This is the condo where Michael & Graziella/Grazi, the main characters live during the “NOW” of the novel.
It is now 161 Days since Hurricane Maria made landfall & 175 Days since Hurricane Irma made landfall on the island of Puerto Rico. This condo sits right next door to the hotel where Leyla Santiago and other CNN staff rode out Hurricane Maria.
Michael was truly losing it. In the smallest of ways, something subtle was off, out of synch. When Grazi really listened to his rants, she could tell something wasn’t right. But not what, exactly. She tried to explain to her cousin Maritsa.
When we were first together, we used to go to Paris on long weekends. We always went to Restaurant Paul on the Place Dauphine. It’s Michael’s favorite. A few years ago, when we were apart, I wrote two poems referencing the resturant as a backdrop of sorts. They were kind of an inside joke. I knew that Michael was working in Paris and reading my blog. But, he wouldn’t respond to my phone calls or emails. He was just lurking on my blog. I knew it and I knew that he knew, I knew….. you know? This was about 2011. So, I wrote these two poems called Lurking For Love and even used an old photo of Resturant Paul, to see if he would respond. Actually, I was kind of desperate. I was really desperate. Of course, it worked and we got back in touch.
Now the point is, on Saturday, Michael and I went to see the movie ‘Me Before You’. Now it just so happens, that Restaurant Paul was one of the main character’s, who’s a paraplegic by the way, favorite places and its a very dramatic and endearing movie. In the end, it’s tragic because the young woman, his care giver, who fell in love with him tries to convince him not to kill himself, but of course he does. In the end, she’s in Paris and she is reading his love letter at The Paul. But, that’s not the point though. That was the trigger.
All of a sudden, in the theater, Michael starts saying that I did this. You did this. he’s fuming at her. Right as we’re watching the movie. Of course, he’s getting loud by the ending, when it was so quiet in the whole place, because the girl is reading this poignant letter. And he started ranting. Gracias a Dios, we were in Bayamon and with his Scottish brogue, nobody could figure out what he was saying. He just went on and on getting louder and louder.
Why did you bring me to this movie. You did this. How did you get this bit of our lives out there? This is nobody’s business but ours. I told you, this is what happens when you make private lives public. You think nobody reads your blog. Obviously somebody does. Now they have stolen one of our memories. How dare you do this. This is what happens when you write about our lives. See what people do! See how ruthless people are in this world, that they would take a little grain of lovely truth and turn it inside out like an umbrella in a storm. And they show it to the world. So there it is, memorialized forever. It should be you sitting there reading my love letters, instead you’re selfishly reading your own work, having your favorite cup of tea. I keep on telling you about this. I keep telling you that every word you put into your blog goes out into the world of the Net and it gets corrupted. It gets used against you, gets so fucked up. It turns our lives upside down and inside out and it makes me crazy. Don’t you understand that you’re making me crazy? Don’t you understand what you are doing to me. Don’t you understand that every time you write a new poem, publish it, do a reading, all that shit you do to sell books and keep your tenure….. you read our lives to people. They can see like an X-ray into my heart. How can you keep doing this to me? How do I let you keep doing this to me? Letting you put my life on exhibition!