Zoë Tamerlis


We laughed at him often for he more than anyone I knew, even of those who walked far more often than he.

He did not walk as often as some I have known, but did often enough. His peculiar trait was to but he did it more than many and wanted to do it more often more. In that he was charming.

In one thing he did excel over all I have known: he said "Let's Walk" with an ostinato consistency that even we who walked found comical. "Yes, let's walk... let's walk," we'd say hunching our shoulders as was his wont and making thick and obstinate lips that would quickly part with what we thought was friendly laughter. Like friendly fire. Sometimes one kills a friend.

Indeed, at the termination of my seven years friendship with this man, I walked and he did not.

I got away, dressed in whore-garb, scampering into the bowels of a Hawaiian restaurant to hide and getting away with it. He, getting busted with the gun with which we had just robbed a boutique on the Upper East Side.

The tragedy.

The man who most often said "Let's Walk".

There was one man who said "Let's Walk" more often than anyone before or after him. Sadly, I saw him the last time that sunny afternoon when, I running away with the bag, he getting nabbed with the gun, he did not walk, but alas, I did.

A girl, I did a quick change into whore garb in the bowels of an Hawaiian restaurant only blocks from the Upper East Side boutique we had robbed. Later I waited at the reunion hour under the Roosevelt Island tram. He did not show and I left dumb messages on his answering tape. As night fell over the East Side of Manhattan, I was left looking at the river that I knew so well some seventy blocks down and realized that I would never see him again. Whore apparition that I was I accepted the offer of a John, went home with him to a Sutton Place suite, smoked a joint with him and noted that we each had something on each other. I then proceeded to tell him that I had just done the robbery and my friend had been busted. After an hour of talk, I left.

After all, the most poignant event of that day was over.

This walker had loved me for many years and I had never, however close we were, I never felt; I always felt like a man with him. On that balmy uptown day in April, we made love in the bathroom of a greasy spoon. I will tell you how:

The plan had been for me to dress in the pink whore garb at the beginning of our robbery trek (I remember walking past the church, down Second Avenue, cobble stoning in and wondering if I could be recognized. and feeling invisible in my pink miniskirt. Already feeling illegal and yet free in anonymity, the walk had already begun then) -- then to quick-change into gray-green drab and mask it up with him somewhere in the general locale of the heist. In addition, and most intriguing item at the time, I was to do it as a Man! My manhood was to define itself from a few hairs of his moustache which would be glued to my upper lip. We both entered the men's room but seconds apart. Closing the cubicle behind us both I knelt on the toilet and snipped at his moustache, passing the hairs to him. He bent over me and applied a thin white line of Elmer's glue to my lip and then one by one the hairs.


The incident described above took place in early 1980. According to Edouard De Laurot, during one of his first meetings with Zoë, he had told her he was in dire need of some money. Zoë, eager to impress the older filmmaker, took it upon herself to rob a store. When she appeared at his loft after escaping, presented him with something like $1300, and told him of her escapade, he was shocked and terrified that he might be implicated should the authorities track her down. They hence left for France together shortly thereafter.

The intimate moustache application in the men's room stall was also described in Zoë's interview footage for the film "Heavy Petting" in 1987 (without mentioning the robbery). In that interview, she describes it as "the most intense sexual experience of my life up until that time."

Zoë told me of this robbery many times while we were together, but never identified her partner, only referring to him as "my co-perp." She often expressed apprehension about running into him some time in the street, fearful of any resentment he might harbor towards her. I have recently learned from a mutual friend of theirs that his name was Jeffrey Rupen. He reportedly skipped bail and fled to California, where he lived as a house painter for several years before committing suicide. Zoë was apparently unaware of his demise.