Friday, September 27, 2013


We're three again, after an antiseptic summer in between these airtight walls. The temperature is slowly dropping, I come back home from a semi-conscious stroll down 5th and there she is like a mirage by the window, Chloe. "I knocked" she says, it answers the questions I never asked and in a heartbeat we're back to where we started earlier this spring.

I can tell that something has happened to her but I'm leaving it to rest until she wants to tell me. It's the way it's always worked between the two of us. She's on my bed covered in silk and lace, gently stroking her fingertips across Paolo Roversi's Alta Moda Vogue cover.

"Let's get into trouble" she says, "I have drugs". It's going to be a beautiful weekend.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Lessons on how to be offensive

A friendly piece of advice if you want to offend someone: never start by saying "no offense, but...", and always make sure that what you're going to say is actually offensive.

The 30-something Eastern European looking man, dressed like a North American stock broker, had been watching me from across the bar for an hour before he sat down next to us, Stephanie and me. "Your sadness intrigues me" he said, "I can always tell when a pretty girl is unhappy". His Ballantine's breath formed a rain cloud around me as he silently inspected every inch of my body. "I noticed your designer beret" he said, "and no offense (!), but you need to stop trying to fill that void with meaningless things".

As he pushed play on a five minute monologue about rampant consumerism and saving the world (I'm paraphrasing from the fragments I picked up through the noise) I tried to fake an interest. My mother grew up in a society that had nothing, where people waited in line for hours just to buy bread. When someone calls the luxury that her money can pay for now "meaningless" I automatically start planning over what part of their clothing I'm going to pour my drink, just for the fun of it*.

*I picked the pants.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Mother actually noticed I was away this summer. "Where were you", she asks from the sofa, her sun-bleached face draped in its most stoic of expressions: think Cleopatra minus the snake.

It sounds as if she really wants to know so I start telling her about Nice. "Ah, Nice", she interrupts in a sentence. "I used to go there with your... well, you know" (she's referring to my father). I'm on a knife's edge listening, he never told me anything about France or the Riviera. I had always thought that their trip through Russia by train was his only visit back to Europe after his escape from the remains of his family and the city he lived in.

Mother gazes into the far away distance, then focuses her eyes on something tangible just over my head. "My goodness" she giggles nervously, "why am I telling you this?"

Monday, September 16, 2013


I know it's Monday but they're all the same to me. There are no weekends in this acidic life, seasons change outside but it happens gradually, the transition is less abrupt. There's no circle, no beginning or end, nothing ever starts all over like I sometimes wish it would.

When I was little, mother still wanted things for me. My dreams meant something to her until our existence collapsed that fall between day and night. The morning after smelled like winter, she disappeared behind her sunglasses and we both stopped talking to each other.

She came home yesterday after months away somewhere without me. I never ask, she puts her coat on a hanger, her shoes beside her bed and everything slowly returns to normal. Whatever that is.

"You should drink more" she says, looking at the empty Gin bottle in the kitchen. It's the way we talk now, the morning smells vaguely of snow and Cartier de Lune.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Twin towers

The morning that I wake up after a birthday is forever going to be the morning of September eleven.

I wanted mother to call but she didn't. Stephanie and I took to the streets after sunset, only now is the Hendrick's Gin and the opium starting to wear off (I took some from Chloe while she's away). It's never something to remember so it doesn't matter that I don't, more than the sporadic flashes from a vibrating dance floor and the lights. I think someone gave me roses.

The only one that remembered was Carl, of course. His voice on the other end of the wasteland sounded like an autumn wind, calm and soothing with a certain edge to it. "Happy birthday my flower" he said, as he always does, and for a moment I felt like ten again. Him, a pre-teen version of a lover, casually looking at me from a chair in my bedroom and me, afraid of looking back. 


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Even cold November rain

I like buying flowers but I always forget to water them so they slowly whither away in mother's Lalique vases. I usually keep them the way they are because they act as a reminder that nothing lasts forever.

It's both a necessity and a relief, every hour of every day becomes a little less stressful. Henry got me daffodils, my favorite, more than a year ago and the way they stand now somehow points to a way out of the meaninglessness.

Wilted flowers intrigue me. They look resistant, almost perpetual, but while nothing happens to them if you leave them alone they will break into a million little pieces if you touch them. They're like the wings of a butterfly or an illustration of life behind these walls, seemingly frozen in time and space but so delicate that even a whisper could dissolve the shadows untill nothing of the old remains.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


In almost all my childhood memories I'm alone, only watched by someone from a comfortable distance. My father across the fields around our summer house, mother on the other end of the living room in Los Angeles, her mind lost somewhere in the latest issues of Vogue or W. Carl through a blurry haze of spoiled brats in the sun-drenched school yard.

Stephanie is at the Carlyle, the last time I heard Chloe's naked footsteps on the stone was before Nice. Traces of mother are everywhere - her lipstick marks on the bottles in the liquor cabinet, her dresses and jackets in the closets, a handwritten illegible note on the kitchen table - but her heartbeats are somewhere else.

When I close my eyes in the morning I can see myself amidst the flowers, the grass and the butterflies, by the fences and on the floors. I'm alone but someone is always watching me, waiting to break the silence and the peace.