I don't want to wake her, sleeping so peacefully by my side. Her skin is golden, partially by the carefully kept tan, partially by the sunlight filtered by the curtains. She has her back turned to me--I love the sight of a naked woman's back--, and the sheets are barely covering the shape of her butt. Her dark blonde hair is scattered around. I don't wear a watch, I don't know what time it is. One of the great achievements of my life, maybe the greatest. Ignore time--or better, own my time. Such a simple thing, perhaps the simplest of them all; but who in this world can decide to take the afternoon off, just because? Not many people. I've been called irresponsible for that, usually behind my back. But, even so, a lifetime of keeping glancing at the watch doesn't go away that easily. Old habits die hard. It's probably after three, I think. Perhaps four. There was a time in my life I didn't need a clock to know the time: I could always guess it, erring by no more than ten minutes. Not a difficult thing to do, you just have to get used to it. Now I lost this ability, and I don't miss it for a second, pun intended.
I look around, the hotel room is not uncomfortable. It's an old place, who knows how many people have slept here. It faces the small park, the one that seems to come almost out of nowhere in the middle of the city. It covers only a small block, hidden but only two blocks away from one of the main arteries of this city. I miss walking to work, now that I ride cars everywhere. But when I walked, I never had time to stop. I never sat on a bench to rest for a moment.
I'm slightly hungry. I've never grown used to hip restaurants that seem to compete for the smallest portion. The classic restaurants at least leave you satisfied after three courses, but these places that last three months on the top of the must-be-at lists are horrible. Chloé chose it, however, and I shrugged. She wanted to be seen. It is part of her life. Models are not empty, their life is. It shapes them. I feel almost sorry when I talk to them, and see that the everyday discussion of fashion, faces and walks for photos left them shells of beauty, void inside by sheer lack of stimuli. Not unlike most people, not unlike the tie-wearing executives I meet everyday, not unlike everybody else who makes a costume of their lives, to be worn and praised by themselves, who only chat about what they do, be it the stock market or social gossip. When I look at Chloé, knowing that at twenty two she is perhaps at the top of her career, and that she lived the last six years of her life traveling around the world to put on a new set of clothes, get a make up and take photos, I feel sad for her. I know that having a free Tuesday afternoon is not a good thing for her. She'd rather be facing a camera.
I faintly hear a phone ringing somewhere. God, I hate phones. I spent more time talking at a phone in my life than I spent doing anything I like. Chloé's phone is ringing all the time, friends calling, the agency, an occasional reporter, everybody. ``Why don't you ever call me?'' she asks once every while, when she hangs up and sees that I'm waiting for her to finish her conversation. I would, if I wanted to talk to her, because she talks more to whomever calling than to the person standing in front of her.
She wakes. ``Oh my God, what time is it?'' As if she had something urgent to do. But she won't stay here, in this forsaken room, and let the gold curtains turn more and more golden, then fall in shadows and become darker, and darker. She'll just dress her very expensive but made-to-look-ordinary clothes, the heels that will probably not be worn again in months, if ever, alternating with the dozens of other shoes that she has, and tell me to go, and that there's a party tonight, at what time will I pick her up. I'll dress slowly, wearily--I once said I was tired and stayed in the room after she left, but its quietness and loneliness was too depressing--and try to fit myself again to a place that is not me, anymore.