be an awfully big adventure but they almost never think of the people left behind.
Still, if you can, wait for me a while. One day I'll be able to join you, and we'll go adventuring together, the way we did when we were younger. Until then, our blue-eyed dreamer, our-

I have to omit your name. I'm sorry. It's been too soon and I don't want to make this more real for myself.
I'm so selfish.

08 February

Horrible day. More and more wretched. I can't stop crying.

08 February

I'd had your present bought months beforehand. I mentioned it earlier, didn't I?

I have.
Well, here it is.

Two bottles of butterscotch schnapps, and a crystal schnapps glass, for your eyes and lips only. Two nice large bottles. I'd have mixed you up a cocktail, too, when you opened the box and brought out the bottles. Butterscotch schnapps and a dash of Irish Cream was what you liked to drink. You'd do a few shots of that and be ready to party, in less than ten minutes.

Back then, anyway.

But that was weeks ago and now I'm stuck with one and half litres of butterscotch schnapps that I can neither stand to drink nor regift to anyone else. Not that I don't like butterscotch schnapps - it's nice on its own - but it's just dumb, you know? It's just dumb. These bottles were yours. The experiences that would have come of it were ours. I don't know what I mourn more, the fact that you aren't capable of ownership now, or that we can't share things any more.

08 February

Maman looked in and asked me if I wanted anything.
Yes. I'd like to lie down and not do anything and not feel anything for the rest of my life. But I couldn't say that - couldn't just demand things from her like the child I used to be, mere weeks ago - so I said nothing until she sighed, stroked my hair and went away. I can't bring myself to say anything to Maman, not when a different Maman is downstairs, watching her footsteps wander up the stairs, hearing her voice calling out to me, all the while knowing that her own child can't demand anything of her ever again.

I haven't the courage to face her. I am staying here. It's cowardly but I can't help myself

08 February

If our friends saw me doing this they'd be unbearably disgusted with me.

But I already tore the gift wrap off. Might as well go all the way

Here's to you.

08 February

On second thoughts I think that I miss sharing the most.
You could have had nothing and I'd have given you what you needed
You could have been dirt poor and I'd have done anything to help you
Everything in this room are just things and I'd have sold off all of it so you could flourish

At least you'd have been there.

Sure you might not have been laughing or happy
But I could have helped you laugh again.

You'd have smiled again...

... at me, all for me, for my sake.

And you'd have been there.


this drink isn't strong enough

08 february


08 february

might have broken the schnapps glass. whoops

got myself a wineglass instead

but it didn't feel right to drink schnapps in it
so i saved that for later. precious, precious liquor. come to my arms

tripping all over the fucking stairs jesus christ

but you know wineglasses belong with wine and it's a perfectly good wineglass.

shame to waste it.

08 feb.

you are no longer suffering, they said
but in that sentence to whom does 'you' refer? what is the meaning of that present tense?

08/09 (???)

you always filled the wineglass exactly half full whenever you drank, and never a centimetre more or less. i used to think you were excessively polite or just very quaint for doing that


but it's midnight and i'm doing the same thing now and there's a beauty in it
(whether it's the same beauty you saw i don't know.)

have you ever looked closely at a half empty glass of wine?
half full maybe? i don't know shit about your worldview oh my god i really am a bad friend
please don't hate me i'm trying i promise

i mean

have you ever looked at a glass
of wine
that's at half-capacity?
or looked at the world through a glass of wine that's at half-capacity? that's better

i'm performing this exact experiment now and this is what i observed.
the top half shows things clear. the clear half. everything's pretty much how they are. it might be warped here and there because of how the glass distorts it, but everything is seen pretty much how they are. but the bottom half, there isn't much to be made out of that at all. dark red reflection, what little you can see tinted, upside down, and distorted.

but it adds a splash of colour to an otherwise colourless world. the bottom half draws me in more than the top does.
i would take this over seeing what's in plain sight any day.

the raw shade of reality does nothing but wreck your complexion.

i look through the bottom of the glass and it's fucked up but it's very pretty. beautiful.
broken and appealing at the same time.

it's a metaphor for my life i think
or yours. that colour on its own probably is a metaphor for some kind of life
or the lack of it rather...


i'm sorry
i'm drunk
i don't know what i'm saying.


this red is doing nothing for me


pour, oh pour, the pirate sherry...

