Day 5: Letter to a friend. This morning I did a solid hour of yoga to make up for my excesses last night. Food, drink, and… Jean-Sven. He behaved himself
Day 5: Letter to a friend
So, friend, how are you doing? Do you even note my absence from our mutual city? I’m not sure you ever noticed my presence in it, so how could there be a void when I am away?
This morning I did a solid hour of yoga to make up for my excesses last night. Food, drink, and… Jean-Sven. He behaved himself at the restaurant, a Michelin-starred food utopia of hitherto undreamt of delights. You know the expression, “melts in your mouth”? Now I understand it. Only manna from God and the fare of this heavenly eatery merit the phrase!
This afternoon, after yoga and a nap, I went to the Musee D’Orsay. In addition to nurturing my soul with great art, I got to think about the social context of art. You know, the legacy publishers have become a kind of “Jury of the Academy,” rejecting anything outside their narrow definition of salable. I ought to rename Parvati Press “Press of the Rejects” after the salon the Impressionists established when they struck out on their own.
When I returned, I sat at my desk and looked at the 20 emails that had accumulated in my inbox. I heard the snick of paper sliding under my door. A folded note had been slipped through. I raced to get it. “Tomorrow, noon, Place des Vosges, Francois.” I threw open my front door but no one was anywhere! I knocked on Mme Durand’s door to ask her, but no one answered. Even when I pressed my ear to her door, the apartment was still, as if only yellow sunlight and swirling dust moved through it.
Oh, yes, last night, and penance. Jean-Sven listened to my lecture on my marital state and the requirements thereof with an implacable and beatific Scandinavian smile. I was relieved. We seemed to be on the same page. Finally, in the wee hours of the morning, and with at least half my blood exchanged for alcohol of various sorts, we returned to our building.
Jean-Sven stepped back in gentlemanly fashion to let me unlock my door. I felt relieved. I turned to say good-bye and thank you for the extraordinary treat—and he stood, warm and large and solid, just a few centimeters from me.
I stopped breathing.
Jean-Sven didn’t say anything. His pupils were huge and black. He put his fingers delicately on the thin strap of my dress, the one running over my left shoulder. His large hand was warm and trembling. Then, ever so slowly, he pushed the strap down, onto my arm.
I could have, should have, stopped him.
He lowered his mouth to my shoulder and pressed his mouth into my flesh.
I still wasn’t breathing.
Jean-Sven ran his mouth up and over to the hollow of my neck.
At that point, I bolted inside.
Now one wonders how much one must confess to one’s spouse? Nothing happened, really. Nothing. And I've spend the day repenting for the nothing that happened.
In fact, I've been so sternly abstemious that I am having a pastry and wine for dinner. Would you approve? Doubtful, since you already disapproved of me quite thoroughly before I left.