mid afternoon Friday she rings him but he can’t take the call. unusual that she would call him halfway through the day.
one new answer message. then another text; I’ve got bellyache. too much green tea. he laughs. another message; going away for weekend please come and stay. more laughter. he replies; you are 707km away.
she emails; shall be gone in morning when you arrive please use my studio to paint in but don’t write on my walls. neighbour has keys show her your passport hihhhh.
do you speak French? he asks the neighbour in English who replies in German. slips his passport from a pouch on a small red and grey rucksack. opening it up as if being checked at border control. she nods, she half smiles. image is the universal language. the neighbour hands over the keys.
the territory is unfamiliar. curiously exciting. inserts the key into the lock and imagines the domain beyond the threshold. pushes the door. nothing in his head has matched what is revealed as he enters.
she had said; you can sleep in my bed and absorb the residue of my dreams. but sleep is not his first priority. he wants to explore the interiors. take it all in.
she’s left a bottle on the coffee table. absinthe. with an envelope taped to it. does and donts. he decides to open it later.
mid morning he looks in the fridge. he’s a monomaniac. food obsessive. poaches some organic salmon in miso and adds some thick udon noodles. looks for chopsticks and a spoon. chops some fresh chilli and coriander to garnish.
sits down at the dining room table. kind of disappointed that all her music is in her indispensable iPhone. breaks the salmon with chopsticks and adds a little white pepper. opens the envelope.
do as you please
don’t drink all of the bottle I don’t want find a corpse in my bathroom
do think of me and talk to me since you are in my place and my presence is there
don’t masturbate in my bed because you will only feel guilty afterwards
do give the cat a seduction of caresses
don’t eat the salmon in the fridge it’s ten days out of date and I will cook for cat when I return
do enjoy sleeping in a real bed
ps don’t shower save water cat will lick you clean listen to him hum like an electric motor
welcome to the weekend