The Page

A tale of intimacy and loss

Tag: Apple Store

Melissa

Sarah ~

G. Alberto Nacci - ‘One, No One, One hundred Thousand’Often I look back at those years, when I had not met him yet, when you were his horizon, his sole love. I have wondered who you really were, how charming and determined you must have been then, to capture his heart, to change him from the timid little boy, to what he became, after falling in love with you, the silent street fighter – for you.

We will never know what reanimated the flame, after all that time. Was it a chance encounter, that morning in the Apple store, as he was to write much later, when his delusion had engulfed him? Was it the hazard of wandering in some of those imaginary places where his muse took him, when he was inspired? Was it tiredness with his adopted city?

But you are the only ghost I know whose presence has been alive for me, me the paragon of Cartesianism, me the scientist, the skeptical and rational woman. Julian is a very convincing man, and as his wife, I too was tempted to play the game, as his sister was. What a mistake! We only succeeded in reinforcing the mirage, in making you more present than ever. Then there was that feeling of guilt: the guilt he felt, I know now, all his life, for abandoning you, for letting you murdered, alone, far away from him, the guilt for never daring to make you his. And the guilt we all felt, to ignore how ill he was, to ignore the evidence, not of writer’s inspiration, but of a cruel delusion that could kill him.

Did the ghost seek revenge? Were you still angry with him then? Or did he conjure up the idealised young woman of his dreams, a reflection that had stayed with him over the years, a powerful intoxication of the soul?

Still, as I observe his peaceful sleep, in the calm of our house, I cannot not like you, the way one may like a beautiful, venomous flower. You are part of him, a fragment of the person I live with. I know that in his dreams you and I are are often one and the same, but I no longer feel the pang of jealousy. For he is mine, and has been all the time you have been in darkness, alone, unable to reach him. In fact I have started pitying you, and your loneliness.

Melissa ~

O Sarah, how I love those words, how I admire the kindness and noble thoughts that once again I sense from you. How I understand why Julian is so deeply in love with you, why you are for him more precious than his own life, or those pitiful childhood memories. What he became, as a man, has far more to do with you, your love, the paradise you gave him, than anything he and I may have once shared.

Then, we were young, and without understanding of the world as it really was. And I, what to say, other than I was not worthy of him. His friends called me a bad girl, a slut, and that really was what I was. I was lost, diseased, my soul was as rotten as my flesh, even before they killed me. He was so much above me, an intelligent boy, a generous heart, courageous and loyal.

Yet, in the well of darkness I fell into, I had no other thought than finding him, seeing his face again, touching his hand, kissing his lips… I was selfish, the way stupid people are. I was unable to control my greed for him. I corrupted once again his innocence. I disrupted the perfect equilibrium you created for him. I am deeply ashamed of myself, and I do not know if I will ever be able to redeem myself. No, Sarah, we are not one and the same, but the opposite: you are clean, healthy, devoted to your husband; and I, I am a monster of egotism and lust, I am his rotten dream.

Image: G. Alberto Nacci – ‘One, No One, One hundred Thousand’, source: http://philosophyandthearts.tumblr.com/

Voyager

Voyager 1: message I am reconciled: what Melissa told me is the plain truth, and those facts I cannot comprehend will be, one day, clarified.  Sarah is very apt at clarifying the mysteries of life for me, and so is my beloved sister, Jane.  So it is that I won’t go back to the little town soon, unless Sarah insists, rather we will wait for beautiful Elga to contact us.  As she said herself, Melissa is our “mediator”, the one who knows how to communicate with them, and the coven.

There is another change, and I am aware of being happier about it: Sarah appears to be less “into” the other two women in my life, and closer again to me.  Not that she went away, far from it.  Simply I notice Jane’s scent a little less often in our house, and, well, my wife is now friendlier than ever.  It’s not that I don’t like my sister’s visits: I never have enough of Jane… I hear you smile: but this is true, I felt for a while neglected, or at least not loved as I deserved!   Sarah said it was all in my mind, there had been no change, and Jane and her have always been close.  I accept that.  So last Saturday we went to Coven Garden and watched Tosca.  We both love Puccini, and for me he is the absolute artist, the essence of Italian opera, the successor of Verdi.  For a few hours we forgot about the stars and doomed mankind, and worried only for Tosca.

Since I met Melissa at Foyles I have been busy, going back to my writing, more engaged now with my publisher who was about to despair. The book is doing well, and I hope to have a first draft for my editor next month.  Sarah has commented positively, in marked difference from her view a year ago when she said she disliked both the plot and the way I had set the characters.  Jane has promised to comment too. I have also returned to my routine, gym and running, that was interrupted that day when I walked in the Apple store.  Only six months have gone, but what events!

