Where was i? Yes, Leonard Cohen. Hydra. And you, Ingrid.
So that boat finally moored, it was almost night and it was raining over Hydra’s fishing port, and you had to pee, remember, and someone offered us a room under the roof and we kissed and in the dead of night you suddenly were upon me, dancing me to the end of love. And those masts outside chinking, and the low Aegean sky weeping, weeping, weeping. And then you fell asleep again.
But i couldn’t sleep, honey. The moon caught a glimpse of your face and so did iand i saw it was good and i lied awake for an hour or so and you were snoring. The rain beating the window panes.
I ran to the window door, pulled the rusty handle, stepped out into the Greek winter storm. You were awake by then. And grunting. You muttered that the way i was standing i looked like Byron. A bit. From behind. We were still drunk.“Byron? I answered? Byron? I’m b***** Eliot.” I pointed to where the moon had to be, and i dedicated this stanza to you, my Princess whom i didn’t love.
‘The moon has lost her memory.
A washed-out smallpox cracks her face,
Her hand twists a paper rose,
That smells of dust and eau the Cologne,
She is alone
With all the old nocturnal smells
That cross and cross across her brain.’
It’s4.25am then and i look at the sky, longing, bare nightfeet upon the nearly frosty wood. No moon though. She’s hiding. Only foggy darkness, and clouds. And rain. And another window opening, and a man’s voice shouting: “It’s 4.30 for God’s sake, i have to catch a boat in 2 hours you moron!”
He’s right. He has to catch a boat. And i AM a moron. One who doesn’t have to catch a boat.
At the horizon dawn is lurking and a cat jumps upon the grid and starts flirting with my hand, and i smile and turn around, i, Eliot, proud. But you’re asleep, again, and snoring, again, and i hate you for that, again, but the moon is shining on your pretty face, again and that’s fine.
Early afternoon at breakfast you tell me you had a dream about Eliot reciting a poem, then screwing you.
“Did you like it?” i ask.
“Yes,”you answer, “it was a beautiful poem."
(The quoted lines are a fragment from T.S. Eliot’s ‘Rhapsody on a Windy Night’, 1917. It was part of a 12-poem pamphlet ‘Prufrock and Other Observations’. The edition is now regarded as one of the pioneering works, away from late 19thC Romantic verse, towards Modernism.)
(Painting ‘TheDay After’, 1894, by Edvard Munch)
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