Comments 15

  1. May 27, 1922. Cote D’azur, Hôtel du Cap. Mid-morning.

    I came up the steps to the veranda, thinking about breakfast, my hair still damp from the sea. I paused to light a cigarette, the rich Turkish tobacco filling my lungs. Then I sighed. I had not seen Alain nor Didier in two days. I was wondering if the two boys, both lean, dark-bronzed fishermen, had grown tired of me and were avoiding me. Possibly I should not have refused to buy them cigarettes. But they had annoyed me.

    A boy caught my eye, sitting in one of the rattan, clam-back deck chairs, pale, slender, perhaps 15 or 16, wearing a loose fitting swim suit. He sat with his knees drawn up to his chest, arms crossed, staring out toward the sea. He was quite handsome, at least from the side. He seemed familiar, but it took me a moment to remember him. Ah, yes, I thought. Christopher Benoit, son of Alphonse Benoit, the shipping magnate from New Orleans, and his wife Catherine. I had met his parents at the Clews’ most recent party.

    A fat, loudly dressed woman with a camera, his aunt, I believed, was trying to get his attention. I suppose he sensed me staring, and he looked over his shoulder at me. As he did so, his aunt snapped the photo. He ignored her completely. He had a look of utter, soul-deep boredom on his face. I smiled at him, and winked. His eyes widened, his expression changing to slightly quizzical, then he smiled back at me. Perhaps, he was thinking, this trip wouldn’t be quite so boring after all.

    1. Very nice. As I was reading your post, I immediately thought of Death In Venice. It has the same “atmosphere”.

  2. ❦A lovely image of a pensive looking jealous boy… so perfect!

    ❧Nice tale Jack, so very Fitzgerald of you!

  3. The hints of Der Tod in Vendig by Thomas Mann (Death in Venice) are limited to the swimming costume.

    1. No, there’s more than just the suit. His eyes/the look reminds me of “Tadzio” as well (certain moments — like when he would look around for Gustav). Not “precisely”, but the feeling of it.

  4. 40 years ago Visconti and Bjorn Andresen came to my counter to be checked in for a flight…those 90 seconds the world stood still and I could not continue my work properly. Teasing, I can tell!
    Weeks after that Visconti reentered the hall, alone…recognized me, came to my counter again and he told me Bjorn had been delighted I recognized him.

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