Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gunshot wounds

It didn't work. "Meet us at Alcove" Chloe said when I called her, and there they were: her head leaning softly on his chest, his left arm wrapped close around that 24 inch waist of hers, girly porcelain hand in ruggedly masculine hand. It felt like watching Dior's first post-Galliano haute couture collection, something inside me just wanted to collapse right there on the pavement to be flushed down the drain into the sewers.

I had to go somewhere else, anywhere else. Carl called me twenty minutes later. "What the hell is wrong with you" he said, evidently annoyed. I screamed at him, something about not wanting to ruin a perfectly good illusion of a dream that may or may not be coming true sometime in the future. I don't think he understood.

Back home I asked mother if I could go with her to New York, she laughed before she realized I was serious. I need to get away from this city for a while, away from this plastic surface I keep scratching without ever finding anything underneath.

I'm not angry, just tired.

They tell me I'm doing fine

I wish I could send flowers to each and every one of you. Thank you darlings. I'm fine. Chloe called to ask me where I went, I lied and said I left because I was tired. "Let's get together tomorrow" she said. "Me, you and Carl". I had to say yes.

It's funny, I keep hearing people say how their biggest regrets are the things they never did. I think about it every time a stranger catches my interest and I have to decide whether to tap them on the shoulder or not. Nothing scares me more than a clear view of the future so I hardly ever do, not because it's easier but because that romanticized image of what could have happened is so hopelessly inciting.

And I want it to be the same way with Carl. I want it to be so that I can see him again and carelessly drift away, fantasizing about us together like in a distant dream, alone on his bed in the dark listening to Let it bleed as if for the first time. Tomorrow I'll know.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Goodbye my love

Looking into his eyes suddenly feels like something I've never done before, even though that's not even close to the truth. We've been here many times but not like this and I don't listen to a word he's saying. He's handsome in a blue Jil Sander sports jacket, I'm imagining his reaction when I tell him. He goes to the bar to order another round of drinks, I watch him from behind wishing he'll turn around and smile at me.

My heart dances on a frozen lake every time I think of what to say, how things are about to change, and then I see them. Him and Chloe. They're on the other side of the room just under a spotlight, she kisses him and he runs his fingers through her chestnut hair.

The last words my father ever said to me were "no happy endings, Avy". He used my name, he didn't call me flower or angel like he used to do and I should have known it was a sign that things would never be the same again.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Is it getting better, or do you feel the same?

Carl. Mother hasn't approved of him since that day I came home from school and said I was in love with an older man (I was 9, he was 10). I was intrigued by his quietness and communicated with hasty lipstick kisses on the door of his locker. Sometimes he walked me home, sometimes we sat together on his bed in the dark, listening to Let it bleed. When I modeled endless skirts and dresses from mother's wardrobe he looked away every time I changed, a perfect little gentleman in gray Diesel jeans and a scarf carefully wrapped around that boyish neck of his.

I don't know when he fell for me, he never even told me that he did. I noticed it gradually and pushed him away, this was years later and we had just started talking again after what I did to him that dreadful summer in the country house.

Now I feel I need him again, and not just as a friend. I only wish I knew how to tell him that.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

How do you see me now?

I have this thing about not falling asleep naked, which may or may not have to do with how Marilyn died. This morning I woke up in black Dolce & Gabbana, relieved that even in my slightly drunken state of mind I apparently managed to remember.

Last night with S, first at my house where mother in one of her better moods treated us to petits fours, brandy and champagne. "What are we celebrating" I asked between sips. "Oh, just life" she giggled. I'm not sure that's a good thing.

Later at a noisy bar S made me explain why it's been months since we last talked. I think I yelled something about being envious of her and Henry, and she said "but you have Carl". I've never looked at him that way, but now I can't get it out of my head. What does that mean?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I thought I heard children's laughter from the dining room but it was just mother chattering on the phone. I suppose it's better than the silent drinking, but I'm uncomfortably aware of how fragile those moments really are. I've never seen her fall apart, but for as long as I can remember she's slowly evaporated, which in a way is so much worse.

We've never talked about it of course, it would be useless even if I wanted to. I know that something happened to her years ago, on that trip with my father, but he protected her and kept quiet. All I have now are the little traces and clues she left in her diary.


