First time I visited NYC, in 2000, I met Gabriel, "Gabe", at Guitar Center on 14th St.
Skinny, grey hair, very hippie-ish looking, he approached me as I was checking out some classical guitars. I wish I could remember his first words to me. We spoke and jammed for an hour and he invited me to meet him the next day at W.S. park to play some more, which we did. This was the beginning of a long friendship.
A few weeks later, back in Paris, I received call from the guy saying that he would like to come visit. As I was going away for a couple days, I left him the keys of my apartment at my local bar. I think he was very touched and surprised that I could trust a almost-stranger to the point of letting him in while I was away.
Gabe kept on coming to Paris over the years.
When I finally moved to NY, he was the one who showed me how to make contacts and "hustle". We played several nights a week in bars. What a great time.
For a reason or another we ended up seeing each other less and less.
Gabe was very secretive. He never wanted to tell me his real name or his age, saying that it didn't matter at all. He was right.
Gabe was obsessed with the Sun. He said that it was the true god, giving us warmth, light, energy, allowing all life to exist. Again he was right.
Gabe past away in June 2007. His ashes were scattered in the ocean, at a place he liked.
I am sad we couldn't say goodbye.