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Jeunesse

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1

Sugar spilled on the kitchen counter. The alarm rang at five, breaking through the ice that covered her body. Automatically, she rolled out of bed, emotionless, still lost in a dream. She wore bright red socks and her flawless skin, clinging tight on her shoulders. Pale, and contrasting with the plain essence of the house, her hair, as if dipped in coffee, spilled down her back. She held her cup in both hands, close to her body, burning against her bare silhouette, maybe trying to capture the heat that radiated from it. She sipped enjoying the bitter taste and the feeling of hot syrup traveling down her chest, to her empty core. An ivory statue perfectly carved by angels, but when she looked in the mirror she didn’t see that. A frosted breeze contrasted with her name, and caffeine rushed to her head. She opened the curtains; the rising sun, reflected on soft powdery snow, blinding. In her lap rested a book, the pages falling out, all different colors, naturally.

February 3, 1965
Sometimes Time turns to water and leaks blue and clear through my fingers. I’ve been waiting so long I’m not sure what to do next. Exhausted, I hug my knees to my chest, and rest my head. But my mind won’t stop.
In an empty room, abandoned. Drowning with soft music, borrowed laughter, and broken words. An aged clock reminds me of a forgotten night. He is here and remains as I live, evanescent. Empty, yet satisfied I watch as he seduces her. She forgets her innocence. And I wake from my hypnosis, but I still feel it. I realize it’d be a waste to imagine my life without him. And without him I spend my days, watching the lighting change to coral- It’s a lovely color.

2

“Jeunesse, Jeunesse!” came Guy and Iris. “Êtes-vous bien?”
She got up and unconsciously realized she still knew nothing about herself. Staring out the window, and finally, content again “My loves!” she smiled.
“We’re going to Paris,” Iris smiled back.

Iris, like a rose, a classic emblem of passion. Guy, like the sun, like the rain. Like a rainbow, a faithful companion.

Coffee “To-Go”. The train arrived then, with a flash of tiny lights and then stopped. The trip wasn’t too long in actuality, but maybe it seemed so because of the silence that took over, not awkwardly but peacefully. North to South, excited and expecting what would happen next. She sighed.
“If we didn’t have any of this, do you think we’d worry any less?” she asked, “We have everything we could ask for, but I’m not entirely sure I’m happy.” She had been thinking about it for days, and was finally able to say it out loud, to them.
“We’d have different things to worry about,” Iris replied.
“…like survival,” added Guy.
“I’ve wondered the same thing before,” Iris continued, “I think it could be possible to be happy like that.” She sipped her coffee and looked out the window towards the horizon. “We should just be thankful to have all of this.”

3

Paris left them dazed every time. Wandering, lost for hours, even though they knew the way, exactly. The Marais, scintillating down Rue de la Perle, they found themselves at the door of Musée Picasso. Jeunesse lost herself in front of Jacqueline aux mains croisées.
“Être-vous dans le désespoir, mademoiselle?”
“Il vous semble ainsi?” she replied “does it seem so?”
“Jacqueline… a masterpiece of despair,” he said, “My name is Markos.”

Markos, like The Statue of David, the creation of substance.



“Are you alone?” he asked.

“No, I never am,” she replied. Her gaze still fixed upon Jacqueline with crossed hands. His blue eyes pierced though her core, territory of tribulation. He read her soul and then, hid its secrets behind his smile. And miraculously, so suddenly, Markos reached for her hand. She finally faced him.

“And your name is?” he asked.

“Jeunesse,” she said, almost in a whisper, as he had stolen her breath.

“It's a pleasure,” he said. Then, slightly brushed his lips against her soft skin, laying a kiss on her right hand, “Jeunesse.”

4


Jeunesse astonished paid no attention as Time escaped and the clock read three A.M. She ordered another shot of vodka. “Jeunesse... a masterpiece of pleasure,” she said and laughed out loud. “I'm still dazed,” she continued, now, in a more serious tone, “why me, Markos?”

“Because I know despair as well,” he said sincerely, “I like you.” At this moment she decided love didn't have to make sense. It never seemed to be that way for her anyway. And still disoriented by the spontaneity of the events that had filled her day, and vodka, she kissed him

5

In Belgium, snow covered the streets. Streets winding around the forest, innocent land frozen in time, as if the soft powdery snow that painted the city blank could cover up its story. And for the same purpose, the sun, reflecting on white, came blinding through open windows with the cold breeze of February, to numb the mind, yet.

February 5, 1965
Sometimes the wind turns blue and clear and I hear music playing softly in the corners of this lonely flat. I’ve been waiting so long I’m sure I’ve lost my mind. Refreshed, I stretch and reach for the stars, painted beyond these walls and ceiling. My mind won’t stop, in this empty room, drowning with his voice, whispering harmoniously. A lonely mirror reminds me of his sincere blue eyes. He is here and remains as I live, evanescent. Completely satisfied, I play this dream over in my mind, guilty of pleasure.

6

“I need you to love yourself.” He didn’t want to let her go. With one arm around her waist and the other brushing her face he whispered, “I love you.” And as she struggled to get out of his grip, and she tried to block his words out, a tear gave her away, even with a painted smile. And vanishing with time, she blew him a last kiss, and was gone.

7


A cup of cold coffee and sugar spilled on the kitchen counter. Disoriented and searching for life, Jeunesse concentrated on the past she’d forgotten now. The phone rang, breaking through the ice that covered her body. Consciously, she stayed in bed, emotionless, still lost in a dream. Loneliness, then, began to overwhelm Jeunesse as she realized it had not been real. She had never known anything real, and she felt hopelessly depressed, so naturally, she cried. Jeunesse cried for all the things she didn’t remember: her mother’s face, her father’s name, the places she left, the books she never read, the lovers she once loved, and now, Markos. In her lap rested a book, the pages falling out, all different colors. Still crying, she now tore all the pages from her beautiful book, desperate, leaving it unbound, with all the pages thrown about her. She let the colors take over, legs crossed, she hugged her knees tight to her chest, and cried herself to sleep.

The train left, but the destination had changed. North to South again, she was headed towards the Mediterranean Coast. Blue, clear, and coral, the sea crashed against the rocky shore. And she saw Markos in the distance, painted and created, like The Thinking Man, like the philosophical man he was. Jeunesse ran towards him on sharp rocks, that cut like glass. She wore bright red socks dripping blood. Her flawless skin, hanging tight on her shoulders, and contrasting with the serene essence of this dream her hair, dripping coffee, down her back. Jeunesse forgot all she knew about despair and set herself to be a woman of pleasure.

8

Time, then, stopped, finally. The wind, too, froze. The sea grew deeper. Then came the sun, the rain and rainbows. The snow melted. Colors surged. And a rose fell, from nowhere. There was one blank page, the last. But this time, Jeunesse would not wake up to write what had taken her a lifetime to learn.

Life’s not about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself. (June 7, 2012)





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