Discover here a few of Carte Blanche’s colorful characters (figuratively speaking).
Edgar, the freshman
Edgar is Carte Blanche’s young hero. Eager to enter the world of wage earning, he’ll end up in a job for Real Men. A job in which hope is a poison, good manners a weakness and academic knowledge a liability. In this new reality, Edgar is less than a beginner: he’s a wannabe neophyte, the Little Red Riding Hood of the urban jungle.
From now on, there will be no more easy shots. Say goodbye to mommy’s reassuring skirts, and hello to women of questionable virtue – with a topping of smallpox. Kiss goodbye to the enjoyment of a hot chocolate beside the hearth. Here, your fuel has forty degrees proof.
This is real life starting. Here, you wash only when you stink. Here, you drink to forget. Here, you sometimes look for a shoulder to lay your head upon, but don’t find any. Ever. Here, you sometimes sneeze, and then you blow your nose.
Gaspard Lemaître, private detective
Fine connoisseur of the human kind, intuitive, sharp, early fifties, he will be Edgar’s guide in entering the adult world. Very secretive, never speaks of his past, doesn’t seem to make plans for the future. Thinks man is fundamentally vile and is willing to exploit this to the fullest. Believes that God did not create man in his own image, but instead in his pet’s. In fact, considers the Bible simply a long encrypted message giving directions to the first Christians’ gold cache. Where he got the idea they even had gold in the first place, nobody knows for sure.
Has no definite age, has almost no gender, has no known passion, has never known love, has almost nothing for herself except for the cold intelligence of an Amazonian head shrinker. Smokes. Loves her reptile like her own child. Smokes. Steel hand in a barbwires glove, governs all life between the four walls of the private detective agency – that which dare breathe in her presence, that is. Feeds her child with cigarette butts… I mean: feeds her reptile with cigarette butts. Is probably lighting one right now. Will smoke until the end of times. Was maybe never born, will perhaps never die. Scares me.
Télésphore Doucet, antique dealer
Hides his age, hides is sexual orientation, hides a good portion of his revenue from the tax collectors, hides his past, hides his taste for opium, hides extremely rare works of art, hides his weight surplus, hides his yellow teeth nearly as well as his political and religious opinions. Demonstrates great confidence, a sure sense of aesthetics, a manly carelessness, sharp theoretical knowledge, and a noble arrogance. Precisely obsequious, he hides well his game and plays off the good cards.
Strozzi brothers, low-grade gangsters
Very close to each other, the Strozzi brothers part only in the absolute necessity to urinate or copulate. In the intelligence department, it would seem each one only has half a brain, and the horrible dialect they use to communicate serves as synapses between the two. Occupation: freelance criminals – their earnings barely last them a week, which is convenient since their long term memory doesn’t go beyond that. In the end, they would be a very negligible value in Montreal’s shady fresco if their destiny wasn’t linked to Edgar’s. In his way up the social ladder, he’ll have to step on their heads to get to the next level.
Mme Malaki, landlord
Perpetually mourning her long dead husband, Mrs Malaki laments over her sad widow condition, over her native Greece that she will never get to see again, over the ingratitude of her tenants who know absolutely nothing of genuine suffering. Disconcerts day after day our poor Edgar who will have to deal with the atmosphere of forced contrition she spreads around everywhere in the building, like handfuls of dirt on a coffin. Listens at doors, knows everything about her little world, sometimes spontaneously enter a trance state for no apparent reasons.
Medical sovereign of the municipal morgue. “Doctor of the dead”, that’s certainly what he would write on his business card – if only the living were more open minded. According to him, life is nothing but a slow manufacturing process. He believes he spends his nights working on the finished product. Has reduced to a strict minimum his relationships with the living. Likes cold buffets, doesn’t mind the freshness of food. Likes to write in official registries with Indian ink. Is by his own standards a “bon-vivant”.