Of all the paintings I know of lovers twisted together like vine wood—Klimt’s iconic figures wrapped in kaleidoscopic sheets, Picasso’s abstracted brute forms, the secretive aura that enveloped Munch’s figures, it still amazes me even now to think of those paintings by Chagall I had found in my book those first days— Omar in his hat, my long hair, the blue moonlight, my mother’s ghost flying through the landscape, and Omar protecting me.

Those next few weeks I spent with him at his house, by the pool, in the pool, on his terrace. We slept all day and went outside at night, careful not to be seen by passing cars or one of the neighbors. Actually, I did not sleep much, but drifted in and out, attentive to his breathing, the temperature of his body.

We went night swimming, as I had with my parents that time, and afterwards we laid a blanket on the grass and watched the stars being born in the sky.

It was our honeymoon in a way, notre lune de miel. Where did that phrase come from? The moon and its light, not honey at all, but cold, blue, and sheer.

I will always remember that first night together: the house lights left on, the doors and windows open, music carried by a light breeze, the feeling of a late night summer party without the nuisance of guests.


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