03 April 2008

She was playing Guinevere then at the Chicago Philharmonic. The legendary queen consort of King Arthur. Ironic then that her name was Jennifer. Ironic she was so glamourous and called Glamorganshire her home. I wrote her a quick note and sent along a photograph. "This pic reminds me of u", I said. "That pic of u laughing on New Years Eve in the pink dress." I knew she would know what I meant and to what photo I was referring. I knew she would know the note was from me though I neglected to sign it. Purposely.

When I received a letter back from her a few days later I swore I could smell oranges on the envelope seal. I imagined her sitting barefoot on a soft and aged milk chocolate leather couch; smooth legs crossed Indian-style reading my note while circumnavigating the rind of a diminutive clementine. I imagined drops of sweet nectar dripping down her chin as she sealed her envelope to me. Maybe she knew what she was doing. She was smart like that. Drove me crazy and pretended she had no idea.

Her sweet navy blue ink seemed to levitate above the white pulp like bubbles in a brandy snifter filled with club soda. I let the letter sit for about a day before I even read it. I just wanted to fill my living room with her sweet scent. Like a souvenir from the other side of the world I imagined where it came from and how it got here. By the next morning my library-like living room smelled like ricotta cheesecake with blood orange gelée and dark chocolate and orange shavings. I wrapped myself in her note like a warm blanket and drank her words like hot chocolate.

As fair as a Scarborough angel. She was heliotrope, orris, vanilla, citrus, cumin, orange blossom and thyme. She wrote only this, "Between the salt water and the sea strand. Then he'll be a true love of mine." And I knew what that meant so I got dressed as fast as I could and wore her favourite shirt and her favourite hat and her favourite shoes and we met for a chocolate malted and talked about the breeze.

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