when he saw pfife on the street…

…in her good-looking coat, she was always so fresh and full of life. She cocked her head to one side when he talked to her and squinted her eyes and listened. She listened with everything she had and talked that way too. When she said things about his work, he had the feeling that she understood what he was trying to do and why it mattered. He liked all of this, but hadn’t meant to do anything about it.


you know i need to go away

…to make anything happen.’ He closed the notebook and put his pencil on top, rolling it back and forth with his fingertips. ‘I have to be alone to get it started, but if I was really alone, that wouldn’t work either. I need to leave that place and come back here and talk to you. That makes it real and makes it stick. Do you get what I’m saying?

‘I think so.’ I walked behind him and put my head on his shoulder, rubbing my face into his neck. But the truth was I didn’t, not really. And he knew.

‘Maybe no-one can know how it is for anyone else.’ I straightened and walked over to the window where the rain came down in streams and pooled on the sill. ‘I’m trying.’

‘Me too,’ he said.

I sighed. ‘I think it’s going to rain all day.’

‘Don’t kid yourself. It’s going to rain for a month.’

literature, photography

i couldn’t enjoy much of anything, except walking to the Ile St Louis

…to the park I’d come to love and rely on. The trees were flowering now, and there was the thick smell of horse-chestnut blossoms. I also liked to look around at the houses surrounding the park, and wonder about the people who filled them, what kind of marriages they had and how they loved or hurt each other on any given day, and if they were happy, and whether they thought happiness was a sustainable thing. I’d stay in the park as long as I could, and then walk home through the sunshine I couldn’t quite feel.