The 100 year siesta
Where else would you go lie for a siesta?
Expectation relishes in time. It magnifies every tick tock, enhancing every vein of its form, rendering each minute eternal.
I lied next to Sleeping Beauty for a while yesterday afternoon. I had forgotten the last time I had visited her. Her thick, long hair was still resting on her shoulders and her perfect red rouge, the reason I visited her when I was a child, was still intact, as her ease and tranquillity transpired through the soft sound of her breathing, emitted from those lips. Her hands where around her small waste, a gentle hold on it.
Her whole world here was her dress; built with fabric upon fabric of silk, sheer, fur and velvet that kept her warm. I know this because I touched her hand to see if she needed a blanket. She never did shift her body, she never coughed; she prevailed in a world where time adhered to her.
I gathered the tulle of my Elie Saab gown and climbed in bed, resting my head gently on her shoulder. I knew she would not be conscious of any movement but even so, I tried to settle as quietly as I could while covering my legs with my skirt. She smelled of opium — the perfume not the drug — and as I closed my eyes I felt my body assembling into the sense of calm she had created here.
I’ve come here often for a siesta; she’s always been the one to instil some semblance of patience in my utterly unquiet mind. She has mastered the art of forbearance and every time I lie next to her, I search for the ability to wait without expectation. Except waiting predisposes the latter and often defies patience.
There is a stillness here that I need when my nomadic, unsettled mind comes to an overwhelming state which only a being of her kind is able to ease. I stayed here for a while. I may have dosed off, I’m not sure. I did feel much calmer after I left her to her siesta.
Story credits: Sleeping Beauty (1959); Vogue France; Elie Saab Haute couture.