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  • Cooking dinner for henry. No, never that.

    Stealing glances to take in a life and swallow it whole? Not with that close physical intimacy (oh, I wish I had); but yes, as well as I could; reading the worlds The Trio had spun. Hours were spent holed up in the Bohemian Cigar Shop at the front corner table, the only one with a large picture window looking into Washington Square. Sipping cappuccino, smoking cigarettes and, as the shadows lengthened, shielding a short, stout glass of the house plunk with my hand, I read.

    I poured first through his books. Yes to laughing with the man who would be my husband. Was there an alarm blasting in my ear at how completely he loved Henry, found in him a soul twin? If there was I was so head-over-heals that I didn’t, wouldn’t listen.

    And Anais–yes to despairing my friend finding in Anais Nin a muse. Didn’t she see the razor edges of Anais’s world, sharpened by the companions of heartbreak and pain? But in truth I too would have loved to live as Anais, even briefly, and to absorb the world with her eyes. To live in that Paris. To answer both love and lust. Yes, I would be her in a heart beat, but only for a moment. I had my soul to unravel and it is still a lot of work, that.

    Lawrence Durrell. His quartet was a favorite for many years. He was the last one I let go of. It seemed so like my life, in experience, so like me gazing back into my life first from this vantage point and then that. As I bobbed back and forth, trying to discern the truth of me, thinking “here I am”, and then discovering in the next breath that when I edged just one inch over, my truth would implode. Left with only the vestiges, both of us looking all silly and sometimes a little bloody, that old truth would be there poking from me at odd angles until I could find a comfortable fit in the new ‘truth of me’. From Lawrence I learned to carefully select the vantage point from where I would peer back on my life. It can be less painful that way.

    The words of The Trio were, in fact, our bible for a time. We were a trio, my one day husband, his sister my friend and I. We read them, trying to find the secret that would transform our lives into anything other than what we feared we were fated to. From the heart of North Beach I carried The Trio across the states, hitchhiking to Michigan and back and then driving the Alcan north to Alaska. It was not until I escaped from Bisbee, Arizona that I was able to release them to the recesses of my mind. But Shannon brought The Trio back and now, for a moment, it is just yesterday again.

    Image: Konstantin Korovin A Boulevard in Paris [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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