Liberty #5 – Manhattan

Last night on the roof there were these big blue strobes of light illuminating all the buildings around us in annoying bursts. The Freedom Tower was mouthing its little blue and yellow Ukraine display. Placid and futile, constant and distant, that milky little hum wasn’t the source. You asked if it was heat lightning and you were shot down. But I believe you! I think I would believe anything you say.

It makes me so happy to be in this languorous heat with you! If I don’t show it, it’s because I’m ashamed to be alive and to be happy. I think we share this displacement, thinking we have to be some other, worthier place. Some people are water babies, some beach, and I don’t think you and I share anything like that. I don’t even know what else we share but a snide love, made over and over for its own sake, an adoration of rice and wine, guilty cigarettes, socialism.

Do you remember we met in that boring party in the Marais? We had to smoke in the courtyard, and we learnt immediately to hate the host. I’ll always remember you in that lined and ugly city, the winter that followed all grey and snow and ice, my skylight a silk coffin lining. But you! Your casual disdain for me, for everyone really, when you played the piano in your flat, and your heart breaking against your better wishes, and my crying in your bathroom after the cinema, made me love you more than I thought I could.