Monday, October 16, 2017

Les Confessions

Marie Antoinette lost her head 224 years ago today. I would eat cake if that was something she actually said, but Champagne seems more suitable to the occasion.

Nights are getting darker and not just in my riotous mind. I sometimes come to think of California and the way we'd plan our imminent escape, Chloe and I. When I finally left it was because of her but she followed me across the wasteland to New York and in to my childhood dreams of falling through the skies together. She never called to wish me a happy birthday and it hurt me more than any fragmented memory of numbing sleeplessness on the beaches down in Santa Monica. The lights that never went out and the sound of the waves and her breaths on the back of my neck.

I follow the queen through rue Saint-Honoré past the boutiques all the way to the Place de la Concorde where she died. Wind in my hair and across the open spaces, all the stone and the traffic and the gray outside the gates to the Tuileries Gardens. I always hated this place.



Sunday, October 1, 2017

Live and let die

Another year older and I should have grown up a long time ago. S calls me before anyone else, from her aunt's house in Florence. She sounds hysterical but happy and I miss her a lot more than she misses me.

For my twelfth birthday mother gave me a signed copy of The Sun Also Rises. It was one of those rare times she didn't try to buy my loyalty with designer clothes and credit cards, and probably the only time her gifts actually meant something. My father had read it to me that summer on the beaches near Antibes where we had our last fleeting moments of happiness together, just the three of us.

September kept closing in on our family and I didn't know then that the people I loved the most would all soon become ghosts to me, alive or dead, near or on other sides of the planet. They were all just trying to escape and I learned much later that the one thing you can never really run away from is yourself.




Friday, September 8, 2017

Remembrance

I'm in the Luxembourg Garden writing postcards to some version of myself, a cup of coffee with vodka getting cold in my hands. The sun sets in red and lilac across the river, bars and restaurants filling up with people I'll never know. I look for mother in the crowd of shadows, I look for Henry and I look for Carl but no one's there and the air is getting lighter.

I've been so fucking tired of the sound of my own voice that I let others do the talking. It's amazing how badly people long for someone to listen. I know how they feel because I used to be there but I lost my way and ended up here, silenced by my own thoughts, unable to let go of the future.

Another summer ended, I stopped counting them the day he died. Remembering what he told me just days before it happened is the only thing that keeps me going. "My darling Avy" he said, "don't ever stop dreaming of the things you really want."





















Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Running up that hill

The heat wave in June made me want to leave Paris for good but now that it's cooler I might just stay a little while longer. I rarely leave the room before 6 PM anyway, if I ever eat breakfast in the restaurant it's because I'm still awake from the night before.

I'm out Monday, somewhere in Marais north of Rue Étienne Marcel. The bar is closing when a man tries to talk to me, first in French, then in a broken English that suggests he's from southern Spain. He gets increasingly intrusive as I ignore him and ends up rhetorically asking how a chatte like me sleeps at night. I want to say "Diazepam" but I guess it's wasted on him.

Henry's shadow still chases me across the boulevards in Saint-Germain. I don't know that he's actually here but I keep feeling his presence like an electric chock through my every bone. Maybe it's just phantom pains from an amputated part of the soul, or maybe he's out there looking for me too.



Thursday, April 27, 2017

April fool

Every time I feel like posting something I'm missing the words and when I find them again I've always lost the will to write. And in spite of my silence you're still here, leaving me darling comments to read when I'm feeling lonely.

Paris is a strange sort of fairy tale these days; dark and hostile, a world of its own sporadically lit up by glimmers of hope that things will soon be better. I keep telling people the same old
stories over and over and instead of making friends I get sick of hearing my own voice.

I spend most of my time in a triangle between Printemps, Café de Flore and Avenue Montaigne. La Coupole is treacherous ground since I spotted the back of his head in the mirror by the bar. They call me sometimes to ask where I am, I guess it's some form of compliment. Either way I'm slowly awakened from my winter's sleep, getting ready to live just a little, step by step until the summer.  


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