The alarm of the clock on the wall was set to end each training session after five minutes. 9pm sharp he finished the training and came toward me. I was sitting at the reception area. He touched me from behind the neck and asked if I would like something to drink. He said that the coffee here was good and strong. I said: No thanks. Wait for me I will go shower, he added.

Before he left for the shower he introduced me to the owner of the gym and his partner, then some of his sparring partners. When he came back he asked me if I wanted to visit the gym. I said yes. He told me that he liked the color of the wall, a kind of old pink color. He said he came here every evening, mostly because he is the principal coach but also because this place is his second home.

We left the gym and waited for the bus to come. The night was bright as it was full moon. It was not cold at all for a month of October. We went downtown for a drink. He did not talk a lot this time. Normally when we met each other he seemed happier. He told me not to worry as he was not in good shape. I told him that it was okay, we don’t need to talk a lot. For some reason I did not feel the need to talk a lot either. We had each of us a green tea. We looked at each other in silence. But there was no embarrassment in the silence. For the first time since we have known I asked first if we could leave. The idea of seeing him with a sad face made me even sadder than him. It was 11.30 pm. The last bus would be only in one hour. Usually we stayed until there was no more buses passing by. He said ok and held my hands for less than thirty seconds. We walked slowly to a square where all the buses stop. My bus arrived first. I kissed him very quickly on the cheek and entered the bus. He waved at me and sent me a kiss. I smiled at him and waved back.

Later in the night he wrote to me a private message on Facebook: “I am sorry. Bad mood lately. Always a pleasure to see you…”

I answered him early in the morning: “Don’t be sorry. It was nice seeing you though I never like to see you down…”

Then I opened my blog and wrote again after one year and four months of absence. About him. My inspiration.

Later on during the day I wrote him a long letter. I did not say in the letter how much I still love him. Just how much I care.

Later on that night he sent me a good-night song just like he did every night since one year and four months.

What would make me happy a day like this ?

What would make me happy a day like today?

It is so dark outside and the snow is falling again. This winter is terrifying. I had a bad lunch that hurt my stomach for hours. I had a lesson of harpsichord, my fingers were stiff. The piece was all about the beginning of the romantic era and I could not play it with stormy feelings. My teacher told me that I was cold today. Truth is I was a bit lack of sleep, lack of vitamines, lack of sun. Monday is always tough. And a German class is waiting for me this evening. Nothing really fancy today, really.

What would make me happy a day like today ?

I would love to run on the beach, feeling sand in between my toes. I would love to feel sun on my face. I would love to have a good vietnamese soup prepared by my grandmother. I would love to sing tonight in a karaoke bar, maybe just to spend my energy, move my voice. I don’t know.

What would make me happy right now?

I would love to be hold in his arms and hear his laugh, listen to his music, watch Youtube endlessly with him and laugh on silly things.

I want sun, I want beach, I want vietnamese food but most of all I want him. Nothing has much changed since the last 24 hours.

He is the sun, he is the beach, he is the vietnamese food, he is the song I want to sing. He is the piece of Bach I want to play. He is the stormy feeling I want to express. He is all the Mondays I will like if he were here.

In-flight time

Yesterday I had ten hours ahead in-flight. I had prepared books and work to do, and I was looking forward to having plenty of time ahead to think of him.

One of the music in the radio program was the soundtrack of my favorite movie ever “Love Story”. It was just a movie on love in the 1970s. But I love everything about it. Maybe also because it happened in a campus. In Boston where I had lived for two years. The movie starts with the line “What can you say about a twenty-five-year-old girl who died? That she was beautiful. And brilliant. That she loved Mozart and Bach. And the Beatles. And me.” (extracts from the book of Eric Segal “Love Story”).

Yesterday when I listened to the soundtrack, I thought, if I ever made a movie, I would start it with a very short line: “I love him and I love Bach”. I don’t know what it would be about. But Bach would be there and him too. No matter what.

