A Lungful of Absence

Litweeturefest is a literature festival on Twitter, curated by writer and lecturer Heidi James, in conjunction with Kingston University Writing School. It runs throughout July 2012, and features microfiction or poems of no more than 140 characters. Each entry is followed by a second tweet containing the author’s biography.

My little contribution was tweeted on 12 July. It is a fragment of “Celesteville’s Burning” that I edited to fit the format. I dedicate it to the Emilie I once knew.

A Lungful of Absence
He breathed in a lungful of her absence and just stood there. He just stood there, caught in her slipstream. Winded, he just stood there.

Andrew Gallix writes fiction, edits 3:AM Magazine and teaches at the Sorbonne. He divides his time between Scylla and Charybdis.

Words for Lost

I LOVE YOU
I WANT YOU
I NEED YOU
I ADORE YOU
I MISS YOU
I AM OBSESSED WITH YOU
I ADMIRE YOU
I WORSHIP YOU
I CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT YOU

“Words for Lost” belongs to Valentin Vermot’s series of e-mail and text message erasures. The original was an e-mail from Emilie Pierrade received on Sunday 30 May 2004 at 9:26 pm:

I LOVE YOU
I WANT YOU
I NEED YOU
I ADORE YOU
I MISS YOU
I AM OBSESSED WITH YOU
I ADMIRE YOU
I WORSHIP YOU
I CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT YOU

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.