The Discreet Intemperance of Time Past

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

A has the Plague. It's there, for none to see, because he's too tired now to leave his apartment. I will have to go to the castle myself, garbed as a princess, to cheer this forlorn prince. Perhaps in pink, as it is a fitting occasion.

He's too tired, but dreams of going to France one day. He told me on the phone:

"I was in France once, but I didn't get out of the airport. I was going to Tunis."

A's lifetime of chasing romantic and sexual goals is hidden in the rasping of his voice. I used to think he looked like Chet Baker. I wonder what he looks like now. It's not like he's lost his teeth, but perhaps a hollow or a colour could betray how many times the sun has past through his room.

My last memory of him is quite stale already. Maybe outside at some club, where after exchanging several pleasantries, perhaps rolling a joint for him but doing it too tightly, we passed each other several times in sweaty corridors, slightly blank-eyed, and embarassed to have nothing to say. But, even then, A is something other than a parent, and maybe I avoided him because he is neither parent nor peer.

It's times like this that I wish I have more to give, some secret swiss bank account, a giant crane, magical flying carpets, something to weave an orange skein back into the limpid yarn that is his life... I have nothing really, and now, maybe, I ask him for more.

But, I don't want to speak of it like a last performance. We know that everything and anything is possible. It is a world full of round tires and thirty-year toasters.

There is only one certainty. Everyone dies at some time. And it's not words that are going to make anybody realise this.