From the marble steps, a large arm stretches out toward me and I instantly recognize him from his photo. Lawrence Osborne is a tall man, with elegant dress and a deep, warm voice. “Should I wear a jacket for this?” He asks, and we look outside, where Florence is soaking in a hard rain. He has just come from his home in Bangkok, where, in early monsoon season, the rain is worse he says. We grab a hotel umbrella and head over to the Gabinetto Vieusseux in the Palazzo Strozzi.
Funny to pair a wine with a moment, and pull cheeks back into a thin smile, twirling the warm blood in the glass. Twirling blood and saying “Yes, a Bolgheri is excellent with game”. It is a silly game, except maybe coming from certain guests or special aficionados, I would guess. What a word, aficionado. From Hemingway’s Fiesta, the word used to refer to bull enthusiasts at San Fermin. The narrator Jake was an aficionado, if I remember it right.
Lying in the dim corner of all nights, a tempt and tangle. The little shop stands on the way home, where you drive past the double parked cars along the pavement. It is so easy to stop, the little pasticceria that works through the night and opens for the young people going home.
Remembering Fabio of a ski shop in the Western Alps near Turin, in the small town of Sestriere. He was a constant there, he had fitted my boots whenever I joined the guys for a trip up to the mountains. Fabio was not actually his name, that was actually the name of the man who owned the shop. My friend Albert Goothe and his older brother knew the real Fabio. I hadn’t met him, but knew he must have existed, and that our version of Fabio was only his stand-in. He ran the shop.
Alive and well in this fine bone-sunk field, drying in its sun and listening. But what of it? When did I last dig my nose deep down underneath the gray carpet of the shoe’s sole, and touch those brown filthy roots? To really look at life in decoration! Roots grow into the car seat, into its dark tissue, but I have recently felt the need to pull up and go. To touch a memory, to see the wonderful things on the doorstep that we always wash away from in between our toes. Where to begin?
Hello, to unconfirmed readers, welcome to Real Gabriel, a space for his and my and your voices to collide and fill the amphitheater of our minds and drip out of it again upon the short grass. I like writing and I thought I would practice here. If you like, follow our walk into the foams of varying topics, the aesthetic and critical whims of our reflection, the non-sequitired babbling of a series of know-nothings, want-alls. I meet you here, in the smoky ante-chamber, and I ask you to take my hand and walk with me side-by-side down the hall that you see ahead. It is a dark hall, and the marble below is cold and slippery against the rugged skins of our four, or six, or many feet. Don’t worry, I know as little as any of you of what lies ahead.
Actually, that is not entirely true: I have some ideas. I have little candles that are burning distinct threads out of my ears and nose and lips, and these threads do lead to some place. All places that I love, independently of whether I know anything about them.
I love my home, this is beyond doubt. I will maybe sit down at a table in a cafe near that home, defined by that home, and put something into my mouth that I like or don’t like or that tickles in the back of the throat a fancy that would have otherwise dripped down that troubled windpipe. I might write about this. I might hear something that I love or see something that I admire, in the hills or on the canvas screens or sheets or in the face of a friend. And then that friend might say something, and I might say something back, and then this play will litter these web pages. Only time knows what these pages will see and digest, and I will interact with them and with myself here, to see where I am going. Real Gabriel, sketches of Adrien, questioning Orange. It matters very little, if you are intrigued you can look, and comment, and not make small or large but only to smile or to frown.
I am excited. I do not have much to say but once you give yourself a voice certain words do spill out of your mind. I want to feel the sounds that turn me and you and all of us on, that send the skin on the nape of our necks tingling, and bring us to dance together and to fight. And I want to know how little I have known about all the things I pride expertise in, my empty understanding and absent knowledge and prickled pretense. I want to be pinned against the walls and poked and punched and hollowed out from within, and then steamrolled onto these pages with a smile on my face. Till the blood pulsates in each of my ten finger tips and a green green grass grows out of the dirty palms of my hands. This is what I wait for. I expect everything and nothing, I will put out nothing and less, I will listen and I will speak and then yes we will enjoy together I should hope.