11 February

Laurent came over today.

I have been in a state of chaos the past few days. No doubt my diary entries have been proof enough of that, not that I want to read them over and find out; not just yet. I've thoroughly embarrassed myself that night as it is, spending the entire night drunk out of my mind, spilling wine on the stairs and refusing to clean it up. Just as well the floor there wasn't carpeted, but anyway. No one's said anything, but out of shame and a days-long hangover I've been keeping quietly to myself. Day in, day out - coming out for snacks and a drink of water now and then, and to shower off every morning, but nothing else.

I'm losing track of the story.
Laurent. Yes.

He came upstairs and knocked on my bedroom door at roughly four o'clock in the afternoon. Papa must have let him in. I hadn't been expecting to see him here, but I wasn't surprised to see him, per se; I haven't seen our friends the past two weeks and I felt obliged to show my face at least once, just to confirm to them that I was still here. You have to do that every now and then, and all. Tonight was the date we agreed on, and though they were planning to go to Silencio afterwards (free shots; subdued music; quieter nights of the week), I'd planned to slip away before then. I'd banked on them understanding why I would want to do something like that. But it's not as if I kept in regular contact with them since, so Laurent probably came over to check up on me, to see if I was still up for it.

I say 'probably' because he said nothing about this when he came in. Very little time was spent on us asking each other if we were all right. I think he felt no need to ask.


He was very wan-looking, about as much as Maman worriedly told me that I was getting. His eyes still had focus, but they had a faint veil to them, and while he was responding to what attempts at conversation I was attempting to make, it was clear that his mind wasn't really in it. He didn't look as if he'd rather have been elsewhere, but that worried me ever more because that made me unsure where he really wanted to be; if not home, if not the clubs, nor my room, then where?

Your disappearance has taken away the homes of many.


I mixed him a cocktail. Butterscotch schnapps (he never knew that it was a gift for you) and amaretto, not quite your favourite but close, and a mixture Laurent had never tasted before. He took a while to get into it, but by the time he reached the last inch he was downing it with ease. I silently poured him another and he drank that down as well, and only then did he really began to talk, though none of it enchanted me in the slightest. It turned out that he too was disapproving of the choice to go to Silencio, and was wondering out loud why there of all places, so close to where it happened - the same things I wondered, myself, and only did not protest because I had no energy to do so. By all means we were on the same side, we ought not to have been arguing.

But argue we did.

"You're just as bad as them. Hell, even a flat no would have sufficed. We'd have all understood. Didn't you know that this outing depends entirely on you, knowing who you were," I opened my mouth to protest but he cut me off. "it's true. Don't argue with me. You've gone outside of his memory. This is hurtful to watch, Thomas."

"Please, I..."

"It's trust that you killed," he said - observed my flinch - and gestured wildly towards the glass. I'd made him a martini from what we had downstairs. "mix me another, the one with the schnapps. This one's too watery. That was the only halfway decent drink I've had since all of that happened. I think I'll go on a walk after."

"Not with those drinks in you. You're talking crazy."

"I'm not talking crazy. Nothing's crazy about a little walk around the streets of Paris. You can stay here or fuck off to the club or whatever, I don't care. I'm going on a walk. Either that or kill myself."


"Laurent nothing!" he shouted. He took hold of his glass and glared up at me.

"Pour me another. All I want to be is drunk. So much that I can't walk home and you'll have to pay for a taxi," Then he shoved his drink into my hand, making some of it splash over the edge and drip onto the carpet. "never mind tonight, because I sure as hell won't be going. Fuck the Silencio. Fuck the DJs and the booze and the whores and every single goddamn thing you and the lot of them ever stood for. Is that where you pop your pills now? So you can break up another family or five? Pour me another, you son of a bitch!"

That was too much. I am not proud to admit it - but before I knew it my arm was raised, and I slapped him hard around the face.

His head jerked sharply back and his hand flew up to his cheek, where the skin was already reddened.

I hadn't meant to hit him that hard - I hadn't meant to hit him, full stop - and I regretted it the moment I felt the contact. The glass dropped from my hand and rolled on the floor, not breaking, but all the liquid in it spilling on the floor; aghast, I stared down at my hand, then at Laurent, fully expecting him to hit me back.

