Last time I was in Rome, Elvis died.
I was thirteen years old, spending a summer in that extraordinarily beautiful city, walking from morning to evening by myself and loving it. When the word arrived that Elvis had died, I remember a strange feeling of having somehow missed something important.
This morning, I find out that a few days ago, on my last evening of being back in Rome for the first time, Johnny Hallyday died. Sometimes referred to as "the French Elvis," Johnny rocked my childhood and teenage years. When I was 12, I desperately wanted to go to one of his concerts in the town where my family was vacationing. I was not allowed to go, but found out that he was staying in the same hotel as we were - as well as his room number. That evening, I positioned myself in front of his hotel room door so that I would see him and ask for his autograph when he got back from the concert. I was not able to stay up, and I woke up in the morning, curled up in front of the door. He had come in - stepped over me - slept and left before sun up. I never got that autograph.
Today, there will be 500,000 people in Paris, honoring Johnny Hallyday and all he gave to millions of fans.
My daughter, who has never heard of him, will be in Paris.
Me, once again, I will miss him by just a little bit.
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I write because this is the way I am able to taste life more deeply.