It was starting to become hard to take bubble baths without the window open. Sitting there in the steaming suds, I had to refrain from it. It was really hot, I had to do it.
He was sitting on the window ledge, probably waiting for me. I couldn’t help but think it was pathetic. I could peep my head out from the window and my bath enclosure and watch him.
“G’day,” I called over, his head turned in my direction.
“It’s you!” He cried out eagerly, “What happened? I haven’t heard you out here in so long.”
“Um, I was busy?” I said, sounding a little rude. “Um, Pierre, do you just want to talk out here for awhile. I mean, we don’t really know each other, and then I go and maul you and all.”
“I would love to talk to you,” he said eagerly.
“Well, sorry I can’t be more visible, I’m kind of naked in the bathtub,” I said with a laugh. He began to blush.
“What’s your name?” he called out.
“That’s irrelevant,” I said.
He looked confused. He kept his eyes off the window, I’m pretty sure the naked comment freaked him out.
“I just wanted to know,” he said, sounding sad.
“Call me whatever you want,” I said, waving my hand in the air, shooing away an invisible fly.
“You,” he said, “Are the angel in my window.”
“That’s embarrassing,” I said, trying to suppress laughter. I could tell he looked hurt at my comment.
“Oh fine, fine,” I grumbled. “My name is Marguerite.”
“Marguerite,” he sighed, putting a hand to his heart, “So beautiful.” Oh god, he’s the mushy type. I’m screwed.
“Um, yeah…okay,” I said curiously.
“Marguerite!” he cried, “I wrote you a song. I shall play it for you while you bathe.” He dissapeared into his flat. I should have kept the window closed.
“What happened to talking?” I shouted. This man has terrible conversation skills. I reached over to the stereo sitting on a stool by the tub and pushed play.
Ah, David Bowie, I thought as I sunk into the sparkling bubbles.
His music began floating across the alleyway. It wasn’t his usual, melancholic cafe music, but something deeper, something nearly possesed. The notes were rich, yet terribly harsh and were falling into my ears at a rapid rate. I was in a trance.
I had been afraid. He seems so serious, a commitment kind of guy but now I no longer wanted to keep him at a distance, or treat him so rudely. I wanted to sit down with him and have a decent conversation. Get to know who Pierre really was other than an attractive, yet eccentric musical curiosity. I lit a cigarette, and took deep, choking drags from its burning core. I wanted to rewind everything and start it over right.
He wrote this for me. Its so sad, so tragic. Its almost as if the piano itself is crying. I can’t bear it. Dripping, I grab my robe and step out of the tub.
I grabbed my guitar and ran for the door, not caring that I’m next to naked as I make my way to his flat. I was going to make amends. Even if it meant risking indecent exposure.I made it inside, after banging on the door as hard as I could. I brushed past him with great exuberance. But something was wrong. He stumbled and fell awkwardly to the floor. He sat there for a moment, embarrassed before asking for my help to get up."There's something I have to tell you..." He began.
Oh, no. What did I have to know? My mind raced as he hesitated, taking a moment to compose himself.
“You aren’t gay are you? Because that would be really awkward,” I blurted out, remembering the other man who I had noticed was here nearly every day. Could it be?
“No,” he said quietly, reaching out for me awkwardly, “I’m…I’m…”
“You’re married. I should have known,” I continued to blabber, sitting down at his piano bench, covering myself with the drenched bathrobe.
“Yes, I mean, not anymore…” he continued, “I can’t see you.”
“Oh, I get it,” I said, confused, standing up to go, “I’ll leave then.” I brushed past him. He caught me by the arm.
“Marguerite, I really can’t see you,” he said.
“Why?” I stammered, my cheeks burning hot.
“Because…because…Marguerite…I’m blind,” he said. Blind? I thought. What’s so wrong with being blind that he had to hide it from me?
“That’s it?” I said, relieved. He looked confused. I walked toward him and embraced him in my soggy bathrobe arms.
“Oh, gross, sorry,” I said, stepping back. Pierre was now nearly as wet as I was, fuzzy remnants of soap suds sticking to the starched cotton of his shirt. I tried brushing it off, but gave up.
“Hey, um,” I said, now feeling a cold shiver run up and down my arms, “Do you have a shirt I could wear, or something?”
“In the bedroom,” he said. I wandered around the apartment, larger than I had imagined it to be, opening doors, peeking my head in until I found one that resembled a bedroom. I looked for a shirt, but everything was so neat and tucked away that I had to peek in the closet. Shirts were lined up in pristine, starched rows. A box caught my eye in the corner. It had the name ‘Elizabeth’ scrawled on the side, the top flap hanging open. It was full of women’s clothing. He had mentioned a previous wife, but I was curious why he had her things still.
Disregarding anything in my naked desperation, I grabbed a skirt and a camisole and threw them on hastily.
I stepped out from the bedroom, “Your house is so… so tidy,” I commented.
“Yes, that’s part of what John takes care of when he visits.”
“Yes. The man who is here a lot. The one who met that lady friend of your’s outside. What was her name? Izzy?”
“Oh… right! Him! Quite the character isn’t he?”
“Hmm…” “Did you find something to wear?” He asked.
“Yeah actually. I found a nice skirt and top in a box in there. Were they your wife’s?”
The blood in his face drained.