Nathaniel and Claire's Journal
Sunday, March 13, 2005
12:51AM - Is... this... really... you..?
I am holding your letter in my hands... I... I am overflowing... overcome... with utter amazement. Are you back? Is this you, really you? Did you come back to me?
My heart beats so profusely, I fear it might leave me breathless. Whereas up until a moment ago my days were dreary and plain, now a current of hope is pumping through my poor veins -- it is a feeling I've learned to become quite weary of.
My lover, why? Why did you attempt to leave me? Why... How did you... When...
Claire, I sat by your bedside for many a night. Did not your sister inform you? Did you not sense how my hands clutched your hands? Did you not feel my breath as I said the words I-Will-Wait-For-You? Did you not notice how tokens of my deepest love for you fell from my eyes onto your cheeks? The Hell you speak of, did you not find me there, searching for you?
My Claire, tell me that this is you writing me after all this time. I must believe that if you wrote me, you must love me still. I see a glimmer of hope burning near the horizon. Show me your fire, Claire. Illuminate my life once again.
Mon amour... Oh my love! I have been walking for months in a parched desert, calling out your name... My family and doctors explained what occurred-- I opened my eyes for the first time yesterday...
This limited thing we call language could never come close to expressing to you--sweet, SWEET love-- how I ache for you still...
I cannot begin to tell you the hell these last months have been without you, but not a moment went by that I was not conscious of your absence.
Nathaniel-- did you visit me?
I would forgive you if you did not given the state I was in... oh but how I missed you in my dreams all these months!
... I am still quite weak... I must go rest a bit...
Nathaniel... write to me, cheri. Tell me-- do you love me today as you once did? :(
Thursday, October 28, 2004
10:10PM - Poem For Claire
To My Claire,
It's been months since I last saw your face.
My heart bleeds apologies but I could not bare to stay
And watch you day in and day out; unchanged
Yet chained to a bed and being
Claire, where are you?
Can you hear me?
Can you see me?
Can you touch... me?
I talk to you.
I listen for you.
I try to comfort you from afar and sometimes
I sense that I reach you,
But for a moment.
't Has been long since I held your hand;
I used to study it, remember?
Engraving it into my mind,
Always knowing the day would come
When we'd need to part.
And now... now things are so strange, so...
OUT OF THE ORDINARY.
Time flies with unmattering trivialities.
I keep busy; I keep busy.
When I come home from The Factory I am almost elated
with hope, anticipation, almost knowing
That there will be word of your recovery,
or Heavens forbid, that you await me by my door.
You, your beautiful you.
I picture your off-white night gown,
like a wedding dress.
Your French sense of style...
You are amazing.
I miss you Claire.
I really really miss you.
Come visit me again soon, if you will.
My dreams are yours to take.
Come, let us have another dance.
Saturday, May 22, 2004
I very much regret having to meet your acquaintance in such a disturbing time, dear Sophie. My heart succumbed to sadness after reading your words. My mind just cannot grasp this tragedy that has unfolded. For your thoughtfulness in sending me this note I'll be forever in debt. You really know what's in your sister's heart.
Be assured I am preparing for my journey across the Sea. Please tell Claire I am on my way.
Friday, May 21, 2004
8:33PM - About Claire...
I am Claire's sister Sophie.
I am sorry to tell you that while you were in the hospital, so too was my sister. Sadly, she remains there in a frozen sleep.
As difficult as this is for me to even type on this computer, it is something you must know...
... when you did not return her messages, she attempted suicide.
Luckily her cat's sudden strange, loud "meows" outside of the washroom door alerted our mother, who found Claire on the floor.
As it is, she is in a coma.
I know my sister better than she knows herself a lot of the time... Nathaniel, she needs you terribly.
Perhaps the sound of your voice will bring her back, as you were the last thing she was thinking of when she fell into this deep sleep. Please come to our estate, as soon as possible.
Saturday, April 24, 2004
11:05PM - I miss your words...
I do not know where to start...
... I am shaking... I am cold... so cold...
My absense from you, my beloved Claire, has had a reason. A reason that started to form just under a month ago. A reason attached to an avoidable event, alas... In the presence of a few of my neighborhood friends, headed for Stamford Bridge (London) to witness Chelsea tie against Arsenal (soccer)... we never arrived there...
Roger... oh God, Roger...
Roger drove. We had stopped in a little town just past Swindon, and we were headed for the motorway again. I was in the back seat just looking out the window when all of a sudden the car made a weird noise, my face hit the back of the head rest and there were sirens and people and pain and confusion... Spiraling down a vortex of faces and flashbacks and voices, nausea took ahold of me.
They just left Roger in his car. Never took him out... not that I saw. They peeled off of him the girl that he had hit... she went straight through... the windscreen... oh, my head cannot bear to remember...
My young life has been scarred by... by the dark side of reality. A stain has formed on my heart, and from it I bleed tears of despair and regret... This prolonged feeling of helplessness I have felt over the last couple of weeks has ripped seems from the blanket that is my soul. I try to hold on to it and keep it wrapped around me, but the burn of my scars and my severe shaking make this tough. ... I must not lose hope.
