The Empty Armchair (work in progress)

On one of the corners of rue des Abbesses and rue Aristide Briand, there is a café called La Villa. The decor could be described as gentlemen’s club stroke colonial chic. African masks look down, with long faces, from dark oak panelling. The lighting is always subdued, as though some hallowed mystery had to be preserved from the cold light of day. In the first section, there are twelve black leather armchairs on either side of six black round tables. The armchair where Emilie once sat is in front of me, by the window. It is impossible to say for sure if it is the exact same one, or if the armchairs have been moved around. It is a question of belief. I believe this is the armchair in which Emilie is no longer sitting. I believe that everything must leave some kind of mark, and that her buttocks are haunting the leather seat. The distance separating the armchair in which I am sitting from the armchair in which Emilie is no longer sitting is absolute. The journey between the two refuses to draw to a close as I draw close.

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