Somewhere on the Boulevard des Moulins, in the corner of my eye, a tall, blonde woman steps out of a black Maserati and on to the street in her impeccably tailored little cocktail dress. She wraps a bolero jacket around her statuesque shoulders with the nonchalant elegance of a bullfighter before disappearing in the crowds flowing toward the casino.
Left in the air is a faint but unmistakable nuance of Cartier de Lune, the only scent that can cause me to lose myself and my balance. I imagine the sound of my phone call echoing in the emptiness of mother's New York apartment because she's not there, because she's walking the same streets I am but in higher heels and a better tan.
As a child, I would see my father everywhere in the first couple of months after it happened. He would walk amidst the other ghosts in the California sunshine and I would call out to him but no one would ever call back. The thought of that violent silence always sends my bird's nest heart racing, a sudden rush of blood that feels just like winter.