My name is Renée. Maybe you better know me as “Aunt Renie”, even if I’m not really an aunt for you. I’ve been told that everyone has chosen for me a fictional personality so I get used to become a different person in every story. Well, in this story, written during a cold Parisian winter, I am looking for a guy called Damiel Parker.
Damiel used to live next to my place, in a little village in Arizona. His dad was rich and his mum was really good-looking but they were too busy in their little love affairs to care after him. So he used to hide in my garden, chasing butterflies and lizards. He was a smart child, a bit lonely, always riding his bike. I still remember our wonderful summer days when we got friends: living was easy, the cotton was high and we used to eat Aunt Jemima pancakes together in my veranda every afternoon, making jokes and creating stories about fantastic animals. Well, this was a few decades ago.
I have not seen him for years, since he moved to New York City to follow the decadent utopia of a sparkling life in the city. Well, his parents used to write me from time to time, and they told me Damiel is fine and still living in New York. He quit his ambitions as soon as he realized that, by growing, ideals and dreams inevitably turn into more conventional goals.
I’ve been told he is involved in a few meaningless jobs, since he’s looking for the smallest amount of responsibility and he just wants to have enough money and spare time to keep on writing. He should be around 32 now and I am sure he has still the same sad smile and the same green grass eyes. I wonder if maybe he got a girlfriend or a wife or a real ordinary family with crying children, trained dogs, a full fridge and ridiculous toys.
I guess I’ve found him on facebook but I don’t dare to contact him. Still, I managed to have his address so I can send him from time to time some fairy tales, the ones he used to read under the trees of my garden, just to offer him a last glimpse of dreamy childhood. He used to answer me with some postcards from New York, without any words. Then he stopped. I have a whole collection of them.
As a child, Damiel used to write stories inspired by songs his parents listened to. Once, he sent me a perfumed letter, with a story about summertime and jumping fishes. I’m still dreaming about this fabulous tale. I wonder where his inspiration comes from now.
I’m almost 75 right now and I would like to see Damiel one more time. If you manage to catch him sooner or later, tell him Indian summer in Arizona has never been that colorful like this fall and that old Aunt Renie is still waiting for him with hot pancakes.
Soundtrack: Summertime, Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
Images: © Julie Morstad