I was released from the hospital last Thursday. In my dreams I visited you every night I spent in that somber place. You always were able to cheer me up... Now that I'm back behind my desk again, seeing my stationary and my special pen with ink that is meant for your eyes only... tears bubble up and splash from my eyes onto the paper.
I could really use a hug right now, my Claire... I could really use your warm lips on mine, my sweet... Memories sweep me back to that bridge...
I do not wish to be in reality right now.
Yours in life and in death,
Friday, March 19, 2004
My love, Yes! I do experience realizations of hope!
Just today, I read the following which I must share with you, sweet lover...
And so the goddess sprinkled a sweet liqueur
over her lover's blood, something magical known
only to her, something sacred and mysterious.
And then the miracle occurred; the blood of Attis
stirred like a fountain in a storm of rain,
and from the pool came forth a flower, crimson
and the young man's blood, as beautiful as he had been,
and as briefly blossoming. The goddess named it
anemone, after the wind, for spring's winds come
and shake its petals off - too soon, too early,
too brief, like joy, like youth, like love.
Am I your goddess? May I revive you?
Thursday, March 18, 2004
What else is there to write, you ask? So I ask myself, too.
What else is there apart from daily routines and depthless conversations with people who understand not about the hurt that rages inside of me? What shread of meaning is there left in an existence so deprived of lust for just about anything that I can barely sense my hunger? What else is there, but shadows of you and echoes of you, simultaneously haunting and pleasuring me? What else is there, but a longing so intense, it scorches my very heart?
What else is there..?
I will tell you.
When all is taken away, and one feels hopelessly alone and utterly divided and unsure, love remains. It is the dark side of love, but it is still that: love. And realizing this brings me a moment of happiness.
My beloved, I too wish with impatience that we may find ourselves together again soon. And I believe we will. Soon.
So tell me about your days of emptiness and despair. Do you experience small realizations of hope worthy of sharing with me? We can do this. Together, we can.
Loving you always,
Wednesday, March 17, 2004
3:25AM - I miss you...
Nathaniel, my love.
What else is there I can write now except that I cannot go on this way.
I am very upset that we must be apart.
Please tell me you'll come see me...
Sunday, March 7, 2004
Your heartfelt words bring me back instantly to Our Day.
Our Day... **sigh**
I was standing near one of the light posts on the Pont des Arts, facing the Ile de la Cité, and had leaned over to watch my reflection in the water below. The Seine is a most magnificent river, and it takes but a minute for it to fill one's imagination. After that, time seems to slow down, as it did that day, and life starts to feel truely eternal.
Clouds big and small, in the most fantastical shapes, are floating across my face. Some water birds bathe near the bridge on the left bank. Music envelopes my one ear, while the sounds of a painter's brush fill the other. The footsteps of lovers passing make me realize I am in three dimensional space. And all this time, the river moves its water through me, and with it, all my thoughts are carried away.
When a duck lands in the water not very far from me, my face wrinkles and wrinkles until it is unrecognizable even to myself. When the water returns to its mirror state, and I am in the "now" again, I notice another person has joined the scene. Carefully I glance over, and make out the face of a young woman. At the moment our eyes meet, we look up from the water simultaneously. Now our eyes lock for real, and an exciting tingle travels up and down and zigzag across my belly. Before me stands the definition of beauty, which is you, my Claire.
"Bonsoir, madamoiselle... comment ça va?", I spoke. But the words of your reply went unregistered. (I would only find out much later what you said to me then.) The heart knows without a need for words. In that instant, my heart knew that you were the one. Nothing else mattered as I stood there captured by your gaze and your radient energy. A smile developed on your mouth, and the same happened to me. And lightning struck in my heart, and I knew nothing would ever be the same again.
And now here we are, a sea apart, and torn in two. Make me whole again, Claire, I beg of you.
Thursday, March 4, 2004
remember this song, love?
Heaven, I’m in heaven
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak
And I seem to find the happiness I seek
When we’re out together dancing cheek to cheek
Heaven, I’m in heaven
And the cares that hung around me through the week
Seem to vanish like a gambler’s lucky streak
When we’re out together dancing (swinging) cheek to cheek
Oh I love to climb a mountain
And reach the highest peak
But it doesn’t thrill (boot) me half as much
As dancing cheek to cheek
Oh I love to go out fishing
In a river or a creek
But I don’t enjoy it half as much
As dancing cheek to cheek
(come on and) dance with me
I want my arm(s) about you
That (those) charm(s) about you
Will carry me through...
(right up) to heaven, I’m in heaven
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak
And I seem to find the happiness I seek
When we’re out together dancing, out together dancing (swinging)
Out together dancing cheek to cheek
... we shared that one precious glass of hot cocoa (since you'd already spent every other franc you had in your pocket on that first bouquet of roses...) Never had I ever savored un chocolat as I did that late, rainy afternoon... but I savored the first kiss from you even more so...
