Sunday, May 31, 2015

Secrets and lies

Henry sits at the foot end of the bed, watching me from the corner of his eye while absently playing with a vintage gold cigarette lighter. His personality dissolves when I write about him, here he seems unreal and without form. Maybe it's because I know so little about him, as little as he knows about me. We only talk about trivialities and other people, never about ourselves or each other.

His mother died in a car accident when he was fifteen, he's only mentioned his father once and he seems to regret that he did. I told him about mine because he wanted to know, it's one of the few things he's ever asked me.

He doesn't know about this blog, if he did he would kill me. As would my mother. I don't use their real names of course, everything is encoded to protect them and myself. I sometimes think about what he would do to me if he found out. It's almost like a drug, the excitement: to leave him with my laptop open, to come back and to find him reading what I've written about him and the second that he looks up and sees me standing by the door, helpless.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


We meet them again, his friends, this time for breakfast behind the Panthéon. Henry orders a bottle of Krug Grande Cuvée, he loves to corrupt me. The girl examines me carefully when she thinks I'm not looking, her pretty cobalt eyes running down my spine like fingertips.

They live near Saint-Sulpice, after the men leave for the morning's first lecture I follow her through the Luxembourg garden. "You remind me", she says, "of someone I used to know. But she had a different name". For a fleeting second I want to break down beneath the magnolias and tell her everything, but I don't.

Later, looking at myself in the mirror at home, I try to figure it out. Who am I? It's been so long since I last remembered.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Fear of the dark

8 AM on a Friday. "Do you want to see them again", he asks, I tell him that I do. He sits down with me on his way out, I'm wide awake but still in bed. His scent is Bleu de Chanel and morning air, my hair a train wreck on the pillow.

"What are you afraid of", he asks. I lie and tell him spiders, he smiles politely and puts his hand on my knee underneath the covers. I ask him the same thing, his warm hand on my thigh, fractions of an inch away. "I always wanted more from life" he says, "I wanted to have everything". He looks me straight in the eye, his fingers inside me. "I'm afraid of what will happen if I already do."

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


They left just before the sun came up behind the Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, his friends. The girl in her little black velvet dress, hair tousled, maroon lipstick smudged across a thousand empty glasses. Her man by her heavenly side, stoic and close like birds on a telephone wire.

I stayed up until the last darkness had gone, then closed the blinds in the morning and pretended I was dead. Henry went to school early in a gray felt jacket and Fedora hat, he thinks it makes him look like a young Hemingway (at least while he's still drunk). I let him believe it because it makes him happy.

Everywhere in Paris are relics from the Belle Epoque, the both of us were born a century too late. At Café de Flore later in the evening: me in emerald silk from Dior, he's changed jackets and shoes and leads me through the crowds of tourists, his steady arm soft around my waist. Everyone is looking, outside is rain and traffic and sudden flashes of neon light.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Show, don't tell

He's having friends over tonight, I didn't know he had them in plural. He says he met them at Sorbonne, that their parents had known his mother before the accident. "By the way, you need to wear something blue."

He watches me with the critical eyes of an examiner as I model a set of silk dresses worn by my mother sometime between 1978 and 1982. The way they made me feel when I used to try them on as a child, in another life back in Los Angeles, I feel it now too. Maybe that's why I brought them with me when I came here.

Later, just now: he cuts up lime fruits for the welcome drinks, tells me how he learned to use knives one hot, drunken summer in Cuba. "Can I lick the blade" I ask and he lets me. The sensation is arousing, almost sensual. All it would take is one slip.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Kiss me hard before you go

I'm still here, in Paris and alive. Whatever that means. This spring I overslept and missed the cherry blossoms, it always feels like the end of the world somehow.

I spend a lot of time on my own while Henry is away. I take walks and read books in bed and at clichéd cafés by the river, I drink too much Champagne and when he comes back home he wakes me from violent dreams. He fucks me passionately and I let him, but it's only in the mornings that I'm truly there.

When I leave the apartment I hide his bite marks on my neck, it's easy when the weather allows me to wear scarves. I've fallen in love with his black from Givenchy, maybe because Bambi is so damn relatable. It will be harder soon, summer is coming. I can feel it in the air.

Monday, May 4, 2015

A place to call home

All my life I've been looking for a place to belong. It could have been Paris without the bad memories, just as Los Angeles will never be home to anything but my childhood nightmares.

I've had my heart broken in Monaco and Nice, I feel for London but not so much for Londoners, Tokyo still eludes me after all these years. Don't even get me started on Chicago.

There has to be a reason why I keep coming back to New York. Whenever my mind starts to wander I end up on Fifth Avenue, in the snow or the afternoon haze or the colored lights after dark around Christmas. I feel safe there, as if nothing bad can happen. I miss the park and the skyline, I miss mother's apartment and I miss Chloe. Maybe it's time to go back home.