This weekend S is coming to see me in New York along with a snowfall. They're both a welcome change. Mother is mostly out, I spend my days walking around the dark apartment in my nightgown or aimlessly wandering the streets alone, looking at people and fantasizing about their lives. I feel I could write a book about it.
And then I remember a late autumn years ago, we were about to leave the house for the winter and go back to the warmth and sunshine in Los Angeles. I was eleven, the forests surrounding us had just started to change color, it looked like a giant fire. My father was closing up, I was outside waiting by the car and suddenly there they were. First one, then a dozen then thousands and thousands of little snowflakes painting the trees and the ground in a sparkling white.
I remember how I wanted to be there with Carl. His parents had been screaming at us for what we had done to him the night before, Belle and I, and they left shortly afterwards. It was the last time I saw him before that night in the Gauloise haze, and nothing scared me more than the blank expression on his face. For years to come it was almost the only thing I could remember about him.