Midnight at the Champs-Elysees

This is from something I wrote to a good friend of mine...it may help explain a great number of things:

Hey Andy,

Sorry I couldn't call, but my paper took more time than expected. And from now until the 16th, it looks like I'll just be stuck in a labyrinth of work.

...I'm writing to tell you of several vaguely inconsequential things. Yesterday when I went to see my therapist, in the waiting room, I saw a children's magazine I once read long, long ago. The impact that the magazine's images and stories has had on my writing is in no way negligible. Albeit surprising, all of the images in my head about the "night fishermen" and the "midnight train" is, methinks, a subconscious effort to go back to the calm and optimism of childhood...I thought I'd never see it again.

...When I was younger I used to make a great many sketches. My aunts all worked in the fashion business, and at the time I lived in MiamiBeach...fashion is what peaked my interest. And so I'd sketch a great many dresses and I continued doing it up until sixth grade. I remember watching the show "Fashion File" and making plans to be a fashion designer and move to Paris. At the core of all this was an imagination, and perhaps I was just as much in love with the life of an artist as I was with clothes. I told you the other day that to me, dressing is an art--it's a great rush to discover something new. The fragrance or fabric or shade that captures the person's essence. I think that at the age of 9, I was a Bohemian and didn't even know it. I remember being completely taken by a fragrance from the house of Guerlain, called, "Champs-Elysees". Since, it has been my favorite fragrance, and I cannot really remember why. Perhaps it was because I found, in that scent, the consolidation of that art which made me happy. This morning, I bought the perfume because I started thinking about it.

Perhaps I've always been too sensitive and too much of a romantic, but these things have helped to remind me of something I could not find for a long time. A...foundation of the soul, perhaps--or is that too much weight for a perfume and magazine?

This is all probably tied to the impact I received from Eliot's essay, too. It could be that all of these objects, ideas and images are symbols for the unique, innocent and optimistic essence I lost long-ago. In fact, I don't believe I lost it: I simply became too pre-occupied with "growing up" that I forgot. But now that I'm gaining a glimpse of it, I doubt I'd be so quick to let go.

I remember you saying, about a year ago, that "Great things will happen at Rochester"...and I believed you. I knew you were right. Great things may just happen because I might just start having that Great Affair with myself that I once had...

aeka at 8:30 a.m.