Once upon a time there was a girl who lived a life of no remorse about the alleys and drinking rooms of a lush and lascivious city. She crept along the streets looking for light and warmth; a comfort, brief and hot, amidst the cool indifference of the place in which she dwelt.

It cannot be said of that place that she 'lived' there. life in a shadow, or haze, is as illusory as the chipping paint facade of garish new buildings in the Place St Michel. There is no mistaking the wildness that hides behind the most perfectly painted skin.

One day this girl found a needle of bone, several skiens of moth-eaten red velvet and a pile of yellowed lace behind a tailor's shop in the Rue D'Esperisons. She sewed herself with these scraps, the wax of red candles, and the feathers of pigeons (which she collected and tols augers from), a pair of wings, which she dyed red with hair dye.

And she put on her crimson wings and flew very, very far away, where the sun did not burn and the skyline did not sweat, and she found that everywhere she flew to there were always men with minds that made descisions about what she was and what she was for. And she was used to this, but wanted something more. For after a while the sight of silver made her sick and even gold began to smell of death.

So she put on her wings once more and flew, and flew, and flew.

And she never touched the ground again.


This is for my friend Eliese, who actually lived and worked once in the Rue D'Esperisons. Bahorel, Courfeyrac and I were not unfamiliar with that quarter. I told all about her in my journal. Perhaps I shall let you see it some time, maybe.