Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I am on your side

Today's outfit: his gray ribbed knit Jil Sander sweater. He bought it just before Christmas and only wore it once, yet it's hopelessly infused with the airy smell of his skin.

I've tried to describe him so many times, I want you to know what he looks like but whatever I write just comes out bland and misleading. All I see when I close my eyes and try to remember are the dehumanized little details, filtered through a soft morning light just before he left: collarbones, veins, eyelashes, shoulders. I wouldn't post pictures of him even if he wanted me to, it's not how I want to remember him when it ends.

My grandfather is forever captured in a snowstorm in Moscow's Red Square, the photograph makes the subtle fear in his eyes seem more tangible. It's beyond a simple memory, something that's infused in my mind and under Henry's sweater my skin smells of him.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Achilles to his Paris

It strikes me sometimes that I know nothing about him, just as much as he tells me unless I ask. I think he wants me to but instead I secretly collect fragments from the little things I find in his presence. When he leaves I put them together in my mind, adding the missing details from what I imagine would be true (or exciting).

I know he comes from old money, he knows about my Russian heritage but not that I faked my grandfather's name when he asked. It's our frail balance of terror, the secrets we keep from each other like nuclear arms.

I sometimes want to hurt him just to see what it does to him, to see what he could do to me if he needed to. It's so calm around here, a looming silence that penetrates the paper walls like arrows.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Came in from a rainy Thursday on the avenue

I'm living life in a vacuum where there's no time or space. It's been so long since I lost track of the days and the hours, on my first morning here I threw my watch in the river from the Quai de la Tournelle. Sometimes I wake from the dreams but only for a heartbeat before I'm pulled back in to the haze and the stillness.

I watch people live their lives outside of mine, passing me in the street on their way somewhere. Maybe it's the Bourbon in my morning coffee that makes it look easy but in that fleeting heartbeat I imagine feeling exactly what they feel. Henry is my only consistent point of reference here, he got me underwear for Valentine's and for the first time even that made perfect sense.

My father on the roof of his childhood house with two options: fly or fall. It could have been over in a heartbeat.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I could have been someone

Week nights here are more like fever dreams and I need to write them down to remember.

We met someone in Montparnasse, a photographer claiming his recent sobriety had made him "high on life" (who says that?). Incidentally, his pictures were insanely mediocre in a way that makes Terry Richardson look like a genius. It must be the world's worst kept secret that anything that ever mattered was produced under the influence of something.

We're no different, Henry and I. With poison in our blood we're on top of the Eiffel Tower with two options: fly or fall. Without it we're just sad. There's nothing romantic about it, I've tried to do things differently and I always wished it was easier but it's not.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Night swiming

One month in, I sleep and dream in disjointed fragments. Henry's viper tongue and transparent vodka cocktails send my heart racing until it threatens to stop completely.

Some nights we're awake together, the three of us in the saturated lights and Henry's oversized Moschino T-shirts. His sister does most of the talking while I smoke my cigarettes by the kitchen fan. "Those things will kill you" she says, as if I ever planned on growing old.

I ask about their family. She tells the pedestrian story of a loving father and soft-hearted mother but talks as if reading from a movie script. It looks fine from a distance, like an H&M jacket on a Dior mannequin, but in-between the lines are the little imperfections that keep me intrigued. Henry stares at the table. He knows she's lying.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Between the bars

He falls asleep so quickly but before he does he waits as the question lingers:

- "When are you going home?"

I refrain from asking what that means, he wouldn't understand. I have no home, I never wished for one. All my life I've been trying to escape but that intrusive, suffocating feeling of imprisonment catches up with me wherever I go. The world is not my oyster. It's a fishbowl.

He exhales, lets his hand wander from below my chest where he placed it until it rests weightlessly between my legs, his fingertips on the white cotton. It's not because he wants to fuck me, he does it because he knows it makes me calm. Maybe that's what it means, maybe that's what it feels like to have a home.

In the morning I stroll through the Jardin des Plantes, I try to breathe but my lungs are filled with water.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

I just don't know what to do with myself

I wake up early and she's standing over me like a rain cloud in the washed out backlight from the window. She smells of black tea and generic cologne (Guess Seductive?), the first thing on my mind is where Henry's hand is. He's asleep beside me, covers kicked off, she looks carefully at my feet, then my legs, then his hand.

This is it, this is when she kills me. Our eyes meet, I listen for traffic from the street outside, something to interrupt her but her insipid little girl's voice is what breaks the dithering silence: "I hear it's snowing in New York". She says it and leaves, just turns around in one fluid motion and walks out of the room, cautiously closing the door behind her.

Five hours later now and I still don't know what that means.