Untitled by Janet Lilo


Janet Lilo, Your tree, ongoing photographic series

The local bar was about a 15 minute run away. I ran there because I was late trying to figure out the coordinates at the hotel where I left you, sick in bed.

When I got there, Jacqueline was waiting alone with a beer and it was my second time meeting her. She gave me a good history lesson about the bar, the owner who I met and some of the gigs they used to play. She herself was in a band called Ruby Shoes. Originally from Cambridge but married to a Le Havre man who was a painter, Jacqueline had been living there since the late eighties. The bar had many 6×4″ photographs on the wall – hall of fame style, mostly of local patrons and a few jazz and blues greats in between. One of the patrons, a blond woman with short hair and half shut eyes smiling next to Miles Davis had committed suicide a year earlier as Jacqueline pointed out. For the rest of the night I kept looking up at the photograph wondering what went wrong for that woman? in between conversations about art, Institution, the local scene and walking through Normandy. I didn’t want to talk about the walking so I avoided it by asking questions about to her children Lucien and Camille. I had just spent the last four or five days feeling really lost and depressed in Le Havre and I didn’t want her to notice.

I drank three pints of local beer – I wasn’t drunk but I did feel tipsy by the time I came back to you, now in the dark watching Superman in French. I got in to that giant bed and lay down beside you and in your Italian accent (with a cold) you began translating superman in English for me. There was action and then a scene involving loving dialogue between Superman and Lois. I can’t explain or articulate the oddity and beauty surrounding that moment because you couldn’t write it. It’s too good. I also can’t explain how happy I was to have you there.

(Janet Lilo)

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