But he did no such thing. Nor did he retaliate at all. Instead he looked up at me for a long time, tears slowly filling his eyes. He didn't look away from me even as they spilled and ran down his cheeks, and he didn't make a single sound. Only when I sank down to my knees did he finally bury his face in his hands, crying wildly as I've never seen him cry before, not even during the day of the funeral. Like a child who'd lost the way home.


I reached out and held him as we cried together; once he tried to push me away, weakly, but gave in and fell against my chest. All the while he sobbed 'he's dead, he's dead, he's fucking dead' over and over, those words hammered into the depths of my heart, and even though I wanted to tell him to be quiet I hadn't the presence of mind to do so. I don't even think I said anything at all. I just cried. And when we ran out of tears, or at least thought we had, we simply sat there leaning limply against each other until the sun set and darkness seeped in.


I did pour him another schnapps with amaretto, hours after he first asked for it, but he left it unfinished after only a sip. He was intent on walking back, so I didn't insist, either; with a mumbled utterance that he'd call me sometime soon, he sniffed, wiped his eyes with the back of his hand, and stumbled out into the night. I watched him go for the longest time, seeing him eventually stand straight and cross the road with a much-welcomed wariness in his eyes, before I even backed into the doorway.

When he was gone I took a sip and winced; Laurent had wept into it during the short time he'd held the glass in his hands, and it tasted like it. But I stood there and drank down all of it anyway, because I couldn't bear to see the liquor go down the drain - specifically, the schnapps part. Every single drop of it belonged and was dedicated to you. Only when I put the glass down did the salt get in my eyes.

Schnapps, amaretto, and tears.

12 February

Sometimes, very, very briefly - a blank moment - numbness - forgetfulness.
The occupation of something else forcing you out of my mind completely.
It frightens me.

12 February

there are parisian mornings and afternoons so blue and sad
underneath my feet the earth revolves as chaotic as my mourning

13 February

Not looking forward to tomorrow. Nevertheless I do want to go out.

Maybe I'll take a look in the shops...

I always loved shopping more for being able to talk to you, being able to hold your hand, having non-shopping related conversations wherever we walked. I can still do my half, though, can't I? I'll tell you about it when I come back, if I find anything interesting.

13 February

No news from Laurent yet. I'm getting worried.

14 February

Sad afternoon. Shopping. Bought a pair of headphones (frivolous) that I haven't unpacked. Thought about sitting down for a meal in our usual café, but in the end stopped only for a tea-cake in a bakery I've never been in. Taking care of the customer ahead of me, the girl behind the counter said voilà.

The expression I used whenever I brought you something, or lifted up a new record from the turntable, whenever you slept over at my place and I wanted to wake you in the morning with buttered croissants and coffee. The very last thing I remember you telling me is you pulling me out into the snow-covered pavement, free from the noise of the club, gesturing to the frosty night outside as you whispered, faintly, voilà.

Voilà. I am here. Affirmation of existence.

That word brought tears to my eyes and my voice shook as I placed my order.
Back in my dark, silent home I sank down on my bed and carried on crying for a good long while.

(I would have liked to visit you but that one word took all the strength I had out of me.)

16 February

Last night, for the first time, dreamed of you.
Your fingers trembled in the light overhead, pale and delicate under the sodium streetlight, the lighter in your hand clicking rapidly as you tried to flick it and missed every attempt - -

18 February

February is the cruellest month, so many dates to dread in such a short period of time.
Your birthday, one month since you left this earth, one month since you returned to earth, all in this one month.

No one shall call me tonight, I want to be alone, I have no energy to even ignore phone calls.

19 February

Sad start to another day. Over breakfast Papa told me off for tugging the phone cord out - he was waiting for a business call.

It was only a gentle admonishing, and he stopped as soon as I ducked my head and nodded. I don't doubt that he knew why I did it, and that he understood how raw my grief is still - but I acted without regard to other family members, and that simply needed telling. Even in deep sadness there are boundaries to be kept.

