The Age of Mauve


Keo sat in front of a white table-cloth, in a café by the sea. The sun had just set; the sky was a ruddy violet. She was wearing an Oxford blue jacket, over a gray sweater vest.

The wind rushed out to the water, ruffling the red cloth awning. Keo set down her the china tea-cup and looked out to the last vestiges of the day.

She went to the discothèque – flashing lights, darkened room, the entire dance floor flooded with people. Keo sipped a cognac glass of brandy and watched the throng surge to and fro, the lines from the bar, the enthusiastic music lovers surrounding the DJ booth. Keo let the neon waves of light and sound wash over her.

While the party was still at its peak, she took a taxi home, silent cab winding through the cobblestone streets. She woke the next morning, under her white sheets, in a quaint second-floor apartment, with windows that let in the early morning heat.

Once dressed, and armed with a cup of coffee, she looked out onto the balcony, with cars passing below, and vendors hawking fruits and vegetables, from wicker baskets.

The next weekend, she leaned against the wall, watching lavender light sweep through the club. Another woman, in a buttoned-up shirt approached her, and asked in her ear, over the volume of the music, “You don’t dance?”

“I do dance,” Keo yelled back, over the Mediterranean EDM. They did a shy two-step to the remixed pop song and escaped back out into the cool night, to Keo’s favorite café.

“Do you come here often?” the other woman, with a short-cropped, brunette haircut said, gesturing to the coffeehouse and bistro.

“Yes,” Keo said, “The seafood during the day is quite good. Not far from here, you can also take a ferry out to the forested islands.”

“Sounds mysterious.”

“There’s a large park on one of them. Full of marble fountains and swans.”

“Must be magical,” the woman smiled, leaning over her coffee.

“It’s actually quite ordinary,” Keo said, stirring her own cup, “But that’s what makes it magical.”

They stopped to listen to the splash of the oars of a small boat, being rowed out, onto the black waves.

day time

The Nadir

who you are

Ran sat at a wooden table in Galanga. The dying rays of the sun painted the restaurant interior red, on a sunny afternoon in Noho. In a white dress shirt, with the collar unbuttoned, she fanned herself, to ward off the early spring heat, and took a shot of lao khao.

The Thai eatery was quieter than usual, drifting somewhere between lunch and the evening rush hour. Dallas appeared in an off-the-shoulder blouse and acid-washed jeans, heels clicking on the tile floor. She went right over to Ran, “Good to see you again.”

“I figured you’d might like cuisine like this,” Ran said, refilling her glass.

Dallas sat down and ordered a plate of fish cakes, with bird’s eye chili dipping sauce and lime, “How have you been?” she said, “I haven’t seen you in a while, not since that night at New York Central, I don’t think.”

“No, I’ve been busy,” Ran replied. She offered the rice whiskey bottle to Dallas, who shook her head, “I have a dinner party later tonight. That stuff is strong!”

Ran glanced at the label, “I wouldn’t have guessed. How did you manage this in Thailand?”

The fish cakes came to the table, “Well, they eat it with a ton of spicy, sour food, minced pork and grilled prawns – like peanuts or buffalo wings here.”

“Sounds delicious. May I?” Ran reached for a haddock cake.

“Go right ahead!” Dallas gestured at the plate.

“What have you been doing in New York, since you got back?”

“There’s this artist I want to sponsor, help her open up a gallery. A small one, here in Downtown.”

“That’s nice of you,” Ran dipped a second cake in the sauce, “Did you ever hear from your old girlfriend, the one who came back to the states early?”

“She lives up in Oregon now,” Dallas sighed, looking out the window, at the deepening sunset, “She said that her house is near an apple orchard. I thought she sounded happy.”

“Was she the soul mate you said you had met already, and it didn’t work out?”

Dallas shifted in her seat, “No, that was another one. From before.”

Ran refilled her glass, to wash down the salty cakes, “Not to pry, but do you ever think of her? How she is?”

“Sometimes,” Dallas said looking up at a point above Ran’s head, “I was wracked with guilt. I just walked away. I guess you could say Aspen, the second woman, was a rebound. I shouldn’t have done that. It made sense that I was dumped in Thailand.”

Ran sipped the burning whiskey this time, “If you could make amends, would you?”

Dallas looked at her, “I am not a strong person. That’s why I did what I did.”

The shadows were long, as the sun was eclipsed by the cityscape.

The plate was almost done; Ran pushed the glass away from her. She placed a few rumpled bills on the tabletop and stood up to go.

“I met Alli in Florida,” Dallas began, “She was such a powerful spirit. I didn’t feel like I could be the one for her, even if she was the one for me.”

Ran glanced down as darkness fell, “Do you feel like you could be there for her today?”

Dallas looked down, “No, I can barely be there for me.”

“She will heal, like Aspen,” Ran said moving around the table, to the door, “But can you heal? Can you avoid that from happening again?”

The brown bottle glinted in the pale light of the evening. Dallas regarded Ran, “I want to say I am a different person, but honestly, I don’t know.”

Ran nodded, “Take care Dallas.”

Outside, she walked several blocks, before lighting a cigarette and exhaling into the sky. Ran sat on a park bench, feeling the night’s first breeze, wondering if she had done anything for Alli.

bougee goku


Rodrigo – Concierto de Aranjuez for guitar & orchestra: 02 Adagio