Is this Paris? The mosaic table. The glass of red wine. Tourists walking across the street by Café La Perle. And I sit here puffing on my cigarette darling and I realise that I am not. That I sat here, puffing on my cigarette and I drank the wine and this is not Paris. This is not 1998 and it is not midnight.
The last glow of the sun turns from amber to the indigo charcoal of dusk through the window in my sun room in Gibraltar. I tighten the silk robe around my waist. It holds up my ribs. I feel each one as I breathe. The brocade melts into my skin. My hands are vibrating atoms, leaving an imprint in the air as I wave them in front of me.
I leave the empty glass on the table and when I turn to look at it to avoid the mirrors the glass is full again. With each blink a different glass, a different liquid. I walk through the shadows of the pasillo towards my room, feeling around in the dark for my bed.
There was a moment I realised I could see all of my life at once. I just don’t recall when that moment was. Someone moved me here to this crumbling colonial house overlooking the water, under the shadow of the Rock every morning as the sun rises. But was it after Paris?
I coughed into the sink in Madrid, and saw the smear of bloody spit work its way down. I was brushing my teeth in Tangier, I told him, stay in bed dear they’ll be up in a minute with the fruit. I looked in my bag for medication in Los Angeles. In New York. I was raised in Gibraltar. My mother took me in a boat across the water. I saw a dolphin.
I looked up from the mirror to check my nostril for clarity and I looked up in the mirror and I am looking in the mirror and I saw my skull. I saw the nerves of my eyes forming in the sockets. My teeth falling out one by one, the crunch of them. I swallowed. New ones grew in their place.
I broke the mirror. I am breaking the mirror. No more mirrors. I am walking down the souk in Marrakech and I am looking at mirrors when a man beckons me into his stall.