Paolo and Francesca…

a novel about beautiful people in Italy.

Month: January, 2013

a moment of intense brutality.

Selim was still awake, waiting for her in bed.

“Do you want to talk about it?” he asked.

She shook her head, climbing into bed on the opposite side.  She tried to take up as little room as possible, making herself linear along the edge of the mattress, lying on her side with her back to him.  He touched her shoulder and she flinched.

“Hey,” he said softly, stroking her damp hair.  “I’m sorry.”

When she turned to him her eyes were shiny with tears.  “Sorry?  Sorry?  Of course you’re sorry.  It’s all over now, you’ll have your money in the morning.  It’s easy for you to be sorry.”

“I never meant–”

“What did you think was going to happen in there?  When I went with him?  We were going to play checkers?  Talk about the weather?”

“It was the only thing–”

“Do you want me to tell you what we did?”

“Please don’t.”  She could see genuine pain behind his eyes.  He was proud; it would ruin him to visualize it.

“Why?  I had to do it.  You made me.  Don’t you want to know what you made me do?  For your precious five million Euros?”  She was sitting up perfectly straight, seething now, teeth bared.  Still he shook his head no.  She could hardly bear to think of it again, she didn’t want to say the words, to relive it all in her retelling, but she wanted him to suffer.  She wanted him to feel as awful as she did.  “First, I just had to watch them.  I watched the girl undress him and call him ‘daddy’ and suck his dick, and then he fucked me, doggy style, and I’ll never get that sound out of my head.  He made me jerk him off so he could come on her fake tits, and she made this show out of eating it, licking her fingers, all, ‘daddy, daddy’ again.  Next he had her eat me, he had her go at it until he was good and hard again, and then he made me ride him.  He finished by sticking his dick down my throat, making me gag as he came, and I could barely breathe.”  She was shaking, and the color had drained from Selim’s face.

“I never thought–” he stammered.

“You sold me.  Because you’re too fucking proud to walk away, because you’re too fucking greedy.  I hope it was worth it.”  She rolled over onto her side again.

She woke up early the next morning, slipped out of bed, and wheeled her small suitcase out of the suite.  She took one last look at the strand of diamonds coiled on the nightstand before she closed the door quietly behind her.  There was an early train to Milan, and she made sure she was on it.

above decks.

She and Selim sat on the deck after dinner, smoking cigarettes and talking, sipping a Fernet-Branca.

“I was thinking of coming to Istanbul sometime,” Francesca said, looking out over the dark expanse of the sea.

“I’d like that,” he replied.

“I thought we could look for a place.”

“I already have a place.”

“Then you could show it to me,” she said.  “I’ve never seen where you live.”

“It’s just a flat I got when I moved out of the house, I don’t think you’d like it.”

“So we could find a new place,” she said.  “I could start spending more time there.  We could be together more.”

“You’re not worried about your work?”  His question seemed strangely pointed to her.

“I can do my work anywhere.  I’ve told you that.  And I could even do some work for you,” she said, running her fingers up his arm.

“That was amazing this afternoon,” he said, his voice quieter, huskier.

She felt her face coloring at the memory of it.  It was amazing, her body as a vehicle for the climax of the sun through every one of her pores, the sea enveloping her afterwards in its cool depths.  When she didn’t reply he kissed her, hard.  Through a vent she could hear Ricci and Giulietta, they were arguing, and Francesca tore her face away from Selim’s mouth to listen.

“You don’t know what you heard,” her brother said.

“I don’t know what the words were but I could understand what he meant,” Giulietta yelled back.

“There you go again, making things up in your mind,” Ricci said angrily.

Selim looked at her.  “What’s wrong?”

“I’m listening to them,” Francesca whispered.

“What are they saying?”

“Shhh,” she hushed him, clapping a hand over his mouth.

“–think I should say something,” Giulietta said.

“There’s no basis for anything you could say,” Ricci replied.

“I know what I heard,” Giulietta repeated.

And then their voices were more muffled, and Francesca couldn’t understand what they were saying any more.  She had an awful sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach that it was something to do with Selim, and when he touched her again, she recoiled.

“What is it?” His voice was still husky, still weighted with desire.  He was insatiable, this man.  Like her.

She shook her head.  “I don’t know.  I don’t know anything.”

inspiration #29 : two songs for a Monday

video is bizarre, so just listen to the song.  Zero 7: “Distractions”


again, awful video (what, Zach Braff?  remember him?) but I love this song.  Rilo Kiley: “Does He Love You?”

inspiration #28 : Farhad Moshiri.

life is beautiful


“Life is Beautiful”, Farhad Moshiri.

I saw this installation last January in Venice at Palazzo Grassi and it literally changed my life.  ok, that’s kind of extreme, but I was having one of those moments–wandering through Venice alone, in the cold and fog, spending the day just looking at art–and it struck me, incredibly deeply, how brilliant this piece is.

LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL.  spelled out in knives.

I could say something pretentious about art and edges, but I won’t.

during their difficult mini-holiday in Venice, Francesca and Selim go to Palazzo Grassi and see this installation, and Selim buys the picture postcard in the museum gift shop to send to her later.  for me, the combination of the knives and the idea of life being beautiful–which it is, you know it is, but it’s something so fraught for Francesca at this moment–the symbolism is so horribly significant, and so true.