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162

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You wake up but she has already left. The only tangible traces of that nocturnal visit are some blonde hairs left on the pillow. You hope she might have left a note or a number somewhere in the maze of items in your apartment.

Nothing in the living room. Zilch in the bathroom. Nothing more in the bedroom.

For once, for the first time in a long time, you are at a loss. Usually, in your experience as a one-night seducer, the sooner you find yourself alone again, the better. 
But her, you wanted to watch her sleeping. To breathe her in with your eyes. To share a coffee with her, or a tea, even though you don’t drink it, you always keep some for birds of passage.

You do not really understand what is happening, what has happened.

She followed you after that shambolic discussion about English rock music from the 60s to today, the shallow adolescent rivalry between those who supported the Beatles or the Stones, and the Oasis fans against those who would defend Blur to the end. You came back to your place, she wanted a whisky and did not mind that you gave it to her without ice, without Coke, with just a drop of cold water. She seemed free and easy and sure of what she was doing when you took her almost by surprise, so strongly and skilfully that it was she who pulled you down onto the sofa half tearing your shirt off. The rest would be almost banal if she had not held your neck throughout your embrace. Looking straight into your eyes. The whole time. As if you were probing each other’s depths in that coupling. Looking for God’s knows what, reflecting the same fearful innocence, hiding your disorientation with great difficulty, your communion of sweat...

Suddenly you realize that all you have left is the emotion-filled memory of an incredible night. You can tell the extent to which these hours have been precious to you. Thanks to that unknown woman, for the first time in months, your heart has started to beat again.

Translated by Wendy Cross

162

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