Thursday, June 27, 2013


Henry casually talking to me from across a restaurant table - a scene so familiar the feeling of déjà vu fails to surprise me. He never just breaks the silence, Henry, he violently rips it apart and every word is a plane crash in the desert. He talks about Paris and the apartment near the Jardin des Serres d'Auteuil. His sister has sent him pictures of parquet floors, floral tapestries and a small balcony facing the Boulogne forest.

In four days he's leaving but the distance between us is already endless. I will miss him, he will forget me and a summer later it will all start over again. He speaks and I try to pay attention but in between the stories and the musings my mind gets lost in the realization that I never knew he had a sister.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A midsummer daydream

The longest day of the year has passed, from now it will only get darker up until Christmas. My father used to tell me about the Nordic midnight sun and how summer days would seem magically endless when he was little.

He would be quiet for a moment, then smile and tell me he'd take me there some day. There are as many stories as there are unkept promises, locked away in history, frozen in time like amber insects.

I don't know what he and mother talked about on that first trip they made together, but people that knew him said he came back a different man. A little less than a year later they bought the summer house where we would spend so many magical nights in the dark just waiting for the morning and the hazy daylight.

Monday, June 17, 2013

At your most beautiful

Chloe doesn't have to work but she does it anyway just to prove a point. She cashes the checks her father sends her every month, puts them in an account and quietly goes on with her life. "Guilt is a worthless currency" she says when I ask her, but I've seen the balances and most people would call that a minor fortune.

She writes copy for an agency full of writers that want to be authors, this weekend she got up at seven on a Sunday to work on a pitch. "At first I thought it was funny", she tells me, "how everyone there complains about working for the sake of money alone. Now it's just sad. I'm the only one that doesn't want to write the next great American novel."

I can't tell you about the plans she has for the blood money she's saving, but the ambition alone intrigues me. Madness is at its most beautiful when dressed in silk chiffon and raspberry colored lipstick.

Monday, June 10, 2013

The stranger

I don't know why but summer nights here make the streets seem claustrophobic, all I hear is people talking about me when I pass them ("wasn't that...?"). It creeps up inside me sometimes, that restlessness and the chronic will to escape.

"Let's do it", Chloe says to me under the lights on the balcony, "let's go somewhere and never let them find us". She was always the vain romantic. I remember late August nights in the sand by the ocean when we were kids and the things she would see in the clouds above our heads. To me they were just clouds.

We would lay next to each other in the dark and breathe together, the warm winds would dance under our summer dresses and the waves in the water would sound like voices, telling me to escape. I remember closing my eyes and trying to feel my own heart beating and how I couldn't. I learned to understand early on that it was always just the calm before a storm.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Ghost of a man

Henry spends more time here, I like the idea of having him close to his daffodils and the letter I wrote but never sent. I sometimes dream of him waking up before me and finding it in the night stand drawer. He sits there on the edge of the bed in the early morning light and reads it while I'm still asleep, his face turned away so that no one can tell what he's thinking.

He knows so much about me but I never ask him anything. If he wanted me to know he would tell me but the dreams I keep having are more than enough. I can fill in the blanks myself, make up stories about him in my head and write them down on little pieces or paper, just like with that letter.

In 24 days he's leaving and when he comes back I will have written so much more. The idea that under the influence of too much absinthe I might put it all in an envelope and send it to him in Paris (he will be there all summer and a couple of months into the fall) haunts and incites me. Europe is beautiful in autumn colors, he tells me, and in my imagination he's already there.

Monday, June 3, 2013

God save McQueen

Chloe has developed a maniacal interest in hipsters and takes me to The Standard Grill in the Meatpacking District on Friday. On the plus side it's close to the Alexander McQueen store and their coffee drinks are hypnotizing.

Out of the darkness and the mist, around midnight, comes a 30 something mustached man in a striped T-shirt and wooden clogs (no socks). He asks about us, I convince him I'm in advertising. Chloe starts telling her favorite story about how she's a militant feminist working undercover as a runway model trying to fight the industry's obsession with anorectic teenagers.

He asks polite questions and refers to articles in The New Yorker but the remains of his South Dakota accent give him away: he's this city's equivalent to Los Angeles' "waiter/actor". When I reach for his hand underneath the table it's for a single reason only: the hope that it will somehow get back to Henry so that he'll know how easily I could come to belong to someone else.