Poor Papa, poor Maman; they seem to have withered with me during the past month, the lines around his face are deeper and she is more sadly quiet than ever. Maman still talks to your Maman, by the way, I sometimes hear her while I'm upstairs, quietly engaged in chatter that is simultaneously gentle and therapeutic (I hope). She never pries and she never talks about the incident, but she never seems to pretend that it didn't happen or that things have stayed the same. No denial from her part; she is too much of an adult. I have a long way to go.

20 February

Laurent called.

Nothing much was said. But ten days of silence is longer than any we have endured from each other since we became friends, and he seemed to think that that was punishment enough for the time being. He simply asked me how I was doing and if I was not too sad, though I don't think he was listening too closely to my answer. (I am doing as well as I can manage, which is to say, while I remain endlessly sad.) More a question of formality.

In-class topic today: psycholinguistics.

22 February

'Thomas Bangalter suffers from the death of another human being,'
(A slow approach to reach the literal fact - to be continued.)

24 February

Damnant quod non intellegunt.

24 February

You make this all go away...
... I just want something I can never have.

NIN, was it? - Promising.

25 February

I just realized that I never told you anything about what happened to that assignment, the one I finished on the fifth. It's not that there was a lot to say about it - I got a good grade for something I spent so little genuine effort on, and that's the end of that tale - but the fact that it took me this long to realize that should tip you off to what I've been doing, in regard to this diary. This is the first time I have read it over from the start.

Verdict? Not happy with it, that is to say, not very happy with myself. But that's to be expected.

And that re-examination was spurred on in the first place because of the date. Notice that it is the twenty-fifth; a full month since the funeral, before you were irrevocably returned to dust, and I had to begin walking my own path. So far what I have crafted/written of it displeases me greatly and I'm not sure when I will get better, nor if I indeed will.

But you'd have wanted me to persevere and I shall (bad faith).

28 February

Goodbye, wretched month!
How glad I am that this is not a leap year, that I do not have to endure the extra twenty-four hours - your miserable offspring!


01 March

Today I spent an unhealthy amount of time sitting on a bench in the university gardens, staring intently at the ground.

I'm sure it was unhealthy, I missed a lecture to do so, and I felt concerned - nervous? - gazes pass my way every now and then. I was very painfully aware of all of that. But I couldn't look away. My focus was not on how neatly the grass was trimmed (very nice) or how the flowers were just about beginning to bud and bloom (very pretty), but more of what lay beneath it all. Paris is a city literally built upon the dead, over six million resting in the commonly toured lengths of the catacombs alone. Who knows how many more there must be amidst the fallen-in ceilings, blocked walls, and the illegal condos and cinemas built within? I could not imagine willingly walking into that cold earth, even if that space was adapted with familiar comforts; certain values that I possess have made it difficult for me to imagine disturbing so many of the dead.

And if not that underground labyrinth, the graveyards, overflowing with people three hundred years ago - hardly better now. Underneath the modern, stylish serenity of Place Joachim-du-Bellay, the very heart of Paris, lies the forgotten remains of those who never made it into the catacombs. For centuries they lay there, bodies melting into fat, fragile bones crumbling, disease melded in every...

Pardon me. This is slowly becoming spectacle. I'll stop.

But the point remains that these times are gone, safely buried underground, where no one ever thinks of them - except when a close one has passed away. Then comes the inevitable funerary rituals, considerations that leave everyone shaking their heads and throwing their hands up in frustration, eager to be done with such things and never think of them again. (But this is the desire of an immortal; these people too will one day die and leave that burden of sorrow behind.) All that and more are the reasons why you cannot be found in any of the inner-Paris cemeteries. Your grave is a longer ride away, though it's still not terribly far. Only far enough away that sometimes I forget that you are there at all - out of sight and out of mind, as ashamed as I am to admit it. Since the funeral I have not been there.

It's not that I don't know the way. I know that I should go. I want to go.
... I just don't know when, and how I'd react if I saw you again.

(But I also insist on going alone. Complications.)

01 March

My sunset is slow and my first star is pain, still the darkness will not come.
The evening spreads blood-red over Paris. Sometimes it does that, of course, due to the sun. I remember you used to watch the sky whenever this occurred; you found it quite exquisite. Imagine me, closing all the curtains and hiding from beauty essential to your memory, because it reminds me of quite something else.

