I’ve always loved the song Hotel California. I’m not sure why exactly. The sense I suppose of being suspended, lost really, slipped out of time and myself.
I remember this conversation with my mother from when I was about five or so. I asked her something along the lines of, what was it like to love someone. She was busy with some work at the kitchen table and she looked up blankly as if I’d asked her to describe the colour of grey on grey, and then, in this vague yet matter-of-fact kind of way, she simply half-sighed and said, ‘I wish you and your brother would stop wrecking the porch with your skateboards. Love is something you’ll learn about when you’re sixteen.’
I heard about this place called Bhutan. They measure wealth in terms of happiness, not money. I’d like to like that.
‘So you loved watching Popeye when you were young?’
‘Loved it. Sometimes my brother and I would re-enact the episodes. But he was older so I usually got to play Olive. We’d go to the park. I’d be perched in a tree yelling out for him while he came sailing to my rescue on a merry-go round.’
Running is a knowing, once felt, never forgotten.
I am never more alive than in the predawn, vanishing in the emerging light.
Men will never understand childbirth. How you’re taken away from being you. Given over to this thing, this child. How desperately you want to love it. How desperate you are. How everything, your entire existence, is reduced to nothing. To being needed. Entirely.
You look at yourself in the mirror, you hear this soundless cry from within. And then he kisses you on the back of your neck. And you chill. As if in the clutches of some unknowable thing. This man, your husband, stupidly hot like a dumb panting animal.
Today, a year ago, I was in Paris. The year before that, in Cairo. I think of this. I think of Paris. I remember my father, at the water’s edge, staring out across the ocean.
She stirs. He hasn’t really slept. The sun is slowly rising, red upon the water.
Mornings aren’t good. 7:35am
How so? 7:35am
My kids. And messages out of the blue. 7:36am
Could’ve been a wrong number though. 7:37am
It wasn’t. 7:38am
He stares at the screen of his phone, then turns to his PC and types “W-o-n-g K-a-r W-a-i”. The first film to appear is called, In the Mood for Love.
I looked up Wong Kar Wai. 8:16am
I’m sorry about earlier. 8:16am
I like that he wears sunglasses wherever he goes. 8:17am
So what sort of mood are you in now?8:19am
The elevator doors open. She steps to the back and turns to face the city as it falls away through the rising glass. He clicks a pen, staring absently at a photo of his son.
I love his films. You should watch them. 8:20am
Somehow I feel like I already have. 8:23am
She steps out onto marble. He turns to face the sky.
I was thinking… 11:09am
I’m listening. 11:12am
There’s nothing wrong with conversation.11:14am
Where would strangers be without it?811:15am
There’s a presentation tonight. I think you’d find it interesting. Something worth thinking about.11:18am
She traces the grain in the wood along her desk. A mountain range, water falling, the line of a sleeping body.
5:30pm for 6.11:22am
Complimentary champagne. Stars in your mouth.11:23am
Can you be there?11:25am
He steps onto the balcony. If he could fall, and faint falling, and fly fainting, freeing himself from the noise.
I’ve got a father-son night cricket match tonight.11:33am
You are cordially invited to the annual IB Bank Share Investment Presentation. For further details, please click on the link
In case of rain…11:55am
A lone swallow flits up into the clearest of skies.
The moon shimmers high. A siren fades in the distance. His hands hover, momentarily.
I’d like to see you again.11:55pm
I’d like to talk.11:59pm
I want to see you again…12:20am
I couldn’t make it tonight.12:21am
Can I see you tomorrow?12:23am
On what? 12:26am
The moon fades behind a passing cloud. The same cloud moving through his mind, the same moon falling through his heart. She slips from her nightdress and slides into bed, her skin alive with the sudden rush of dark pleasure.