Friday, September 4, 2009
Arrondissement 7: Musée d'Orsay
“I have just one question for you, Mathieu.”
His voice could squeeze the oil from the canvases.
“What can I do to get you behind a camera again?”
I laughed one of those Hollywood laughs. Just to mess with him.
“That’s simple. Turn back the clock twenty years,” I said. “Or pay me in Manets and Van Goghs.”
I ignored the wall of Renoirs, so he followed me into the next gallery.
“Jesus," he said. "You won Best Director at Cannes. Twice! You were a national treasure. Godard’s successor. You could have been--”
Footsteps falling. Like water dripping into a cistern.
I turned like a man, suddenly thirsty.
Legs like a fractured laugh.
Color flaking off her toenails.
Dusting the heart's eyelash.
When she stopped to examine my favorite painting in the gallery, her head tilted to the side. Her hair slipped off her neck. The lady in the painting copied her. Who wouldn't?
Her eyes slid over to brush mine with wet color.
Loud longing in a hush-hush cave
Building cresting breaking
Submission surrender squeezed
A tangled eddy of gorgeous pain
Sucking to swirl me up again
“So there’s nothing I can do to convince you?” his voice broke in.
Her eyes danced away. Like a pretty Degas.
She moved into the next gallery.
I let her go.
I turned to my hustler friend and put a hand on his shoulder. “Frederick, do you know what my favorite part of a film is now? And I’m talking any film.”
“Those black scratches right before the first shot.”
I let him ponder that while examining the painting her eyes had touched. Some brushstrokes earlier.
“It’s the one movie I could watch over and over again. I’ve even given it a title. Want to hear it?”
He shrugged, and glanced at his watch. While I looked toward an artless doorway.
“The Greatest Story Never Told.”