I do not even dare to reproach myself tonight; shouted into this cold, empty darkness, it would have but a disgusting echo.

Another note: I have finished all the schnapps. They helped, even just a little. In the end they were yours, so - thank you.

03 March

(in a state of deep confusion)

Surely you were more than just a friend to me. For quite some months it was as if you were my lover, joined in every possible sense of the word in both mind and body. When you left me it was as if I had lost half, no, more than half, of myself; at some point I no longer belonged wholly to myself, you took it all.

But I never told you any of this. I will never know what you'd have felt about it. Maybe you'd have been flattered and change the subject to something else (polite rejection); perhaps you would have been disgusted (the end of us); but perhaps you would have reciprocated with grace. I don't know, the odds never looked too good.

I constantly fear that you yourself wouldn't want to accept my mourning as valid.

04 March

People tell you to be brave, wish you a firm bon courage wherever you go. I hate that word: courage!
That word is abrasive from the start, clawing its way from the throat, the harsh guttural 'r' tearing free, finishing with a lingering, rigid snarl. Besides, the time has passed for any and all mentions of courage. Courage is seeing your friend gulp down whatever pill they can score in a darkened nightclub, so dark that no shape nor colour can be distinguished, and saving your own outburst of rage until you've confirmed if things are going to be all right or not. Courage is taking care of him when he is drunk, when he is sick and suffering, concealing your faraway stares and sighs all the while so that he will not worry. Courage is being able to put another before yourself in the face of peril. Constantly one makes a decision and puts on a mask for the sake of a loved one - that, that is courage!

But what use is that now, when there is no such one?

When people pat my back and tell me to have courage now, they really mean the will to live.
And no one can force that. That is no one's business but mine.

06 March

Nightmare, on the verge of tears even as I write: I lose you again. I am overwhelmed. Even when I close my eyes the scene lingers as clear as day, dancing behind my eyelids - the crash, the sirens, me lying in the snow, crying out your name out over and over to where neither words nor love can go.

11 March

It is half past nine and I am still in my room. All classes have been cancelled.
Snow, a real snowstorm over Paris. Bizarre at this time of the year!

... so I tell myself and suffer for it. You will never be here to see it again, nor can I describe it to you aloud.

13 March

How strange it is, how strange; that your voice that I heard every day and knew so well, and which was the very texture of my memory, I can no longer hear. You are with me like a faint echo only, localized somewhere in the back of my head, but no longer immediately recognizable.

But that is far from the only thing gone from me. I am becoming emptied out; I lose the memory of your voice, your laughter, the reassuring brush of your sleeve against mine. Every now and then something is taken away and I notice only when it is too late. Sometimes you want everything, you demand of me a total seclusion from the outside world so that I can mourn you (but then that is not you, it is I who burden your memory with that request); other times (being truly yourself) you come to me and offer me light and a small, loving warmth, your quiet breath caressing my cheek, whispering go out, go on, Thomas, have fun, it's all right to laugh every once in a while. And because I am never convinced of your sincerity until I hear that murmur in my ear, the idea of not being able to hear your voice is slow torture. For if I could not be exposed to your voice ever again, how could I remember it after a while, and if I could not remember it, how would I tell you apart from the demons?

Mon dieu! Am I falling into the angels-on-the-shoulder rhetoric out of all things?

As a child I could not understand what was it that germinated philosophy, only that those things hurt and (largely) happened to other people, and I was not old enough to even think of coming to terms with them. Over a decade later I have been forced to hurt and become one of those 'other people'; though I have grown and would not be able to recognize my childhood self (nor my childhood self me), I still remain the entity known as Thomas Bangalter, so like a child I gaze into the sky and question why night with stars, and then night without end.

14 March

An onset of grief. I cried.

18 March

Review with professor, who knows about my circumstances. He is kind but not as kind as I would like. Left the room feeling guilty and embarrassed because I felt as if my mourning is inauthentic, a mere weakness to emotion, and that I should be on my way to - how I hate the term - 'getting over it'. So to speak. A part of me is flushed with indignity, another withering silently in surrender.

It was far from his right to speak to me in this way, none of his business; but have I not made my grief everyone's business enough already? Is this just retribution?

