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For Eileen Gray – Sarah Moore Fitzgerald

© Mary Gaudin

In some shining slice of time, not hers, not mine, we will be friends. I’ll enter slowly through the door-less frame at Roquebrune, and we will sit behind her concertina glass in chairs designed for happiness. On the balcony we’ll drink (by day, iced water, dry white wine by night). Often we will clamber down the rocky path to swim.
Sometimes the sea will have a pulse, hot and sharp like toothache. Breakfast will be served on steely tables that can be raised or lowered according to our changing moods. I will drive with her on fragrant coastal roads.

One evening, drunk, I’ll tell her I think Badovici is no good, and behind Le Corbusier’s suntanned back I’ll ask, ‘Who chooses for himself a name like that?’ We’ll tear his dark-wood cabin down, his colour-coded bunkhouses. Our laughter will be filled with liberty and vindication. We’ll coat our nails black with lacquer, dress like men, and I will scrub away his blaring lurid murals, sand down her walls, and paint them clean again.