Paolo and Francesca…

a novel about beautiful people in Italy.

Tag: love

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?”

vacation, part four : night.

[before this: vacation, part one]

“Look at the stars,” Francesca said, stopping to look up at the sky.

“Let’s really look at them,” Paolo said, lying down on the sand.  “Come here.”  She laid down next to him, the sand was warm and his body was warm but the breeze off the ocean was cool and she fit perfect beside him.  The milky way stretched out above them, and organza ribbon of white against the black velvet sky.  Paolo turned and kissed the top of her head.  “I love you,” he said.  “I love you so much.”

“I love you, too,” she replied.  “I’ve been waiting so long to say that, I don’t know why.”

“It’s easy to say things here,” he said.  “It feels right, you know?”

“I’ve known for a long time,” she whispered.

“Oh yeah?  Since when?” he asked.

“I’m not going to say since I first saw you, because that wouldn’t be true.  I was skeptical then.  But I knew I wanted you.  I was attracted to you immediately–you were so bold, almost careless.  It didn’t take me long to love you.  The morning when my arm was broken, when you told me about your mama and I told you about my father and you held me, I felt safe with you.  That was when I knew.”

He turned onto his side and propped himself up, his elbow in the sand.  “You had cooked dinner for me,” he said.  “I was confused about everything and angry that I couldn’t have protected you from that scooter accident, and I’d just shown up on your doorstep and expected you to be there.  And you were.”  He leaned down to kiss her.  “This vacation is good for us,” he said.

She sat up on her elbows.  “I’m sorry I’m distant sometimes,” she said.  “I’m sorry I was mean to you this morning, and grumpy on the plane.  You don’t deserve that.”

“You’re not, baby.”

“Let’s go to bed,” she said, standing and brushing the sand from her jeans.  “I’ll race you.”

They ran towards the hut, tripping and stumbling, and he caught her by the waist and lifted her up, and she laughed and kicked and he laughed and carried her into the hut.  The screen door slammed behind them and the breeze rustled the gauzy curtains and the mosquito net canopy and he laid her down on the big four-poster bed and undressed her, removing her t-shirt and her jeans, her beige lace bra and panties, and he looked at her naked on the bed, his eyes fixed on her as he undressed himself, and when he was naked too he laid there with her, chest to chest, thigh to thigh, feet and arms entwined.

[after this: vacation, part two : a day at the beach and vacation, part three : peeping]

inspiration #18 : palmistry.


I have a story about this, and it struck me the other day that it fits well (pending fictional interpretation) into this book.  As rational and capricornal as I believe myself to be, I put a fair amount of stock in the occult (I attribute this to my childhood love of Zilpha Keatley Snyder novels like The Egypt Game and my personal favorite, The Headless Cupid).

So imagine the scene: a balmy late-summer evening in Europe.  Copious amounts of good red wine.  A colleague mentions she knows how to read palms.  I give her my hand and by tea-light candle she tells me my future.  The most fascinating part is when she tells me I’m not going to marry for another ten years, so the next day I promptly run out and begin a series of affairs.  I walk away from the so-called “love of my life” because the time is a gift.  I’m ages away from needing to make so serious a decision.

I’m interested in what it is about the framing of something as a fortune, whether it’s through a palm reading, tarot cards, or some other form of divination, that causes people to see their lives differently.  What is it about hearing that I have ten years of freedom that causes me to take advantage of it?  In terms of advancing the plot, it’s quite powerful.

Heads up, reader.  There’s a palm-reading scene coming up.  And all of the attendant ambivalence, as well.


inspiration #9 : Lana Del Rey.


I’ve been listening to a lot of Lana Del Rey as I’ve been writing this summer (thanks, Michael & Jonathan).  It’s hard to say which song on  Born to Die  is my favorite; actually, after listening to the whole thing at least seven times, there aren’t that many songs I don’t like.  As far as my own experience is concerned, I have a strong affinity for “Blue Jeans” (“said you had to leave to start your life over”) and “National Anthem” (“before we go out, what’s your address?”).

But for inspiration?  “Video Games” is it.  I’ve always been curious about how two people fall in love / develop an almost-obsessive relationship that’s obviously on a fast track to disaster (not really a spoiler alert, just an observation).  I think “Video Games” is a good representation of that–it all starts out innocently enough but soon snowballs into “it’s you, it’s you, it’s all for you, everything I do…”

Also, this is just a fucking beautiful song and video.  Paz de la Huerta!  “I heard that you like the bad girls, honey, is that true?”