i have a photograph of her in my mind, all those years ago sitting on her orange suitcase in her canary jacket smoking. she was about to travel to italy, i was about to head to france, separately. the plan was to meet in paris.
she had been in her soft girl persona, the one i really loved and we were waiting for a taxi to take her away. my flight being a few days later. she looked incredible, like an album cover from my fave record.
we were both excited about our trips and the fact we would meet in paris in a few weeks. i was living in her place, surrounded by animals, art and books. we both read quite a lot, listened to music and enjoyed our particular vices but the last few months something shifted and a new kind of atmosphere had descended upon us, a softer quiet more loving one, i think she even started knitting.
now this was incongruent to her character. not rock and roll at all but it was actually quite wonderful to watch, as if a new energy inhabited her, gone was the destruction, the self loathing, the projection, the anger, the fear. it had all gone and been replaced with a gentle calm. the one i wanted to hold on to. i felt safe for the first time. that word has come to mean a lot to me, a fundamental priority in any relationship i have now. i need to feel safe above all else.
she sat on that case for an eternity. i watched her for an eternity and then the taxi took her away.
about a month later i met her in paris. she had brought along her mother who had been living in an italian village for a year. we all stayed in a big hotel room, and she and i wandered paris looking for a replica gun to buy her father.
it was not what i was expecting, it was finally as though we were friends. i think that soft girl period was a great memory for me, an anchor amongst the madness that followed.
i watched a brilliant mind, a beautiful woman allow herself to be poisoned by alcohol and it killed part of me. and it was all her dumb friends who supplied it, all complete train wrecks who seemed to hate me for my attempts to keep her safe from harm. i lost that battle. i was out numbered. after all a good time vs a real one is a one sided match.
her sitting on that case. that's the good memory i have kept with me from that relationship. i know there are others but they elude me.
now almost 17 years later i have fresh memories of her, being a mother, being generous to me, being kind, being real, being brilliant. the window closed for us. i'm so sorry i can't be there for you now. part of me wants to but i have to stay true to myself and i hope one day we can laugh again at my own failings which are also my strengths. it's all perception right?
i fell to the glam with her, such an exotic creative being, i loved her mind when it was sharp and soft, creative and open. i would have stuck with that for ever.
and now it's back, in such amazing clarity my whole life split up in forks in a road, and she's one pathway i just can't take.
the irony is she's reflected so much in the other, two particles and one wave.