by Mitzi Danielson-Kaslik
tax free French liquor
It was strange for me to think of Sylvester as the jealous type for to me he had everything: passion; an electric soul; a strange handsomeness; an unusual sort of grief that suited him perfectly; a superior creative talent I could only dream of; and an astounding ability to live eternally in the present. What did Marius have that Sylvester didn’t? The question made me feel a little jealous of both of them for these two great men - great artists of a kind- lived lives far from perfect but much closer to perfect than my mind would ever allow me.
As Marius left - Sylvester having softly given him the idea that he may have interrupted something he - Marius- said an airy word about Sylvester and myself joining him for the evening to welcome me to the city of light at the bordello where Camille worked to which Sylvester promised our attendance. I had never been to such an establishment previously. For in my world such places did not exist. But sure enough, as a chilled evening crept in from over the blackening horizon, I found myself dressing to go to this place. Sylvester promised the bordello was a place where the party never ended and the nights of glory, debauchery and glamour never grew old and wine and spirits washed away all memory of the ill-moralled, pleasure-seeking misbehaviour that had come to pass.
He promised it to be a place of dreams.
All that he said was true. As we departed the flat at around 9 o’clock, I found myself dressed as I had never been dressed before; in suspender stockings and a tiny black dress. Not only did I feel somewhat uncomfortable with my new attire but I wondered why I found myself brimming with unencumbered, unapologetic excitement for the new levels I was surely about to sink to. I began to almost fantasise as Sylvester and I walked hand in hand through the star filled night about what I would encounter tonight and perhaps well into the morning hours - what I would perhaps be a part of. Would I become intoxicated with tax free French liquor? Would I find myself beneath Sylvester in a room where others were breathing other naked writhing forms, silhouetted in the subtle Parisian evening light? Would I even perhaps find myself beneath another on this glorious November night where anything could happen and nothing - nothing at all- was off limits?
All my questions were soon to be answered.
I arrived at the bordello shortly free the moon had emerged from behind a pearly white veil of cloud. The brothel was a towering building with huge sweeping gothic archways and many crystalline window panes alight with the waxy luminance of a thousand candles. A musical sound of feminine laughter, heavy drinking and a tinny melody as played by a gramophone split the cold air as we approached the door and entered this immoral place of wonder.