18 March

hearing a voice
or catching a smile;
turning away from the mirror.

you bastard
how dare you leave me like this?


(i can't think of seven more.)

19 March

Difficult thoughts, second thoughts, feeling a sense of intense abandon.

Bill Withers came on the radio; your favourite song. Sank down onto the floor. Didn't cry, but something broke inside.

Pardon me. I cannot write more tonight.

20 March

Today I found a picture of you slotted between the pages of my old maths textbook.

My breath caught in my throat. But only for a moment, and besides, missing you isn't the point of this entry. For once. No, I gained a realization from looking at it, and it was something far greater than anything I've learnt on my own since your leaving; it's that I want to share. It will provide excellent justification for the thing I've wanted to tell you for quite some time now. The photo is over a year old, so there is a chance you might not remember what it was - let me describe it first.

This photo is oriented vertically. Portrait, if you prefer that term. You're the only person in it. You're wearing pale trousers and a dark gold-edged Fred Perry polo shirt, the one you wore all the time. Or maybe you had several of the exact same, I don't know. That shirt was a part of you the moment you left Carnot; you wore it to clubs; you wore it to our gigs and our friends' gigs; you wore it when you died; in that coffin you are presumably still wearing it, or a replacement of some kind. By virtue of that I can't stand Fred Perry shirts anymore, but no matter. The weather is bright and your eyes are halfway shut to protect them from the sun. There's a chain bracelet on your wrist, thankfully angled away from the camera so that I don't need to revisit the sight of it broken and dangling useless between your limp reddened hand, and a cigarette is poised delicately between your fingers. You have lovely long loose hair. There's a smirk on your pink lips, so daring yet so cute, in that bullshit sort of way I've only recently been able to recognize. Once that look inspired in me a sense of awe, and a quickening heartbeat that always took a while to calm.

Now? The more I stare at you, the more you appall me.

Look at you. Look at this image.
Carefree and careless. Proud-looking, as if you hadn't spent the past year being squashed between pages of Galois and unsolved quartic equations. Hardly dignified, if I may say so. You are so utterly unaware of what's going to happen to you at the start of this year that it makes me furious. I can barely see your eyes, but in what little sunlight hits them, it is as if you were unstoppable against the world while you positively marinated in that foolish charming naivety of yours. You gaze sideways towards me as if you had some sordid unfinished business and all the intention to take care of it, which is, in the end, a mere mockery of your current state. You look at me as if I owe you money. It's disgusting.

You have no right to look so timelessly happy, when I'm so miserable.

But even then, the bullshit is completely subjective. I didn't feel that way months, weeks or even days ago. Maybe tomorrow I'll think I was just having a crazy episode and nothing more. That's why it's so important for me to stress the actual purpose of this entry: I'm focusing on the conclusion that I gained from looking at that photo today, not the photo itself. When I gazed into your smile, and felt the pain that this mere image of you caused me, with it came a deeper, more dreadful feeling - that while many others still love me, from now on my death would kill no one.

Think about it. Papa and Maman have each other, they're best understood as one unit with the strength of several persons. I'm sure my sole death wouldn't be able to bring them down. Laurent? He blames me and wouldn't waste tears for me at this present moment, of that I'm sure. Your family? They won't miss me. Maybe they'd even be glad, as horrible it is for me to say it; I have never thought your family hostile or resentful. But I also feel that from their perspective, my death completes some kind of equilibrium, restoring a balance to their world and enabling them to move on at last.

(I don't think that's the only way that they can be at peace, and I don't think they hope for my death.)

(But it would be a viable method.)

And thinking about this scares me; the fact that I have no one who would be torn apart so viciously when I am dead. I suspect that if I had gone first, you would have been this person, though I don't know whether you would have resented me for going. But that's not what happened. Neither of us banked on leaving before the other, or even leaving so suddenly and without closure.


And that isn't fair to me, you know?


That simply isn't fair.


Maman told me last month that I ought to stop writing to you. She said it wasn't healthy. I ignored her at the time, but now I see the truth in her words; you are gone and I am not. We occupy different worlds now. Things aren't the same. I can still spill my heart out to you in words - I can apologize endlessly, shout, rage at you at the same time as I'm taking my anger out on hapless objects around me - but you are no longer capable of responding, and it's ridiculous of me to expect you to do so. I mean, that's what I've been doing these past couple of months. Nothing has come of it.