Ten hours in-flight. With him in my thoughts. As usual.


There is Bach

But there is also Mozart

There are always alternatives

And other perfections

That is the beauty of life

Looking at life from another perspective

Leaving behind my endless obsessions

Could it be my salvation in love?

***Writing this piece listening to…….Bach, Concerto in D minor for harpsichord….*************

Give me a moment

A Bach concerto for harpsichord.

Maximum of volume.

Rain outside, once again.

I am hypnotized by sadness.

The kind of sadness that empties my brain

And my heart too

I can’t feel anything this morning

I hope it is temporary

This kind of sadness

If I don’t fight back

It will vacuum me to further emptiness

I am not the kind of person

Who can be corroded by sorrows

I will get out of my home now

I will take a walk

I prefer

To be eaten into

Grey landscape outside

Under the rain

Washing my brain

Cleaning my heart

So I can scream to the world again


Summer and balcony

That summer never came. For some reasons. All these water pouring down from the sky. The temperature hardly went beyond 15 degrees Celsius. She got used to it and she imagined people in her village as well. When there is no more hope, it’s just a matter of time when to get used to a perpetual unchanged situation.

She looked out onto her small balcony. She moved to this apartment two years ago and had never decided to buy a table and chairs for the balcony. She had always known about the kind of summer over here, in her country.  A great summer lasted usually three weeks. She thought it was unnecessary. Then a few weeks ago she finally decided to do like everybody else who has a balcony. She went to a big furniture store and brought back a simple table and two chairs, metallic of course. She could never forget the rain.

There they were. Posed quietly. Plain and simple. Since the day she had brought them home, there had never been one dry day or evening.

First thing in the morning, she glanced at them from the windows. Puddles of water here and there, all over the table. She remembered the eve. She had tried to clean the table, knowing that it could be in vain, but still felt the need to do it.

She looked at them. She might have given them all a name. She had thought of Johann, Carl, Wilhelm, thinking of Bach and his sons. She loved Bach but had never been a fan of Germanic-sound first names. She went for Juan, Philipe, and Carlos instead. She was happy she had personified them.

Her attempt to be a normal woman like anyone else all these years was similar to her attempt to furnish her balcony. Similar to that summer trying to stop the rain like a will of surviving a battle.

That summer never came. She had not been once outside. Juan, Philipe and Carlos had never gotten a chance to dry up. They stayed the whole summer outside in emptiness.

Artists of love

Heaven exists on earth. Indisputable.

Make love to the person you love than more yourself

With Bach music

Make love to the person you trust more than yourself

Let him guide you

Let him teach you

Trust him more

Limitless explorations

Blossomed senses

Flesh is not weak

Lust is nothing

Multiplied vertigos

You look back

Those insignificant one-night stands

There, passive and sad flesh

You look at him now

Blissful and grateful

Now you know

The taste of heaven

And you are home…

Every evening I get back home quite late, after a long day, either after yoga or German class, I always cook something simple. I am not fond of eating cold food in the evening. It takes a bit more time but I feel relaxed when I cook. There is a kind of ritual, I always have dinner with a green tea, in front of the TV. I lost the habit of sitting at a table and eating ever since I have not been in couple anymore. Eating in front of the TV is not healthy apparently but it gives the feeling of having someone talking to you during the meal, or having someone in the apartment. I think people living alone probably have this same habit as me.

But there is always a moment once I finished my dinner, and once the episode of a TV show ended, that suddenly I felt a strong need to talk someone. To share my day, to talk about easy things, about the weather, about anything. But then I also realized that I did not just want to talk to anyone. It became crystal clear that I wanted to talk to HIM. And only him. It’s not just talk, it’s talking and looking in his eyes, those deep green grey eyes. These unreasonable needs were there almost every evening during this winter, while he was away. I could not do anything against it. I could pick up the phone and just call a close friend, if I need to talk. My verbal desire, my need of communication to the world is tightly linked to him. Usually at that moment, I hit the button “play” for another episode of TV show, feeling a bit frustrated, of course.

