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the lost years

I spent almost 25 years living alone in New York. There might be a moment on a shoot, when it became clear we would be running late. Phones were slid from pockets, as the crew had hushed conversations with their loved ones. That solemn, apologetic tone was the same no matter who was talking as they answered the question "When will you be home?" I had no one, nothing but an empty apartment and some dirty dishes. I had half-written books, and guitars leaning against the walls. There was film in the cameras, waiting to be developed.

I have almost no memory of these years now.

Right now, V is sick. Nothing terrible, but enough to stay home and parade around the apartment in her favorite pyjamas. N is cooking various treats for her, unable to predict which one she will actually eat. The doorbell rings, and it might be a doctor visiting from the local clinic but it is her sister. The rooms are full of conversation and fresh cups of coffee. I try not to step on the toys that are a…

bad impersonations


It is not like those exhilarating goosebumps from deja-vu. It is not a fever dream, or a hallucinatory vision. No, it is a wobbly record that skips. There is an overwhelming sense that nothing changes here, that the loop is long, snaking off into the distance but the repeat is always on its way back, an eventual act. The same tree seems to fall from the same wind on the same day. The same sale on juice or chicken thighs. The same upturned shopping carts, stranded by the side of the road. The same mud, the same puddles. The same sour faces. The same shuffling footsteps in the night. The same smell of mildewy carpets in dark hallways. There are times when I think it is all a slow movie and it is still winter, and I am just dreaming about a reluctant spring. That this world outside the balcony windows is nothing more than a bad impersonation. That I am dreaming my children growing, and they need new shoes a size bigger. That I am dreaming of a guitar that waits for me in the States, hiding in an old black case. That I am dreaming the headlines and the chatter, the spinning top that passes for conversation, the invisible board game and the players.


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