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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…

A peaceful song

E asks me to help her with some English homework. There will be a Christmas play, and she is singing Silent Night in it. I am working late, and am half-listening to her. She starts off fine, but then repeats part of the melody and veers off course.

All at once, I put the work aside for the day and find the chords to play. I pull out the orange Gretsch and we go at it. She is smiling now, eyes looking right into me.
"Do you want to sing it with me?" She asks.
I nod.
We go again, and she is laughing.
"What?" I ask.
"I was just thinking we should make a movie about us singing together and you could put it as your Monday story." She explains.
"That sounds like something." I answer.

We play it again, and N comes home.
She sits at the kitchen table, and we play it one more time for her to hear.
E skips around the kitchen afterwards, then into the hallway as she disappears.
"Is it very Serge and Charlotte Gainsbourg?" I ask her after a moment.
"Just enough.' She says, patting my knee. "Just enough."




Comments

liv said…
That was the BEST Christmas present EVER!!!!

What fun! Thank you so much and a very, very Merry Christmas to all of you!

bette wanderman said…
You are killing me gently of course with the amazingly beautiful performance. Looking forward to twinkle twinkle.
Suzette Sommer said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suzette Sommer said…
You two put tears in my eyes.

So much love.

Hugs.

Suzette

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