I live in Montmartre because it is on a hill, and being on a hill I have the impression that when I make my way home at night I rise up out of the dross, the flotsam, pyrotechnic human zoo that is Pigalle and Clichy. My room is in an alley off the Place des Abbesses called the Passage des Abbesses. No abbesses or even abbots have been seen around here in living memory, but it gives it a touch of class otherwise unmerited. My room is on the ground floor with a low window looking out onto the street, there are no curtains but a folding metal shutter serves to keep the place reasonably dark until I wake up usually about twelve or one. I have little in the way of furniture, in fact I have none. A foam mattress on the floor with one sheet makes a bed, and I also have a black plastic inflatable armchair that someone gave me. The thing has a slow leak and gradually subsides into a sad formless mass in the corner of the room over a couple of days. I feel it has a slightly manacing aspect when part deflated and in the semi-darkness of the room at night we study each other with distrust. The tiny kitchen is equipped with a camping gas, an enamel pan, two mugs of different designs, one metal teaspoon, and two plates of different designs. There are several piles of books dotted in various positions, and a couple of posters tacked on the walls.
It might be imagined that this less than palatial abode would not tempt any young lady to share its modest amenities, but it did. And a couple of days after we met up on the Metro she moved in, life was never the same again.
Taking down the old photo album and blowing the dust off. Worn brown cover made from pre war cardboard fraying at the corners into brown dust. The smell of Grandpa’s house, damp, tobacco, old wood, and the sound of a ticking clock. Winter nights by the fire with the wind moaning in the chimney. The quietness of the old things, comfortable things, sleeping in corners, not waiting anymore.
Turning the pages and travelling back into summer on the beach, at the pool, walking the promenade.
Wiping the dust off and slipping it back on the high shelf, the memories quietly singing, then silent.
According to the rules i have to post seven things about myself:
I like to frighten small children
I am a citizen of Yorkshire
I fed my daughter lambs brain
My favourite book is Black Spring by Henry Miller.
I am a very good singer.
I once spent a weekend with Brigitte Bardot
Like James Bond, I’ll never die.
Thanks to richardankerswrites for nomination.