Wednesday, August 20, 2014

As tears go by

Two weeks remain of August and the summer, waking up next to him I'm so sure I smell fire that it can't just be a dream but it is. I reach for his hands in the smoldering daylight, his slumberous fingertips drawing outline pictures on my pale bare skin. He fucks me in slow motion while I count freckles on his back like charcoal stars in an inverted night sky, for a fraction of a second I forget about the time and space between us.

"I need to go to Berlin" he says, "with Tom". I ask him why but he changes the subject, draws a little heart on my cheek and calls me darling. Outside is salt-stained winds and worried waves crashing in from the ocean, drowning out the high-pitched sound of children's laughter.

I'll always treasure the way he looks at me when he knows that everything's already been said.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

I don't care if it kills me

Four feverishly tropical hotel nights in Sainte-Maxime, wrapped up in cheap air-tight cotton sheets and insomnia. The little sleep I get is interrupted by his careful hands underneath my clothes, finding their way through the dark to where I'm warmest.

"You left me to die" Elisa cries theatrically when we get back to the house, "and parts of me did". She gets up (reasonably) early to make us all breakfast, Tom is without any traceable amount of sarcasm when he shouts "juice!?" across the table, "I thought I ordered Champagne!"

Later I hear him talking to Henry on the balcony, leaning arrogantly against the railing in his dirt beige colonial safari outfit. "Go put on that darling bikini of yours" he says with a patronizing smile when he sees me, "the one with the roses" (the thinly veiled but honestly faked British accent, can you hear it?). He closes the door resolutely behind them, I'm not meant to hear them talking and for a moment I can't decide if he wants to be Hemingway or Michael Corleone.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

On the road

Tom and Daisy have returned, more like ashes from distant volcanoes than a fresh, soothing breath of fall. They say they've been to Argentina but her shimmering tan tells a different story - he's vainly had his mustache trimmed to look like Errol Flynn's (the similarities end there), his charcoal hair a pomade paradise.

Henry slides his fingertips suggestively across his throat as a signal for us to escape. Before I can tell Elisa he grabs my arm and pulls me away. "Leave her" he whispers, "there's no time". It's meant to be a joke but to me she's a very real casualty of war, stranded with the two of them and the habitual disdain they share between them.

We drive northeast toward the mountains, away from the smell of rosemary and salt and the ocean. I have so many things to ask him but this time too I remain silent, afraid of finding out what that void in his heart was once made up of.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Prosperity, Strength, Devotion

I hear him talking to the villagers, talking about me the way they do with young, blonde girls from across the seas. Elle est mignonne ta copine, mais... pourquoi si pâle?

The stories he tells them - about our parents hastily moving to Switzerland to trade baroque paintings on the semi-legal market - are empty, bottomless holes but he keeps on digging. Yesterday he came back from Nice with a pair of silver gray silk-blend pants from Philipp Plein. "They're for the narrative, you know, Swiss nationalism and so on", he says, bursting with the restless excitement of a little child on the verge of pulling off his pièce de résistance of elaborate pranks

He puts them on, looks at himself in the mirror from every conceivable angle, then at me. "I don't care that he's actually German" he says, "I'm not getting a fucking Rolex".

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bonne nuit tristesse

The closer we get to August the more we tend to stay up until the rest of the village here begins to wipe the sleep from its curious eyes. Henry tells the locals we're the children of expat art dealers from Lugano, I guess it makes him feel alive somehow. We're still waiting for those heavy rains and a few moments of cold so we can wrap ourselves in cashmere blankets or wash the sweat off our broken bodies under the cherry trees in the garden.

I would change everything if I could but it's already too late as life slowly slips through our fingers like the fine grains of sand on the beaches below our house. He complains about the shopping in Cannes but I know he's just secretly cross over the fact that Chanel don't do menswear.

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