Jan 29, 2013

The world war was over, but by how many days I didn't know.   The streets were filled with debris. As we walked among the bombed out buildings, I worried about the danger of collapse.  We finally reached the hotel and went up to the apartment on the second or third floor.  It was the most gorgeous Mediterranean day, blue and warm.  There was a woman and her family walking small dogs; the dogs looked like Dobermans, and small enough to put in your hat.  The woman wore a long Russian coat and a fur hat.  I had a brand new, yellow tennis ball. I was going to throw it to the dogs but then it occurred to me I should ask her if she would like to throw it herself.  I asked. She was not as thrilled as I would have thought. But after a moment she smiled and reached out her arms.  I let the ball drop.  A year earlier she caught it and threw it toward the bay below the town.  The dogs gave chase but the ball went into the water and they stopped. The bay was full of activity: boats, balls, swimmers, people on boards and strange rafts with cabanas, and killer whales sounding. The Bay of Naples, by Vernet. Who knows. At first, the water was absolutely flat. We went out on a surf board, the boy and I.  Everyone was relaxed.  What if we're under one of those whales when it comes up, I wondered.  The wind picked up.  Just then someone, an authority I knew from somewhere, expressed the possibility of disaster and advised us to go back to shore.

Jan 2, 2013

The old man's head popped to the surface of the hot tub. The night was pitch black but the stars were dim and unelectric. He retook his seat on the stone bench under the water.  Lately, he has been saddened by this film, Amour.  He is a filmmaker himself and if he had been offered that script, he would not have considered it.  Not on your life.  Not even for a moment.  As beautiful as the film was.  As tender as they were to each other.  He was overwhelmed by the idea of such an ending.  Meanwhile, the night was strangely unfriendly; the moon, wordless.