Thursday, August 27, 2015

Stop crying your heart out

Paris changed while we were gone or maybe it's the seasons shifting from late in spring to early fall. It happens every year that I forget and wear my summer dresses in October. I catch snowflakes on bare skin and pretend they're rain drops, Christmas seems like a lifetime away even when the lights come up at Le Bon Marché.

Henry is back in school, he gets down on me in the mornings and leaves me wanting just a little more. "So you'll miss me", he says. He forbids me to touch myself but knows I've always been a rebel. My fingers smell of smoke and lavender soap when he gets back home, he couldn't prove a thing if he wanted to (and I really think that he does).

It's been so long now that I can't remember life before him. I know there was one, there were other men and other stories, cities and friends I left behind like broken toys or broken hearts. I forget too easily, psychiatrists would call it the result of a childhood trauma. Sometimes it's a weakness and sometimes a strength, I wouldn't be myself without it.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Don't they know it's the end of the world?

On our last evening he finds a private jazz club deep down in a cellar in Antibes. We drink red wine for a change, young men with thick beards and Wayfarer glasses keep turning their heads in our direction throughout the night. "They're all falling in love with you" he whispers and it sounds like the most wonderful thing in the world.

We get back at dawn, bags already packed, just when the sun comes up behind the mountains in the east. Leaving always reminds me of childhood and my father's car on the driveway, our summer house sealed off like a crime scene until next year and the shadows from the tall trees around us.

He drives all the way to Paris, then picks me up and carries me in his arms up the stairs to his apartment. We wake up in the middle of the night with no ocean outside our window and his hair doesn't smell of salt and opium. This entire summer already feels like a distant dream, loose fragments of a memory, and it might just be that none of it ever really happened.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

La Notte

Right where the road turns away from the boardwalk and into the country there's an old Belle Epoque style villa, slightly elevated above the surrounding brick walls and overgrown by emerald ivy. Nobody seems to live there unless they spend their days hiding in the dark behind the flaked wooden shutters.

At nights we make up stories together, events that could have transpired through the centuries, in and around the garden, inside the emptied rooms. Henry makes them real, in his mind they all happened and he tells them like truths when he speaks to people we meet at nearby restaurants and bars.

We're going back to Paris on Thursday, along with the lies and uncertainty. They kill us and keep us alive all at once, I don't even know what happened to his parents. Some day I'm going to tell him everything he needs to know about me, all the secrets I've kept hidden like stolen treasures. There isn't a bone in my body that thinks he won't understand.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Champagne supernova

I sometimes get so fucking tired of myself and our rosé nights so I make him walk beside me to the market in the nearby village. Sky above black like velvet, no longer lit up by Bastille Day fireworks, bright red poppies line the road on both sides and they remind me of Chloe.

Being here started out as way of escaping Paris and the things we should have left behind but didn't. We figured it would be enough to breathe a different sort of air, to put our lives on hold as if we weren't one day going to die.

My father used to take me for long drives in his car after midnight when mother was out or already asleep. We would leave Silver Lake and the universe and all its people and listen to the sound of the engine and our song playing on the radio. You and I are gonna live forever.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Tell me life is beautiful

I watch this Riviera landscape change character through the day in a seamless, long overdue therapy session: the pale, phosphoric sunlight in the morning, reflections scattered like sequins across the ocean in the afternoon and later the dense, quiet darkness.

He envies me for being calm and it's true, for the first time in months I breathe without the sense of a lingering fear burning somewhere deep inside my lungs. "We're all waiting for something", I reply.

Mother had a psychiatrist talk to me once, a few weeks after my father had died, I'm guessing he was paid to openly declare that "she seems just fine". Sometimes I wonder who I would be if he hadn't, so I ask Henry as he sits down next to me. Champagne colored cocktail in hand, his sun bleached hair a perfect mess. "It's one of life's great mysteries" he says, "like why grown ups choose to wear rompers".