Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Anybody seen my baby?

'm wearing oversized cashmere knits to fight the sudden drop in temperature, the wintry cold that slowly finds its way through the walls and the windows and on to my naked skin. Stephanie left the apartment on Monday morning, I haven't seen or heard from her since. On the kitchen table a slaughtered envelope and a lipstick stained coffee cup, more than one of her silk charmeuse dresses missing from the neatly arranged walk-in closet.

I keep watching my phone for signals and proofs that she's still alive, but all I see are increasingly desperate messages from Henry. He wants me to meet him in Prague, then Berlin, then Athens. "Let's just leave everything behind" he writes and I'm not sure if he means our lives or the things we've done together.

I try calling her, a few seconds pass before her velvet voice: "This is Stephanie, leave a message or catch me falling through the heavens".

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Calm as calm can be

Early Sunday morning in last night's dress, a warm bed in an large apartment at the end of Via Prenestina. The sun isn't up yet, Stephanie's eyes glowing like flares in the silent dark, waiting to be rescued. A half-dressed man asleep between us, empty bottles of Prosecco Spumante scattered across the wooden floors where the air smells of cigarette smoke and stone dust.

She gets up and starts gathering her wrinkled clothes: a graphite pencil skirt, white silk blouse, heels from Ferragamo. It's a long walk back but we have all the time in the world and no one bothers us because it's too late or maybe still too early.

"I have things to do tomorrow" she says, "will you be alright on your own?" She takes my hand in hers and we walk past Catholic churches, ancient temples and fascist boulevards across the river to her apartment above the little restaurant on the corner. Five missed calls from Henry. He can wait until tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

No need to argue

I sometimes write down my dreams on a piece of paper, but I only truly remember them when I don't.

S talks to me, she's the mirror image of Henry in that sense. She's also significantly cuter in pink and has the alcohol tolerance of a high school beauty queen (in spite of being raised on red wine and Sambuca). The way we stumble through the narrow Trasteverian alleys late at nights makes me think of rain clouds and the everlasting sun above them. Maybe it's just our Champagne breakfasts softly whispering back like long-protracted echoes.

"How long will you stay here for" she asks in the shadow of the Trinità dei Monti. I'm close behind her, the sweet smell of chestnut hair in broad daylight, hands tight around her pearl white swan's neck. If I press hard enough I'll kill her. My worried heartbeats are thunder and butterfly wings and I tell her that I haven't yet decided. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Bohemian like you

She has a small apartment in Trastevere where she can pretend to be poor, and I that I've somehow managed to escape. We spend most of our days around Piazza di Spagna and Via dei Condotti, feeling less like tourists and more like European bohemians wearing outrageously colored vintage spring clothing from Kenzo Jungle.

At nights we get drunk in her apartment while trying on everything else in that tasteful wardrobe of hers, then stumble down the Lungaretta to the Arco di San Calisto where the waiters treat us like celebrities and friends. She tips in dollars and flirts shamelessly with the entire staff - after each dish they bring us free shots until the walls seem too start coming down like ancient ruins.

"Rome", she yells through the metallic noise, "is a lot like Paris I guess, only here you get drunk off Limoncello". I want to tell her she's wrong but the way she says it is just too damn adorable.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Could it be that you and me are the lucky ones

Southward winds and electrical currents carried me to Rome for New Year's - S and I arm in arm in the last few minutes of this December on Gianicolo hill at Piazza Garibaldi, marble ruins and catholic churches laid out in front of us like diamonds on a chessboard.

Flashes of red and white and blue lighting up the velvet night, I'm anxiously waiting for him to call me and an hour past midnight he finally does. "I love you", he says with his most soothing voice and my tell-tale heart breaks in to a million little pieces but it doesn't hurt enough to cry. I wish I could spend another year with him but phantoms and ghosts from my displaced past are calling out to me, causing my blood to freeze and my hands to shiver.

My tired head heavy from Prosecco and Champagne and explosions, I close my eyes in the shimmering darkness and there are the lucid memories of everything I tried so hard to forget. I've kept it hidden inside my self for so long now, hoping it would all go away but it never does and nothing ever really changes but the color of my childhood dreams.