“One day, a storm flared up, then the ocean calmed down even though the wind still raged. I wandered the water’s edge along an utterly empty coast…”
The year our firm went public, I began to feel I wasn’t in control of my life. I was spinning in a whirlpool of events and duties, of the interests and opinions of others; escape seemed impossible. And I liked my life less and less. In fact, I didn’t like it at all. So I made the decision to take a vacation and went, off-season, to Nags Head, NC – to spend ten days by myself at the ocean.
“No matter where he was or what he did, he was tormented by thoughts of Elizaveta Bestuzheva and the fear of losing her forever…” – A SIMPLE SOUL
Her present lover she had forgotten completely. He was baffled and called daily, feeling hurt and mumbling something or other, but Elizaveta was always extremely cold to men in whom she had lost interest. They stopped existing for her, as if they had been put behind a transparent wall that repelled each and every word. She didn’t waste her energy on explanations of any kind and refused to reply to protests – not because she was heartless, but because conversations like these were intolerable torture.
“Threads of fine energy streamed from her fingers. She was all lit up like a sensitive live wire, and I was happy for a short while…” – SEMMANT
The new job was complicated and brimming with surprises. It really appealed to my tastes. The mystery of living molecules got hold of my head, and besides, autumn in Paris that year was soft and romantic. I thought the healing was right here, just a step away. I was surrounded by enthusiastic people; we again worked very hard, and we were happy because we were still young. I married a French artist and fell in love with Manet and Bonnard, steak tartare and red Bordeaux. But all the same, doubt kept gnawing like a worm. Everything was lovely, but it was all unstable – I felt it in my skin, recalled it in my sleep.
The artist, fair-haired Natalie, became the first woman of my dreams. She was exactly as I had imagined in my youth. She even had a familiar smell – like a crisp autumn wind with yellow leaves. Here it is, harmony itself, I would tell myself, transported to seventh heaven. And Natalie adored me in turn.