Patience, as a virtue.
An anonymous sculpture holding court aloft the parquet floors of The Louvre.
Paris, France. Waiting – DK
Though a requirement for most, it tarried within his Hermès tote as a reminder of the diplomatic understanding between nations, that allowed men to venture into those varied and exotic landscapes. More than a ledger, it was an invitation to foster a dialogue in culture, discovery, and inspiration. That the stamps themselves had long since overwhelmed the document, was of no concern. It remained a part of his tote, nonetheless, as a symbol of possibility.
As a symbol of wonder.
And yet, it was not a necessity for him.
Not for entry.
Because the architect did not need a passport.
For his name was known, the world over.
And in those places, where the syllables were not sufficient to pronounce,
But whose inhabitants knew well, the influence of Rome
And its artistic ingenuity in shaping the world,
In those places,
He was simply referred to as, Il Bravo.
Implode. Part LXXVIII – DK
Because someday, you may be called upon.
Hercules and Cacus by Baccio Bandinelli, as it stands at the Palazzo Vecchio.
Florence, Italy. Endure – DK
As much as it would have pleased him to do so, the number of days in the Gregorian calendar were not sufficient to appease the inundation of requests for his audience. And though the affluent patrons were generous in their offers of unadulterated travel, lofty accommodation, and all manner of excess, the rigors of his schedule would not allow for such a diversion from the particular nature of his work. Ms. Olsson, his diligent muse, would maintain a detailed ledger of the various luminaries, dignitaries, and other such individuals of note, accustomed to the urgency inherent in their name, and placed them into an organized queue for archival.
And yes, it was true.
The architect did have appointments today.
Some, with those famous monikers.
Yet, it was this moment, that was his most important.
He observed, quietly amused by her uncharacteristic response to the novelty of the cuisine and the Veuve Clicquot, in particular. It was unrelenting, the bubbles of the champagne tickling the brim of her button nose. She set the crystal flute onto the tablecloth and continued to grin, her cheeks as rosy as the 1998 vintage that now satiated her palate.
“I was contemplating the du Cap.” Maxwell would say.
Claire Mulberry, her famous poise now enraptured by a quiet joy, blushed as she observed her husband, and smiled.
“And the confiture de citron?” She inquired bashfully.
“And the confiture de citron, of course.” Her husband confirmed, with a playful smile of his own.
The au fait chef continued to blush, turning her attention toward the sustenance of her plate. It had been some while since she had possessed the entirety of his attention.
And she was grateful.
“Well,” Claire began, “Summer’s almost here. And like every summer, I look forward to…”
“Perhaps today.” Maxwell would insist.
Claire observed him, without words.
“It’s been some while since I’ve held you…”
His wife continued to observe him, spellbound.
Implode. Part LXXVII – DK
In his youth, he allowed his agile frame to descend the jagged ledge of Mesa Vuono into the cerulean depths of Poseidon’s realm. Submerged beneath the crystal blue sanctum, the burgeoning architect could not envision an indulgence more stellar than the warmth of the Mediterranean sun upon his face, the eternity of black sand beaches surrounding him, and the temperate solace of his Greek aquatic enclosure. His friend, who had not yet been accosted by the furies of love, maintained their post on that onyx sand, enduring the afternoon heat, accompanied on either side by the tanned, long-limbed, supple denizens of the island, renown throughout history for their uncompromising grace and beauty. They addressed the pangs of hunger with smoked bass. And quelled their thirst with Campari.
Similar days would follow. And in his youthful opinion, nothing could compare.
Now, as he lunched on the westside of Manhattan, gazing across at his wife, the Scottish-born culinary savant, Maxwell had arrived at an unequivocal truth:
There was nothing more magical.
More deserving of his meticulous attention,
Than the splendor of her smile.
Implode. Part LXXVI – DK
Because some floors are composed of marble. And stars.
The terra firma of the René Caovilla boutique.
Milan, Italy. Brilliance – DK
He knew that the question itself breeched social decorum. Still, he needed to know.
“What are you doing later?”
Lucy was taken aback by the inquisition. His charred, hazelnut eyes interrogating her resolve.
She was unsure of how to respond.
There was truth.
“I have to prepare for the Sotheby’s auction in London. I fly tomorrow.”
And then there was the truth.
“Though perhaps we could…”
She paused. Benjamin was patient.
“Jean Georges at eight?”
Implode. Part LXXV – DK
Though they were decidedly ashore, serenaded by the amber glow of the renowned French eatery, appropriately situated within the epicenter of Manhattan, he still found himself lost along the song of the ocean. And though the arrangement was to regale at midday, feasting with his wife, it was a spectacular swell that captured his fancy, the aquatic cascade awash along the length of the golden wall. Maxwell sat, engulfed in the image, his navy blue Tom Ford ensemble insulating him from the imaginary winds.
He returned to West 51st Street.
“You haven’t touched your oysters.”
The architect observed his wife, longingly, though his wistful gaze indicated that he was still adrift upon the illusory wave. It was not so long ago that he manned the sail, chartering the effervescent waters of the Mediterranean sea. He recalled the splendor of the Iberian sunshine and the demeanor of Benjamin Grey, who was haughtier in those days, as well as the grandiose Etienne Rousseau, also aboard the skiff. And though their course was never determined, the Rugby friends would always arrive on schedule, at the most appropriate ports along the peninsula.
The architect returned once more. He sighed heavily, before capitulating to his wife, turning his attention toward the molluscs on his plate.
Claire observed him, concerned.
“Is there something wrong?”
Maxwell reassured her.
“Forgive me, my love. I was far away.”
Claire continued to observe as the gentleman builder carefully removed the delectable morsel from its savory shell. She smiled.
“The last time you had oysters…”
“We were in Cancale.” He replied.
And as he brought the maritime sustenance to his mouth, the Bvlgari cufflinks peering from the edge of his custom sleeve, the Lady Mulberry continued to observe her beloved. She then took a considerable amount of air into her lungs, before exhaling in her own longing sigh. Content to allow him a moment of pause, the delicate chef observed him, for a moment longer, before reaching for the crystal flute of rosé notes.
Indeed. He was far away.
Implode. Part LXXIV – DK
Because you will always be first.
Brunch with BB.
Los Angeles, California. Bonne Année – DK