Monday, September 21, 2015


I'm staring back at an empty reflection in the ladies' room at La Coupole, it's not the first time but something feels different. Saturday night and a sane amount of Champagne (four glasses, give or take), Henry sits at the bar with his shimmering Saint Laurent tie undone just enough to make it seem like an accident. He talks so loud I can hear him from downstairs, the two girls that joined us giggle like they've never heard his Hemingway jokes.

In the mirror I see someone that looks like me, thin but poised in her black velveteen dress and leather gloves. She's frail but composed, nothing like myself the way I've felt since I left New York. I lean forward to touch her pale celadon skin, the glass is warmer than I thought it would be. Is this how other people see me?

We follow one the girls back to her hotel, she tastes like war and has a fleur-de-lis tattoo on her inner thigh. In the morning we have breakfast together, she drinks apple juice and talks about L.A. Confidential as if she's only seen the film.

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Thursday, September 17, 2015

I like you a lot

It starts on my birthday and a missed call from Carl. I leave the phone unattended on the bureau in the hall for Henry to find, a single emerald LED light blinking in the dark when he gets home, leading the way like a lantern on a dock across the river. I never let him go through my things but some secrets are just meant to be uncovered.

I plan every step in advance like a perfect murder: the careless placement and turning off the lights, letting the water run in the shower while listening to his movements from behind the bathroom door, wrapped up tight in one of his Sonia Rykiel Sirocco towels.

My heart implodes at the sound of his key in the lock at 6 PM, he takes off his shoes and slowly puts down his bag on the floor next to the bureau. The silence is deafening, I wait breathlessly for him to pick up the phone and find me unarmed and defenseless but he never does. Instead he walks past the bathroom in to the kitchen, so close I can almost hear him smiling.

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

You'll be perfect just like me

We come back home from wherever we've been, minutes away from sunrise on a Sunday morning. He pays for the taxi and holds the door like a gentleman, we walk up the stairs to his apartment hand in hand and he whispers his trivialities to keep from waking the neighbours.

In the dark of the bedroom he watches me undress and compliments me on my matching underwear (powdery pink from Marlies Dekkers), not with desire but in the midst of a weary yawn. His raven black Givenchy suit hangs perfectly in the closet, my rayon crepe dress lies unfolded like a pool of blood on the waxed wooden floor.

He waits for me in bed while I smoke a final cigarette in the kitchen, watching the empty street outside and the birds. I need to find a weakness in him, something that sets him off or makes him want to hurt me. I know it sounds strange but all I can think of in the dim light is his soft hands tight around my neck, a spark in his eyes that tells me he's still alive, just like me.

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Monday, September 7, 2015

Modern Times

It's only now that I treasure weekends because I know he'll still be there when I wake up. He'll sit by the bed, run his fingers slowly through my morning hair and tell me it was just a bad dream and the sun has been up for hours.

Mondays are like working without the work. I remember wanting things from life, even what it felt like, now I'm just afraid of losing whatever little I have left. He's here now, in the kitchen making drinks, humming my favorite song.

Mother had plans for me once but everything changed when my father died. I guess she knew I blamed her or she wouldn't have paid me off with a near limitless credit card. No strings attached she said but we both new that was never going to be true.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

This used to be my playground

A light rain falls over Paris, I'm in bed contemplating a hundred different ways to die. Leaving would be so much easier if his scent wasn't infused in the sheets and the pillows but two hours after he was here I can still feel it getting stronger. I wear his boxers and smoke his cigarettes, trying to forget how time keeps slipping through my fingers like California sand.

I'm trapped in my mind and this apartment, everything I do to distract my thoughts is leading me back to the same conclusion: it wasn't supposed to be like this. He says we'll go somewhere when he's finished school but I've already spent too much time just waiting.

I'm running out of options but something has to change. Maybe I'll throw away my clothes, move back to New York, tell him all my secrets instead of writing them down and posting them here. Maybe I'll stop posting here. Maybe I'll just stop. I'm running out of options. A hundred ways to die.

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