you and me – POSTCARD #2
This one is from Melbourne and was sent in by Jurate. I’m pretty sure the photo was taken by her also, as on the back of the postcard it’s titled ‘Winston’, Paris 1990.
I reach for another cigarette and know your face would wrinkle in that tense way if you knew. Everyone smokes here and I’m trying to think of a word that will describe the musky smell of this bedsit in the Marias. When I say how charming it is on the phone, I’m not lying, it’s just the amount of whiskey in the bottle. I never told you what you wanted to hear at home, but now it’s different. My voice hums all the way across the ocean and you don’t seem to be able to hear the static. I’ve stopped going to classes. I missed so many that stopping hardly seemed like an event. Just no more men on campus who spit as I pass. You sound cheerful when we speak now. Your voice has none of the cracks that it had when we lay in the dark on that last night. You think I’m going to be a famous artist. You probably brag to your friends about me. You imagine my cheeks cute and ruddy from the cold, not my hands cracked and bleeding from a skin disease I can’t pronounce in French. I finish my drink and ignore the ache in the small of my back. I think about how I’ll feel when I sober up tomorrow and read this. I write down one more sentence before I screw up the piece of paper and throw it away.
I want to come home.