I love this guy. I don't know who he is. I don't want to know who he is.
I snapped him at the Cafe Zurich in Barcelona easily 15 years ago. He looked like a Jean-Paul Belmondo, a Vincent Gallo, maybe a young Marcello Mastroianni.
He gave me a moment to cherish.
His long fingers, just right. Laying on the back of the aluminum chair, just right. The night coming down as it should, the blue hour approaching, seeping, the earliest blue fog of cafe sleep coming to the cafe city, the window gold of retail and fawned-on items, the desired lure of things, the inside dollying out and casting its windows on tables, golden light in tabletop lies, as light dies.
The green and gold was just right, D. and I were sitting to his left and back.
He held the cigarette as he should. He was a movie star in my lens for a moment.
Since that time, his image has been sitting beside one of my work tables through the spawn and earth, the dirt and the cleaning up of the pages, of my first novel, and through a full draft of my second, recently finished.
On occasion, when I felt smug or desperate, I looked over at him propped up on a shelf.
There he was.
Mister Blue Hour, at the Placa Catalunya, in one gorgeous moment of the late 20th century.
He watched me from the periphery. He breathed his moment back into the room, as I did battles and dances with the page.
Muchissima gracias, guapo, it's been a sweet one.
And many more drafts yet to ride.
Keep that cigarette burning.
(Photo by Susan)