Saturday, May 31, 2014


In this house we could host banquets and balls, we could have been happy here if only we had tried. Instead we watch the unfulfilled dreams we had of echoing music and high heeled dancing throughout these summer nights slowly wither away like mother's neglected orchids.

One of his friends, Elisa, wants to take us to Saint-Tropez. "It's beautiful" she says but what she means is the people there are beautiful. Henry disagrees, "Saint-Tropez is a sewer" he says. I was there a decade ago with mother, she said it would help us breathe again after the fall. One morning I woke early and took a walk alone, up the hills through the old city, away from the harbor and the money and the ships. It was spring, the fresh green grass sprinkled with little flowers, red, white and yellow. Along the coastline were houses worth millions but all I heard was the silence and the sea.

I remember watching the sun come up quietly like I had done so many times with him, my father. For the first time in months I felt something other than cold underneath my celadon skin, a brand new emotion that relentlessly began pushing forward the devastating fear of forgetting.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Phantom of the summer

Falling through the narrow alleys of old Nice in the midst of the sharp daylight, we were here together a lifetime or more ago. Nothing has changed but the winds from the ocean are so violently intrusive now, they mercilessly pierce their way through my clothes and the skin like unused razor blades.

He puts his arm around my waist, low enough to feel what I'm wearing underneath my dress when he already knows. He bought them for me and told me to wear them with something sheer and black. "When will I meet your mother" I ask him as we seek cover from the warmth in the Cath├ędrale Saint-R├ęparate.

The questions lingers in the silence and the cold from the marble, his arm still around me but no longer as close. "I shouldn't have put it like that" he says under the cupola and it sounds just like a whisper.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A heart

We're inevitably turning in to a reluctant, dysfunctional family of five within these sandstone walls - me, Henry and three of his "friends". We don't talk much and when we do it's never of any real significance, if there is still such a thing in this world.

He told me he loved me after more than a bottle of Champagne one afternoon in Paris, and I never said it back. That heavy sense of guilt has been weighing me down ever since, whenever I have the chance to make things right I stumble on the words and they remain unspoken.

And still, with every new night the sun slowly starts to set behind the mountains here as the birds stop singing and all slows to a silent heartbeat. We will wake again tomorrow, and the warmth will still be there.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Life lately

Wherever I am I always feel as if there isn't enough time.

Here, we should wake early and buy bread from the local bakery. We should take long walks along the shoreline and read local newspapers in the velvet morning light. Instead, we sleep until noon and spend our days behind the blinds in the dark with his friends and their organic weed.

I never wanted this, but somewhere along the line it just happened. I always pictured happier times growing up, the air was lighter and I spent my time with Stephanie. I haven't heard her voice in months, sometimes I can't remember her face or what it feels like to hold her little hand in mine.

I don't think I'll ever be able to go back to Paris.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The great beauty

We spend two days and two nights in Nice, on the third morning we get on a train together and head west toward Cannes and Antibes. The house of his friends lies buried deep in the ashes of the Belle Epoque somewhere along the plummeting coastline, almost entirely protected from the noise and the squalor of this allegedly modern world.

He stands there alone on the balcony later in the evening, a chimerical Gatsby looking for a glimmer of light on the horizon. I'm sometimes overcome by the silence and the vastness of the ocean and the sky, by all this languishing beauty, and when I am I think that nothing really matters except that we will be together.

I can feel the lingering warmth from the daylight on his skin when I touch him, in the dark air a faint smell of lavender, rosemary and salt. When we kiss his lips taste like subdued desperation.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

On the road

Paris appears infinite when seen in passing through these scratched plastic windows, its withering suburbs look nothing like Siberian wilderness but nevertheless I come to think of my parents. Did he rest his heavy head against her shoulder the way Henry does now, peaceful like a child? He sleeps while I scribble down incoherent thoughts on a piece of paper, one of the words keeps coming back as if tainted by a nightmare: magnolia.

Outside, the landscape dissolves, slower than autumn rains but with the same merciless dedication. He wakes up, wiping the worried dreams from his emerald eyes. "What were you writing?" he asks but halts me before I get the chance to reply. "Never mind. You'll tell me when you're ready."

We're closer to the ocean now, I can feel it.