There is nothing to be gained from this exercise.

Which finally brings me to this conclusion: I'm done. I shan't write in here any more. I'll treasure this diary as long as I live, and deep inside me there will always be an emptiness where you used to be; as far as I know, it is not a void that can be filled, and I shan't attempt to fill it either.

But I can pull myself together into another coherent whole. So that's what I'm going to do.
I'm sorry.  But I have to forget you to move on.

Adieu, adieu. Please forgive me.

Yours entirely, once upon a time,
T. B.

All I Was Doing Was Breathing - 01
Disclaimer: I do not know any of the members of Daft Punk, this is strictly a work of fiction and I do not profit from nor claim to represent true aspects of their lives in this story.

This is not a happy story.

Some of you might know me on Tumblr as kimbk. I've been away from DeviantArt for a very long time, abandoning the site rather abruptly in order to entertain a new fandom on tumblr. A year into said fandom things have calmed down a little, and I've been working on ironing out a few little things and revitalizing my page - a lot has happened in the past year and half. I've been actively mostly on Tumblr and AO3, so I've not been, well, inactive. It's just that I've only recently been afforded the time to work back and showcase the kind of work I have been doing.

I began writing All I Was Doing Was Breathing because I wanted to say farewell to a lot of things.
It has been completed for a couple of weeks. Did it make me feel better? - yes, it did. I've had to split it into five chapters instead of three because of DA's wordcount limits, but it works out.


  • 27 January - There really is a small pâtisserie in Rue Lepic, Montmartre. Les Petits Mitrons?
  • 29 January - Silencio keeps coming up; Parisian nightclub, Daft Punk got kicked out of here once for not being dressed properly.
  • 03 February - Samuel Beckett; first mention, he will be quoted continuously through the fic.
  • 08 February - Notre Dame de Paris. Final sentence of all the 08 Feb entries is a quote from Pirates of Penzance.
  • 24 February - Latin, 'they condemn what they do not understand'. Second entry: Nine Inch Nails, in early 1994 only a small-scale band with only two albums out, Thomas is quoting from 'Something I Can Never Have' from Pretty Hate Machine.
  • 01 March - There has been at least a couple of reports of black markets and illegal livelihoods/cinemas/shops etc hidden away in the catacombs. Place Joachim-du-Bellay is in the first arrondissement of Paris, and where it stands now there used to be a market place - built right over the once festering Cimetière des Saints-Innocents! Hundreds of bodies were dumped there every day, the largest cemetery in Paris, full of overflowing mass graves. It is from there that many skeletons currently in the Paris catacombs come from, when it was finally cleared out.
  • 04 March - The French pronunciation of 'courage'.
  • 18 March - A failed haiku.
  • 20 March - Évariste Galois is one mathematician associated with solving the quartic equation, but his proof was only indirectly related and he wasn't trying to solve it; Lodovico Ferrari should really get the credit.

All I Was Doing Was Breathing (Thomas/Guy):
[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5]

It is a Daft Punk fic. I've been doing a small series of those in tumblr.
Not sure how long I will continue them for but this one is the 'average' length and I have that as my legacy I suppose

Kamlie Liebt Mich ch. 04 to follow very shortly too.
I've been writing and writing for the past two weeks god I think I'm back in that crazy ass producing phase I was in 2011-2012 and I can't stop I need to get it all out before it goes away again


kimbk's Profile Picture
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United Kingdom
Female / Bisexual / 22 / In a relationship

I am primarily a writer and translator - I delve in the latter here and there, both as a small part-time job and as a personal hobby. Those who are in the R+ fandom might know me from my attempts at translating Till Lindemann’s Messer and In Stillen Nachten (and also for running pointlessfactsbelowrammpics). But my passion for over ten years has been fanfiction in various fandoms. Right now I write for Daft Punk primarily.

Also found in:

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Archive Of Our Own - Solitary Shadow


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regennass Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2015
Hello. Have a message of appreciation.
DeadxDreadxPunk Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2015
Miss you miss Kimby! Hope all is well :meow:
Winter-Stardust Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Happy birthday! :cake:
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Happy birthday.
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