Today we stopped for an hour at a small station somewhere close to the end of the world. We weren't allowed to go out so we watched the people through our smudged windows. I saw a family, a mother and a father with their little daughter, and I started to cry. T asked me what was wrong but I couldn't bear to tell him. I know how he left his family behind too, and I have no right to be more tormented by it than him. What I'm certain of however, what I saw so clearly through that window, is that I never want to put a child into this world. I could never live with the notion that some day they would be left all alone.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Uncommon people like you

I feel I need to tell you about sleeping with Chloe. I could write volumes on the subject, but I'll spare you everything but the little details. Her quiet, almost imperceptible breaths, the only distinction from history's most beautiful lit de parade. The way my cream white silk sheets wrap around her slender body, reminiscent of the Pietà. Yesterday she wore her perfect skin and a pair of purple DKNY panties underneath, her striped Tsumori Chisato dress carelessly thrown on the floor next to my bed. No one can undress like her.

It's nothing sexual of course, although the image of men always fades a little in her vicinity. Carl dated her for a while, but he must have failed to notice her hair in the early sunlight (glowing chestnut waves across the pillow). If he had, I would have had no one to drive me around during those sleepless summer nights, and it would have been harder to imagine Chloe untouched and pure, waking up next to me with a smile on her thin porcelain lips. I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A little too late

This silence sounds like lava floating slowly under the floorboards, ready to erupt. I know I should be somewhere else when it does but where would I go?

It wasn't always like this of course. Memories of other times sometimes echo in the walls, I remember hiding in my room as strange people came and went late in the evenings. When the noise from downstairs got too loud I would call Carl and ask him to come over. We would sleep in my bed, fully dressed (we were 10-11 back then), and wake up to a deafening silence in the morning. I would hold my breath as I went down to find mother and her friends asleep in the living room, empty wine bottles shimmering of sunlight through a light pot-smoke haze.

And I remember Carl asking me about my father. Why wasn't he there to take care of me? I defended him but deep down I felt it too. I couldn't admit it to myself or anyone else, but that was the first time I recognized a fault in him and the first time I felt abandoned.

This is me ashamed in that A&F T-shirt, illustrated by Ivette at Little moon lover

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The thousand of you

For most people, the new year is a chance to start over again and forget all past mistakes and grievances. For mother it's just another reminder that she's not young anymore. For a week now she's been walking around the house like a zombie, dead quiet, systematically emptying her Madeira bottles one by one.

I'm afraid to say anything so I keep quiet too, pretending I'm fine when in reality it wears me down seeing her so sad. I'm afraid of what will happen when she can't hold it all inside anymore and her history blows up in both our faces. I know of so much that she's never told me, never wanted to talk about and nervously denied that one time I dared ask.

But then I wake up and I see that there are 1000 of you now. The love I keep getting from all of you means the world, it's that chance to start all over again and a reminder that there is a light that never goes out. Tell me something I didn't know about yourselves and make me smile once more.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Big fish

I remember a hazy evening in someone's little apartment downtown, in the height of a summer that felt more like spring. We were young, most of us had just started drinking and some tried to smoke unfiltered Gauloises cigarettes in the hopes of looking a little like Sartre or Jean Luc Godard. Unsuccessfully of course.

Chloe had left me behind to go home with a hockey player, I sat on the floor zipping red wine from a tall beer glass when I saw him. Most people look attractive from behind, but when they turn around you can only wish that they hadn't. It ruins the enigma and those childish dreams of love at first sight.

He was standing by the book shelves across the room, talking to a girl in a dark green velvet dress and stiletto heels. She was laughing at something he said, he turned around and looked me straight in the eye from 20 feet away through a vibrating crowd of mumbling people. It was Carl.

This was years after those warm summer nights in the garden under the stars, I hadn't seen him since then and it felt like breathing under water. He could have destroyed me right there and then but didn't. I never dared ask him why.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Surviving a storm

Finally back home again, not from hell but somewhere close to it. Another night of listening to self-indulgent ramblings and moronic discussions about nothing at all. How can such rich people be so desperately uninteresting?

Mother talks for me, apparently my nodding and fake smiles don't do it for her. "Avy wants to study", she says, glancing at the Tom Clancy novels on the bookshelves. "She's considering law, such an ambitious girl". It's a lie, I nod again but no one bothers to ask any questions. They don't care.

I come to think of Carl, he would have fought this war for me with his subtle sarcasms. After three glasses of wine I call him from a dark room in the attic. He calms me down with his warm voice, asking me about tonight's outfit and how I wear my hair. "I think we'll be leaving soon" I say just as mother comes to tell me we're spending the night, me in the son's room of course.

I consider sleeping in my YSL dress but decide not to wrinkle it. "You can borrow something from me" he says, so I end up in my panties and an Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt. It's the ultimate embarrassment and I dream about snow storms.