Carla Bruni: The Impossible Calculus

Liberté, égalité, fraternité, sexualité

Liberté, égalité, fraternité, sexualité

Last time I was in France, I searched in vain for a postcard of French first lady Carla Bruni to send home to a friend; there was a touch of affectionate irony in the gesture, since I was a fan of Mlle Bruni’s musical oeuvre before she improbably married center-right President Nicholas Sarkozy. Her songs are blithe, breezy and entirely listenable; she even gulps air between the lines of a chanson, a nod to an amateur’s enthusiasm.

Oddly, the postcard did not emerge, even though the pulchritudinous Ms. Bruni is a source of fascination to the French community of leering eyes and salacious minds. On her latest album Comme Si de Rien N”etait, she sings of snorting her lover like Cocaine and whispers the line, « Despite my 40 years and 30 lovers, and I am yet a child. »

30 lovers, 40 years…What do these semi-provocative figures suggest, except that one must assume a degree of stylization and poetic license in the songwriter’s voice?

Ms. Bruni quickly admitted to a literal f__k-count of 15, which obsessively mathematical minds agreed fell within a marginally vertueux spectrum, considering the likely duration of Ms. Bruni’s service on the carnal front lines. Yet her conquests include Donald Trump, Mick Jagger and Kevin Costner, a disturbing range of pelts to nail on one’s wall. I‘d suggest that she receive demerits for Trump and Costner and a profusion of positive points for Jagger, although the true seducer in that tête-à-tête may be impossible to determine.

My own calculus? A gentlewoman never tells. And the math becomes even more impossible as one considers the eligibility of certain acts, the uncertainty of consummation when emerging from a gin-stoked haze, and the selective memory that inevitable erases some encounters from the wall of shame.

But perhaps we all reach some kind of final numerical reckoning, in all its subjective glory, like Mlle Bruni. She once posed nude prolifically (including a shot in chaps with her gorgeous labia flapping in the wind) and endorsed polyandry, but the labyrinthine turns have symbolically halted at the gates of quinze.

She now lives on the leafy Avenue Foch (poetically pronounced « f__k ») in Paris and represents that grande république. Even that must dispel the lingering taste of The Donald’s spunk.



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