Kafka and Campari by Christoffer Felix Wahlberg

If nothing happens, it is not a story…

x

I pour myself a glass of Campari and consider taking ice from the freezer, but don’t. Campari with ice is for good moments. Warm, bitter Campari is for moments like these, when you lost something important.
I need a better distraction.

x

You left me over soup. Not because of it, but during it. While I was ignorantly slurping away, listening to the radio announcing the coming of the rain.
“I am leaving…” you said, got up, and were gone before the soup was cold. I haven’t left the kitchen of our Paris apartment since.
I need a better distraction.

x

The city is in chaos, it is only a few months since the Paris terrorist attacks and it still has not recovered. The radio is talking about riots near Gare de Lyon against the new work law. Tear gas has been fired. It has started to rain harder than I can remember it ever raining before. It sounds like someone is spraying the windows with a pressure hose.
I need a better distraction.

x

I am in Paris. I am in Paris and I am in limbo. I am in Paris and I am in limbo and there are riots in the streets. I am in Paris and I am in limbo and there are riots in the streets and the river is flooding and the trains are on strike and it has been raining for decades. I am alone. Not alone in the world, because you are out there somewhere. But alone in this room, on this street, in this city, in this country and somehow, that is much much worse.
I need a better distraction.

x

My father lost almost all his hair overnight at the age of nineteen, and for as long as I can remember he would tease me about it, saying “just wait, soon it’s your turn,” and point at his own shiny pale head. It made me neurotic. I used to run my hands through my hair, and panicking, count the number of strands, trying to remember how many it had been the day before. When I turned thirty and it still hadn’t happened, I thought I had dodged a bullet, and stopped thinking about it. But now looking at my reflection in the spoon, nose bulging like a cartoon character, trying to find a reason not to finish eating the bowl of muesli in front of me, I can see that something has changed. It looks thinner, and what once was a straight line of hair across my forehead has begun to take on a V-shape. A flock of birds flying south for the winter.
I need a better distraction.

x

When we met twelve years ago I swore I wouldn’t be the first one to fall in love. Maybe it was because of my parents divorcing when I was fourteen, and what it did to my mother. Maybe the thought of being so vulnerable scared me. For a while it worked and we moved in synchronization, like two skydivers descending side by side slowly with their shoots open. Keeping a safe distance. But one night, lying in bed, naked under the covers after we had made love, looking at your freckled face in the blue light of the stereo, my parachute ripped. And instead of falling slowly, I came crashing down. I could see you waving above me, shrinking into the distance.
I need a better distraction.

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One Comment

  1. I love the parachute ripped line, that whole paragraph.

    Like

    Reply

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