Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Kodak moments

I only know mother went to the Academy Awards because I saw her on TV, without a date and wearing a black chiffon dress I didn't know she had (which means she just bought it). Chloe saw it too, we looked at each other in silence, both of us thinking the same thing: "sure, why not?"

When I was younger she always wanted to take me with her but I refused. When I finally said yes one of the nominees for best supporting actress ended up spilling her red wine all over my pastel pink Prada dress. Again, I'm not naming names but it was eight years ago tomorrow. Million Dollar Baby won the award for best picture. If you really want to get drunk, I guess that's all the reason you need.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Thursday I don't care about you

Still no sign of mother, she comes and goes like an unusually chic phantom. Sometimes she leaves little traces around the apartment for me to find: perfect raspberry lip marks on a wine glass, one of her Chanel jackets hanging in the wrong place, another chapter read in Lolita or The Great Gatsby. She does it intentionally, like a treasure hunt, to let me know she was there and left again without having to actually tell me. I stumbled upon her diary once, there were a couple of pages missing and I know I'll never find them unless she wants me too.

When Chloe comes home from work we're going out, I've spent the day trying to decide between black from Jil Sander and white from Alice + Olivia. I've missed her infectious laughter and the smell from her opium cigarettes.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Levels of poison

My memory of California withers, the never-changing seasons, the vanity and the chronic addictions take up a lesser part of my body and mind. I stopped calling it home months ago, everything I need and want is right here in between the two rivers. Chloe said she'd never go back but then she did, I don't why because I never asked.

When I woke up this morning she was here again, playing her music in the kitchen, dancing over the black marble floors in the hallway like she does when she's happy. I only heard her through the walls before she went to work, now I'm counting the heartbeats until she comes back home. Whenever I start forgetting what she looks like I close my eyes and there she is, flowing like a perfumed smoke across a wasteland of blackest velvet.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Be my Valentine

I don't know what I am to Henry and I don't know what he is to me. There's always a distance between us, a void or a space just big enough to have its own atmosphere. It's there because we want it to be, the both of us. When something or someone gets too close we feel suffocated and push it away, so we keep that distance just to make sure we survive.

He calls me from campus late on Thursday, I can almost smell the alcohol over the wireless transfer. "It's Valentine's" he says.

"I know".

"Do you want to watch a movie" he asks, so we do, something French without subtitles, we pretend we understand every word. The sex afterwards is cold in a way that penetrates the skin like needles on a mannequin. I get up and stand by the open window, the warm light from the neon signs outside makes me feel a little less naked. "You look like a Vermeer painting" he says from under the covers. It's a sweet gesture.

When I was little, in primary school, everyone put childish banalities in the Valentine's Day cards we were forced to pass around in class. "You're cute", "I like you", "Will you be my Valentine". Carl wrote "as long as there is evil in the world I will always protect you".

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Chloe left me here and went back to Los Angeles, but that's not all: she did it just before Fashion Week. Henry is good company too but it's just not the same. He claims he made out with Coco Rocha after the Armani show in Milan last spring, but it's a half-truth at best. Chloe on the other hand (this I know for a fact) slept with Nigel Barker here in New York a couple of years ago. She ended up being followed and harassed by one of the ANTM girls of that season, but that's another story. And no, I'm not going to name names.

Favorites so far: dresses by Carolina Herrera, Jill Stuart, Lela Rosa and Tadashi Shoji, coats and jackets from Nicole Miller.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Left alone for the weekend, Chloe escaped on Thursday and mother is still just the occasional voice on the other end of a telephone line. The storm seemed to be on everyone's mind but it disappointed me. I look at the little piles of snow on Times Square and I remember the winters when we would leave Los Angeles and go to the house in my father's car. I would fall asleep and when I woke up it would be as if in another world. Weightless snowflakes in the air like butterflies and the silence.

Carl was there once, we sat together in the attic during a late night blizzard. He wrapped a blanket around my shoulders and we listened to the winds breaking through the wooden walls and and our breaths. If I had known I would have told him that the worst part of growing up is how the world seems to become so much smaller, those moments less magical.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Exile on Fifth

Weekends here are usually all but silent with the three of us - mother, Chloe and I - under the same roof, but this January I've had to hold my breath and listen to know I'm not alone. Mother went away after New Year's and hasn't called since, Chloe spends most of her time in bed with The Brothers Karamazov and a bottle of rum. We run into each other in the kitchen, she avoids eye contact and dresses in brighter shades of pink than what seems healthy.

Late Sunday I'm alone on the balcony when she comes up behind me, smells my hair and puts her little hand on my shoulder. We're frozen like an altarpiece for minutes in the winter air, "I can't talk to you about him" she says and I'm unable to feel my feet against the cement. She means her father and she means that hers is still alive. I'm not supposed to ask so I don't, all I hear now is the traffic on Fifth Avenue and she promised to call me from work.