Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I have been waiting for my husband to die for six years.

Martin has been in a coma ever since he knocked his head --- hard, of course, it's not as though he just bumped it one day and then was (almost) gone forever --- in his studio. First there was an aneurysm, an explosion of sorts in his brain, and then he fell from the ladder he was standing on, fifteen feet up in the air, knocking his head on a painting, another one next to it, the edge of an easel, and finally landing solidly on a paint can, a serene blue oil, that tipped over and spilled forth, mixing with the blood that began to ripple from his head, so when I found him --- oh yes, I found him, when I came back from my morning walk on the waterfront, maybe an hour after the fall, but don't worry, if I had gotten home earlier it wouldn't have made a difference the doctors have told me, he was completely f***ed on impact --- I at first thought he was merely sleeping in a sea of paint, a mix gone bad. (Purple? He hated purple.) It wouldn't have been the first time he had napped on the floor of his studio. He spent nights there sometimes, instead of walking through one doorway, and then another, into our bed.
Jamie Attenberg

Friday, October 2, 2009


Hot thought the Parisians. The warm air of spring. It was night, they were at war and there was an air raid. But dawn was near, and the war was far away. The first to hear the alarm were those who couldn't sleep--the ill and bedridden, mothers with sons at the front, women crying for the men they loved. To them it began as a long breath, like air being forced into a deep sigh. It wasn't long before its wailing filled the sky. It came from afar, from beyond the horizon, slowly, almost lazily. Those asleep dreamed of waves breaking over pepples, a March storm whipping the woods, a herd of cows trampling the ground with their hooves, until finally sleep was shaken off, and they struggled to open their eyes, murmuring, "Is it an air raid?"
Irène Némirovsky