The three of us have agreed to wait until we can talk with Elga again before taking any initiative.  Nonetheless we know what our roles may be: Jane has access to the fashion channels and some of the magazines in her business with influence here and the US, but also Japan, Russia, India and China.  Sarah has the market contacts to push some articles in the financial press.  As a reasonably successful writer, I will probably be in a position to talk to the “intelligent” press and TV.  Today we heard the news of Voyager 1 leaving the edge of the solar system.  We were moved by the news: the small spacecraft may never get much further, but it is a historical moment.

Streets

DestinyI am walking down this well trodden street, the year is coming to an end. The air is chill, the flow of commuters beginning to ebb. Regent street, Oxford street and Soho are not my favourite place in the capital, that goes probably to Bloomsbury and its little bookshops, yet I am always, sooner or later, coming back here. Some places have a special resonance, an aura of recent or not so recent memories that I cannot help but cultivating, as if, some day, they could become useful.

So it is for the Apple store, an unavoidable visit if I happen to be around Oxford Circus. This morning I am looking at the new laptops, sculpted objects of sheer beauty. I love all toys, tools, cameras, computers, engineered objects that are the wonderful witnesses of our age. In some mysterious ways those human creations have as much erotic appeal as other “toys”, and my wife, Sarah, says that I am a covert tool fetichist: I love drills and screwdrivers, engines and hard disks… Smiling to myself I walk into the store, greeted by youth and  more smiles. The new laptop stands there, silvery, chiselled, on one of the glass tables, surrounded by a group of excited boys and girls. I take a walk around the store, waiting for the little crowd to disperse.

Then my phone rings. I am surprised, who could be calling me at this hour in the morning? I have left the business behind for nearly a year now. It’s a distant voice which I do not recognise, a woman voice. “I have left a message on your wall” she says, and rings up. A message? I walk across to look at keyboards. I intend to get a wireless one, a small white and light object I can use with my Mac and my Pad, the tools of the trade.

My wall? I have only one Facebook page, dedicated to my novel, or rather my novel to be. It is public, but not that interesting. There is very little on it, a brief synopsis, some characters sketches. I walk back to admire the laptop, a young female assistant decides to chat me up, talking soberly about the wonders of the screen, its resolution, the power to transform photo editing. How did she guess I was a photographer? Maybe she did not, I just look the part for being able to afford the premium price for this Mac. Indeed I am, but I take those decisions, buying or not, very slowly, I browse for ever. We talk amiably for a few minutes. That phone call irritated me. I loathe unsolicited contacts without reasons. But I have also decided to postpone a decision about the beautiful Mac….

Sarah’s out until the evening. My plan for the rest of the day is to go and exercise, and then write, until she comes home. I walk back to Charing Cross, now less crowded than when I arrived earlier. Waiting for my train I check my page. There is indeed a message: “Meet you on the shore in Chi.” Meet who, and where the hell is Chi? And when!? I have ten minutes to kill before the train leaves. I think it’s a joke, or, perhaps, I want to believe it’s a joke.

I am intrigued, curiosity has succeeded to annoyance, as my mind refuses to forget. Yet I have plenty of other, more important, subjects to think about. The novel is not progressing very far, not by lack of motivation, but I have not really put into place the filters for all those other distractions that are as many obstacles to concentration. People write to me, former colleagues, old customers, and as Sarah says, ghosts from my past! I don’t know about ghosts, the majority of the letters and messages are about money… I am creating different mail boxes for different purposes, not least since I will soon need a writer’s “identity” to conduct that side of the business. Did I say “that side”? Well, this must be a distortion, some lapsus linguae, from the past. This, IS the business, and I should forget about much else…

But I can’t, people, trees, rivers, mountains… and much else besides, occupy my brain. Recently I have been thinking more about my “little” sister Jane. Perhaps I should introduce her properly to you, reader, since she has, much later on, an important role in this story. Jane is my younger sister, I used to say by “baby sis”. Baby she’s no longer, but a tall and beautiful young woman, successful in her modelling career, great friend of my wife, and also great traveller and photographer.  Jane is a long standing Second Life resident, a world she considers as part of her business, where she promotes herself and her art. She’s often invited me to visit, but I never found the time nor the interest: I’d rather speak with Jane face to face. In reality the geek in me fears showing inadequacy in front of a woman I much admire, be she my sister, perhaps, particularly since she is my dear sister. It’s come to my wandering mind that Jane might know  what and where “Chi” might be. And I prefer to ask her, even at the risk of being smiled at, than to conduct a search for it, which I expect to turn out frustrating.

The mysterious caller did leave a link on my wall. But this led to nowhere, just a “404” error. So I am no more advanced than I was after receiver the call a few weeks back. In the meantime Sarah and I have started to plan next year’s summer holiday. There is nothing like the beginning of winter to think about summer! And for us it is a rite. Fact is, summers are the height of our loving life, I dare say, erotic life. You see, we take to the hills, to the rocks, sometime to difficult summits… and yes, those are our preferred background for loving, the higher and the more remote the better. So, as it were, planning for those evasions, is a sort of foreplay, a prelude. This takes time, although we tend to gravitate – is this the right word? – In the same region. Mountains and sun worshippers we are.

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