Thursday, January 31, 2013


The sleepless nights on the road in the car next to my father, I didn't see it then but they were his way of dealing with that frantic restlessness. I have it too, sometimes when the silence gets too loud here I walk down to NYU and sit with Henry in one of his lectures. The pretty pony tails and hipster glasses are a forest for the trees in front of me, I imagine what it must be like to have a clear view of the rest of your life.

Kamikaze raindrops on the windows, everything out there reminds me of something. Where he kissed me, where he held my hand in his, where I felt that maybe I was nothing to him. When my father came to New York he had to leave almost instantly and move to Los Angeles and my mother. I know he always wanted to come back but he only got to do it once years later, with me.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

When you said goodbye

It's one of those nights before the end of the world and everything's the same as it was. We wear our most dishonest smiles to disguise the heartbreak, we hold each other's hands and drink too much because it makes us forget tomorrow for a little while. Chloe a violin string on the sofa in the center of the room, Stephanie talking frantically about her upcoming adventures and me never telling her to stay because I'm afraid she'll say no.

And there we are at Newark in the early morning, three young women dressed in yesterday's silk and our hearts in uproar, lying and telling each other that everything will be alright. I'm good at leaving others but terrible at being left behind, it's always been that way. We watch her go and when we get out into the open winter air the birds have stopped singing.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I've never really talked to anyone about my father. Chloe knows because she was always there, Stephanie too, mother pretends it never happened. Whenever I feel like saying something I stumble on the fact that no words can ever describe what he meant to me, so I keep the memories hidden inside where no one can reach them. It's just easier that way.

The only one who ever came close is that boy I fell in love with just before it happened. When he finally came back to the house that night, that summer, Carl, his parents were shouting at me. Belle kept to her family, mother was at her hysterical bests and Stephanie cried like a baby. I looked at my father and through all the tears and agitated voices the expression on his face scared me more than anything else.

I sometimes see it when I close my eyes and in my dreams, but most of all I see it when I look at that black and white picture of my grandfather, my mother's father, taken in the middle of Moscow's Red Square sometime around 1970: its barely noticeable but impossible to ignore and it looks just like fear.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Everybody needs somebody

What I see in Chloe, Henry sees through me just by holding my hand over a restaurant table. To him I'm a book with an obvious ending, a Tom Clancy novel with one-dimensional characters and a simple plot for the masses. I wish I weren't so I tell him stories that aren't true about my past, about Los Angeles, about my father.

"He was a writer" I say, unconvincingly. He picks through his lamb chops, the light from the candles makes his skin look like pinkish rose petals. "What did he write about" he asks without making eye contact, I lie again and maybe he knows it.

We walk back through Washington Square Park, he stops me beneath the arch and holds me in his arms until I forget how cold it is. "Nothing is forever" he says, just like that. Fifth Avenue looks like an open wound over his shoulder and I wish I could believe he was wrong.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Keep your enemies close

An hour ago: Chloe comes home from work early, she's on the phone with someone. I'm in my room with my door closed, she throws her coat on the floor (I can hear by the sound it makes when it falls it's her Jil Sander), kicks off her shoes and stumbles on the words as she speaks. She's shaken up, "I'm not coming back" she says with a broken voice, then shuts her bedroom door behind her and throws herself on the bed.

Just now: her naked footsteps on the hallway marble, she picks up her coat, walks into the kitchen and leaves the water running for what seems like forever. She stops outside my room, I hold my breath and wait for her to knock but she never does. The silence is thicker than blood.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Grains of sand

This could have been another one of those escapist Sundays drenched in Armagnac and embroided silk fabrics if it wasn't for Chloe's newfound roller coaster mood. She's always been restless but not like this, biting her cherry red finger nails and constantly looking over her shoulder.

We met up with her colleagues at a pretentious bar in Tribeca - a copy writer, an art director and an account manager wearing way too much Ralph Lauren Eau de Toilette (yes, my resolution still stands). Chloe always wants to go somewhere else but this time we stayed all night. When we leave she always lights a cigarette and slowly smokes it but this time she just hailed a cab and we drove north in silence.

The sound of her insomnia kept me awake until the sun came up and she rushed off to work. Mother spent her morning frantically dusting every glass vase in the apartment with a vintage looking ostrich feather duster. It's good to know some things never change.

Friday, January 11, 2013

I still love you, New York

This city sounds like a never-ending love letter, a manic Clair de Lune outside my window. I love New York as much as I hate Los Angeles, and maybe for the exact same reasons. I sometimes get up in the middle of the night just to see if it's still there - it always is but the uncertainty lingers. Maybe it was all a dream.

Too many have said too much about it, I know I can never put it into words, the way it intoxicates me like Chloe's opium cigarettes. I try with pictures instead, they say it's worth more than a thousand words. I don't know if it's true. Some of them are here, others I post on my new Facebook page. Feel free to follow it, share it, love it or hate it. I just know it's something I have to do.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I wrote it ten times or more

Chloe is back in New York, she wears night black from her Lanvin ankle boots to the little bow in her hair and seems different. Los Angeles always does that to us, it's a poison that runs in our veins long after we've left. I don't ask, it usually passes and our Christmas flowers are slowly withering away.

We meet for lunch at Gusto, she orders the barbabietola salad and a bottle of white wine for me. She drinks her water carelessly, it spills over the edge of her glass like in an overcrowded swimming pool. When we're done she blows me a kiss and rushes away, I look for distractions and get lost among the designer stores on Spring Street.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Mirrors and smoke

Henry smokes after sex (Lucky Strikes, not Gauloises). It's a sixties cliché but it works because he does it so effortlessly. He reaches for his gray Jil Sander low waist jeans on the floor, puts them on and gets up, then stands there by the window for minutes, silently looking out as if the world was coming to an end.

I hold my breath while I watch him from the bed, his naked back a perfect silver screen for the pale morning shadows in his room. I ask him about the new year, he says it's just an excuse to start over if you have a lot of regrets. "Do you", I ask but he doesn't answer.

It's a long way home across Brooklyn Bridge in the cold winter sunlight. My clothes smell of his smoke and Acqua di Giò and it's a déjà vu, a picture you've already seen but forgot about and I think it's the way it feels when things are about to start over.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

When I am king you will be first against the wall

The pulsating earthquake in my head finally stopped, I vaguely remember the sixth glass of red wine tasting like sawdust. Yesterday is still a blur, mother left in the morning and hasn't come back yet. I guess she's mad at me for quoting Paranoid Android at the dinner party on New Year's but seriously, I can't listen to someone starting the sentence "as Voltaire once said..." without throwing up in my mouth.

"I know it's not a real quote" mother says to me in the cab on our way back home, "but these people are very sensitive about monarchy". I pretend like I'm listening as we head out on Park but in my mind I'm already asleep in my bed. Mother grabs my hand firmly, her thin leather gloves feel like rice paper. "You have such strange opinions" she says, "and who the hell is this Thom Yorke person anyway?"