... (heavy sigh) ... I never told you this, but I still have that bouquet-- I pressed some of the roses and I dried the rest... it hangs over my bed...
... Nathaniel, this is why I can't bring myself to write as often as I long to... this is so painful... I have never felt this way and to try to find words only seems to make things harder...
Well, at least I can hear this song on the phonographe when I visit that café-- just as we did that day, which now seems lifetimes ago...
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
Good evening, my angel,
Sunday I spent dreaming; of you... of me... of us. I sat on a cold stone and for hours watched the river take time away -- away to you perhaps. (We are connected by water, after all.) At 5 o'clock tea, father requested I visit a family friend about a matter of business. Being in further need of reflection, I eagerly obliged.
The following morning, as the first rays of sunlight drive nighttime out of the otherwise empty streets, I pass the iron bridge. The day-long foot journey to the Somerset transforms my familiar short-sightedness into an endless tapestry of vivid green grasses and bushes and trees, yellow and white flowers; cut up by silvery stone roads and stitched back together with rusty brown fences. And hanging above it all, a shade of infinite blue.
After an hour, the numbing noises of the city have faded away entirely. The ear needs an additional hour to rid itself of the residual hum that is in fact the echo of industrial progress. But then, now more pronounced with every next step, sounds start to emerge again; sounds that are ever so distinct. These are the words that make up the language of the valley. The valley is speaking to me. And I engage in this unusual conversation simply by walking on the cobble stone path, swinging my arms, breathing the air, and humming our song. Oh, how I wish for you to witness this extraordinary event!
Upon returning home, your familiar letter graced with an unfamiliar seal welcomes me. My darling, what a delightful surprise to find a special delivery from you! I let it be known that the emotion you stir in me is farthest removed from anger. Do not consider such a poison to exist in my blood, not for a moment! My existence has been enriched just by knowing you. And to have held you in my embrace has -- as you know, my love -- fulfilled my life's purpose that very instant.
It upsets me to find your grandmother is not well. A more caring or kind-hearted woman I have yet to meet. Perhaps it shall please her to see you wearing the locket, which I presented to you only after receiving her blessing. My hope is that your tirant father will let you have it.
My dearest Claire, we shall find a road to togetherness once again. On the sight in my eyes I swear it! Have hope, love. Time is not unconquerable. We can transcend it. I have faith.
I have faith.
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
My Sweet Nathaniel,
I have been finally granted time to respond to your indescribable, breath-taking note.
My father found the locket you gave me during your last visit and thus, I have only now been allowed out of my room-- yes, the dictator took away my stationery. To make matters worse, my dear mama (who secretly confided to me how she likes you!) has been away looking after my grand-mère who's health is failing. She returned from a rosary service at the Sacrè Coeur basilica earlier this morning-- she brought me a new seal from Montmartre (with a flower in the center.) This is how I am able to quickly write this note to you, love.
I cannot begin to imagine how angry you must be at me... I have not been avoiding you, my sweet, sweet Nathaniel!
I see your face everywhere... I am deeply sad. It is ironic... now that I am allowed out of the confines of mon chambre, I feel nearly nauseous at the thought of venturing out...
I recall a phrase I read from a scrap of paper blowing in the wind near la Tour Eiffel just before a rainstorm... it was about a week after you returned to England and left me in pieces...
"Paris is a morgue without you. Before I knew you, it was Paris, and I thought it was heaven: but now it is a vast desert of desolation and loneliness."
When will you return to see me? ... to be with me??
The only way I can go to you is if I leave my family and all that I have here, forever...
Please don't be angry with me. Je T'Aime...
Monday, February 16, 2004
My dearest Claire,
The tree in the garden outside has finally accomplished what it set out to do 56 years ago, when my grandmother planted it as a feeble yet hungry seed. With the longest lasting -- and positively unrecorded -- stretch, a branch finally reached my window and is currently tapping it gently... tap... tap. The excess ink drips off my pen in the same rhythm... drip... drip. It hypnotizes me.
Memories come and pass before me as if my mind has been able to suck them up and preserve them in their fullest glory. It delights me to see them again, for you, my love, appear in every one.
Your soft brown hair caught in the wind, eagerly giving up control to this Heavenly delight. Your skirt, which your mother finished only that afternoon, radiant in sunlight. The forest up ahead is beckoning you to come near. You turn around and oh, my darling, it makes my heart jump to see you shoot your gaze at me like that. I hear laughter -- it comes from your mouth.
Then we're running over the grass, quicker, quicker. Your cheeks flushed with your sweet blood, your fingers slide away the tiny drops of your sweat. The trees grow taller and soon we're surrounded by thousands of years of wisdom and tranquility. And then there's that bird... oh, it's song so pure. There's nothing else but this music in my ears. You close your eyes and I spiral away from you. I try to grasp your face with my hands. If only there was one more second... one more glimpse... My heart goes tap, tap... tap, tap.
I've returned to this paper and to this pen, and I'm enveloped by the silent voices present in this house. It wasn't just another dream. It can't be.
Forever yours and enchanted,