The Paris Quartet : Short Stories For the End of the World
“Can I tell you something honest and you won’t be mad?” The man says.
Now this sounds interesting. The kitchen staff would have lined up next to me in an instant if they had heard a customer using the words ‘honest’ and ‘won’t be mad’ in the same question. I knew they were in the early stages of their relationship. I slide my body quietly along behind the desk, closer to them, in order to hear clearly. – Waiting in the 11th Arrondissement
The candles have almost died out, the flames flickering but still holding on. I want to ask Esme if she is scared but her reply, if it’s a yes, will only make me more scared and I don’t want that, but I can feel my heart racing as I lift the half-empty bottle that’s at my feet and drink from it to try to extinguish the fear. I drink a large amount of the whisky and pass it to Esme who has her arms tightly around my waist. And as I look at her as she drinks, I wish that we were anywhere else but here. She puts the bottle down and rests her head on my shoulder. “Tell me again.” I say. – Detours
This is my escape. Being here in this apartment is my escape, even for a short while and I only realize this tonight as I am welcomed through the door. It’s an escape from the outside world, from the everyday drudgery of Paris. It’s not a real escape in the long-term sense but when I come to this apartment all I have to do is drink vodka, laugh, talk and fuck, and for a night my worries disappear. No one knows I’m here and no one can find me here. My mind is free from everything that I cannot stop thinking about outside of this apartment, and that is my escape. In this apartment, the outside doesn’t exist and the clock stops ticking. – Anywhere But Here
“You know. You just don’t end five years of marriage without thinking about it. You know.”
“I don’t know.” I sigh. But I do know that nothing I can say is going to make this any less painful for her. “Maybe she has a wrinkle on her face in just the right place and I find it attractive. Maybe she says all of her statements as questions and I find that endearing. Maybe she swallows instead of spits or maybe I was just looking for a way to kill time with someone new over the next five years. The reasons why don’t matter.” – All of Us with Our Pointless Worries and Inconsequential Dramas
*These stories are also available in the book of short stories, All of Us With Our Pointless Worries and Inconsequential Dramas
*Contains adult themes, language and some sexual scenes
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