In 2003, I found out this rather startling piece of news:
I knew that Michael Brown’s unrequited love was a real person — a real person named Renee, no less — but it never occurred to me that he was also thinking of a real sign that points one way.
It’s at the intersection of Falmouth Street and Hampton Avenue in Brooklyn.
Petite Powerhouse and pop princess Dawn Eden, now far better known as an advocate for Catholicism and chastity, was happy to pass on that bit of information, and I couldn’t possibly have resisted posting it here, inasmuch as Brown’s song for the Left Banke, “Walk Away Renee,” even now pouring into your head, ranks up there with the most indelible musical memories of my adolescent years, possibly even for reasons unrelated to its subject matter. I once called Michael Brown the “spiritual heir to both Johann Sebastian Bach and Brian Wilson,” and I wasn’t kidding.
So anything that happens to this man matters to me, especially his untimely passing:
It comes with great sadness to hear of the passing of Michael Brown. Safe journeys to the next place, you were too beautiful for this world.
— The Left Banke (@theleftbanke) March 20, 2015
Brown was sixteen when Renee walked away with his heart, and I’m pretty certain that she could still have laid claim to a piece of it when he was sixty-five. I’ve been there, and by “there” I don’t mean Brooklyn.