Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A memory

10 am, I'm violently pulled out of a nightmare as mother calls me from New York. I hadn't even noticed she was gone but it must be important since she brought her eggshell colored shirtwaist dress and her most valued pearls. She tells me she'll be away for the weekend and asks if I mind looking after her flowers. Of course not, I say, knowing she's really talking about something else.

4 hours later: for a while I was relieved to be out of my dream, but it haunts me even as I'm awake. Something is slowly catching up with me, something we never talk about, but for some reason he's still in love with me. I think I need to see him again soon.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

She comes from foreign lands

The sound of silence echoes through the walls. Chloe is on the naked wooden floor in my room, flipping through the pages of an Italian fashion magazine from the 60s. "How is it possible to miss a time you didn't even live in", she sighs, running her slender fingers over a black and white picture of Penelope Tree. I tell her I never do but I'm lying. I don't know why but my mind is elsewhere, and those hypothetical discussions about what life could have been like, "if only...", usually end in strange places.

Chloe looks up at me for a second, then returns to her magazine. If nothing else she looks fantastic in her little Calvin Klein nightgown. Transparency is my favorite color.


Dolly Rocker Girl

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Another deadly sin

The worst feeling has been eating me up all week, ever since I saw S smiling and laughing with Henry. It's not that I'm anything but happy for her sake, but all I can think of is how I'm not her, how I'm still alone. I loved someone years ago and maybe that's all there is, maybe no one will ever hold my hand like that again or know what I'm thinking of just by looking at me. That fear grows slowly inside me and I just can't shake it.

What frightens me even more is knowing how mother was just like me when she was my age. She had a heart made of glass and I wonder what happened to her to make her so distant and cold. I wonder if it could happen to me too.

From her diary:

78-11-18

Another day passes, another austere scenery on the other side of the windows. T sleeps a lot and when he's awake I ask him about his childhood and he asks me about mine. We have so much in common, both having escaped from something we never called home, but he's still evolving each day and I envy him for it. I keep thinking that what if these are the best times of our lives, what if this is the adventure I will forever be comparing everything else to. The thought lingers in my mind as I try to sleep, and sometimes I dream about having to say goodbye for the very last time. It's summer and he's standing there in the evening light, looking at me with those eyes, not saying a word. We both know that nothing will ever be the same again, that nothing can ever be better. And then I wake up.



Saturday, November 19, 2011

To die by your side

Friday night, S knocks on the door at 7 and we barricade ourselves in my room together with her Limoncello and a bottle of red Amarone wine. In the livingroom, mother and Hernan are dancing closely to Claire de Lune. It looks like a plane crash.

Later we bump into Henry at Underground, he instantly recognizes us and drops his umbrella drink on the floor, all over his new Diesel shoes. S pretends she's over him but an hour later I see them talking and laughing together. He strokes her cheek gently with the back of his hand, she giggles and does that nervous thing with her hair.

I told her not to fall in love, but watching her in Issey Miyake and the glowing lights I change my mind. She just looks so happy.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

S in wonderland

Earlier: S calls me from the airport, I act unaffected but I feel my heart racing as she speaks between breaths. It's the first time in months I hear her voice and I imagine it's changed somehow. "I have five bottles of Limoncello" she says excitedly. "What are you doing this weekend?"

Later she calls me again from her family's limo-like SUV her father sent to pick her up, and she tells me about how she's finally realized she has to start providing for herself and create her own life. It's so adorable I just want to cry.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Homecoming queen

Just as I was once again finding it hard to breathe inside these wall papered fences, a hand written letter from S lands on my bed. Just as I was thinking of running away somewhere - anywhere - I open her envelope with its round little postmark from London and read about her longing for home. Just as I was running out of things to hold on to, the scent of her perfume evaporates from the light pink letter paper and fills my system with a reminiscence of closeness.

She's coming back home.


Picture from rouge fox via Vivienne Mok

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Runaway train never going back

Sitting on the roof of our house, under the stardust late at night, I come to think of what he said about flying. He told me about his childhood and how he would climb up on the roof of his family's house and just sit there alone for hours. The sky would change over his head, summer clouds would come and go while he listened to the silence and the whispering wind in the trees behind him. He said he felt free and imprisoned at the same time, like the heavens were open if he had only had wings to fly with. He told me how close he came to trying anyway, that maybe it would all be worth if just for that hundredth of a second where you defy gravity.

Under the stardust late at night I can feel it too, and it makes the blood freeze in my veins.

In mother's diary:

78-11-15

We're on the train now, after two whole days of controls, questions and phone calls we were finally allowed to leave Moscow. I lay awake at night just watching him sleep, listening to the sound of him breathing and the steel tracks beneath us. We could be going anywhere, I wouldn't care, just being close to him is enough, but I wish I could get over this quiet anxiety. I see it in his eyes sometimes when he looks out the window, as if he's not really watching that harsh landscape that's rapidly passing outside in the dark. His mind is somewhere else and I can't go there with him, at least not yet. If he would only let me in, but I guess I'm not making it easier by never asking what he's thinking of. Maybe tomorrow.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

All hallows

One of the benefits of living in this city of angels is that it's Halloween all year round. Not that people here are like living dead, but they're all posing as something they're not. The sad part of it is that walking down Sunset or Melrose, only the dressed up street performers seem to know and accept the fact that their pretty exteriors are fake.

This year, Chloe and I pretended we were old fashioned models, wearing vintage Chanel and dark sunglasses, smoking menthol cigarettes using mother's old Breakfast at Tiffany's style holders. We wandered the crowded streets arm in arm, fantasizing about a long lost era, and I missed my father. I drank too much cheap Russian vodka in another naive attempt to forget, by now I should know it only makes it worse.

Hernan woke me up the next morning, asking if it was a pleasant dream. "You were moaning". I only remembered the smell of gasoline and the birds, that minacious cloud of ravens silently circling over my head in the dark.

"Yes, I guess it was".

In my dream I wore a wedding dress, under the white silk sheets in my bed I was naked. Chloe had already left.

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