The last time I last saw Chiara, I asked her and her husband to come meet me at that bar on Mercer with the transparent bathroom doors that turned opaque when you locked them.
(What was it called? We used to go there all the time after work: because of the frisson caused by the bathroom doors – would the glass really go dim, or would you end up taking a leak in public? - and because the bartender made a mean vodka gimlet, which was my drink for years.)
Bref, Chiara and Daniel walked in, followed by a certain young man: his hair swept off his forehead just so; his scarf knotted at his throat just so. He looked a little bored... a little haughty... a little indolent. He was tall; he was slender; he was sensational.
I turned to his mother. "Holy shit," I said. "It seems just yesterday he invited me up to his room to meet his pet rat."
"I know," said Chiara. "Isn't he something? I'm a little infatuated with him myself."
Years before that - when the young man was still a little boy - Chiara had given me a copy of Vivaldi's Stabat Mater, played by her Ensemble 451. I've always treasured it, and today seems like a good day to listen to it again. Here's my favorite cantata from that CD:
Cessate, omai cessate
d'un affetto tiranno;
già barbare e spietate
mi cangiaste i contenti
in un immenso affanno.
Cease, henceforth cease,
of a despotic love!