Yesterday, I went through the same ritual. The only difference was that at that precise moment when I felt the need to talk, I did talk with my voice. And not only in my head. I talked, I told stories, I shared my day. I looked into those green eyes. Because he was there. In flesh and bones. And he listened. I could not stop talking, I had four months of things which had happened in my life to tell him. He listened and swallowed my words. I talked and fell into the depth of his eyes. Sometimes I wanted to say “I love you” in between sentences and words, but I was still a bit intimidated. Sometimes I touched his hands, squeezed his arms, gave him a long kiss on his cheek. I hardly believed he was real. Let alone that he was back.

I put on a Bach concerto, came closer to him, stopped all the words, let him kiss me and undress me. Was I on earth? Was I in heaven? Death, immortality, do I want to live forever for that moment? Or do I want to die right away after that kiss, that touch? I could say “yes” to all these questions.

All I know is I love Bach and I love him. And yesterday evening was one of a kind.

Tribute to a noble profession

I started my day with a sad news. In the mailbox, a grey envelop. For a second, I was scared. Grey envelops never bring good news. I looked at the stamp. It came from a place which did not remind me of someone in particular. I opened it. And it was indeed not good. The kind man who had fabricated my harpsichord passed away a few days ago, at the age of 66. I was affected by the news.

I always have a deep admiration for these string-instrument makers. There is something very special about this profession. It has more to do with a passion for music than to make money. Besides, they are so rare.

Early December last year, when I was looking to purchase a harpsichord, I hardly found ten of them in all over the country. Then I went to this atelier, the closest to my city. That Saturday afternoon was heaven for me. The atelier was in an old house near the station. Mr. Käppeli (the manufacturer’s name) lives in the house and made it his atelier apparently. Three entire floors with harpsichords. He showed and explained to me each of them. He had let me try each one. All were made by his own hands. The one of the Italian period, painted in a beautiful dark red, produced a warm sound, yet the clavier was hard to play. The British harpsichord, in a pastel green, with flowers inside as ornaments, was distinguished. Its sound was languishing, like the voice of mermaids, sitting on some rocks, far away in the ocean. The French one, I remember, was smaller, with double keyboards, gave a pompous, slightly acute sound. They were all marvelous. My favorite was the one in the attic, not yet finished. A well-known harpsichord concert performer had ordered it. He said it would take him some more months to complete the work. Everything was hand-made. Each tiny piece, each string delicately posed. I just wonder if finally he had had enough time to finish it. Six months had gone by.

I chose a small spinet, which is manufactured exactly the same way as a harpsichord but much smaller. I did not have enough money  to buy the “real” harpsichord and it was also a matter of space for my flat. But I was happy with my choice because it was a good deal for a beginner. The sound was perfect. My teacher told me to always choose a hard clavier, which I did. A harpsichord needs as much care as a human being. Special attention is involved. The room must be humid by 50% so during the winter, a humidifier is required. No direct light should be on the instrument. But it was a real pleasure and it was my Christmas present. My spinet weighted around 60 pounds. I remember I helped Mr. Käppeli carrying it up to my flat on the second floor. He showed me how to tune it. I did not know that harpsichords have the same mechanic as guitars.

Today my spinet is orphan. I have discovered the most wonderful instrument. It has a special meaning to me because  when I am sad and lonely, my only remedy to that is practicing, playing hours and hours and it is the only moment I forget all sorrows.

When I started harpsichord after twenty years of piano and was completely carried away, my stepfather said to me: “It suits you well, I think, because this instrument is distant, cold, in a strange and noble way. The piano is more warmhearted. Harpsichord is like a silent movie and piano the one with dialogs. It suits you because you are cold and distant. You never let them out, your emotions, right?”.

I took the day off, practiced Bach the whole morning. Sorrows could not escape. I kept it all inside. My stepfather was right.