This week of the passing of Leonard Cohen, a singer I loved since my teenage years, I wish to re-post an entry in my blog I made in March 2011 more than five years ago. When, like me, you sell wine, you meet all kind of people and this how I came to warm up to (and love) one Philip Tetrault. Philip told me that Leonard Cohen was his friend… I checked this up and found out it was true. Here is the story, please watch this video shot in Montreal in 2008 (and appreciate how Leonard care about Philip).
« Last week I met this man, Philip Tetrault, in the wine store where I work on Saturdays. He inquired about Trentino wines (Italian).
It was the first time we had a chat together. The time before I smiled at him and the time before that time before, I was scared stiff by his appearance. Philip has a brutish face, scarred by a vagabond life and is in a terrible, terrible physical shape. His life has been a disaster, but there is something like a dandy style to him and I wanted to connect with him, and learn a bit who this man was.
His life is a harrowing affair where schizophrenia and despair with bouts of lucidity made him suffer beyond the pale (and the people who love him probably have suffered incredibly too…) But Philip received an education, he went to Mc Gill before his « naufrage intérieur ». Did I mention that Philip is a poet ? Leonard Cohen likes (loves?) and respects him. Philip mentionned this film about him and this scene in the park where Leonard Cohen reads his poetry. Watch this video. It is impossible not to be moved…