The Empress

Charleston, South Carolina

“Unconditional love. Harmony and nature. Satisfaction and sensual pleasure. A new romance.” Steve Luca via Japaridze Tarot

I like it here. It has a semblance of home.” Selen expressed as she took a bite of a Pistachio and English muffin. It was the last day prior to Selene departing for Sri Lanka and a Parisian world of wonder lay before her. They both had awaked early in the morning and had made their way to Rue Jean Pierre Rimbaud to The Hood, a neighborhood café. “It’s one of my favorites.” Nico responded. The space was a self-described coffee shop for music lovers. From the outside, it was lined with long glass panels reminding Selene of Giuseppe’s book shop.Upon entering, a tile adorned counter appeared. Beyond the counter, a staircase led to a second level. Tables with varying chairs and stools decorated the stone floor. The walls were mostly white, though at times interrupted by the presence of a green-pink wall paper. The wall paper reminded Selene of one of Mr. Flaubert’s paintings. It was called The Empress. The painting was laden with vivid colors. At its deepest layer, the background was colored a bright yellow on the top half and a grass green on the bottom half; representing a sun-lit heaven backdrop and the earth. On the top upper left-hand corner, a giant fuchsia flower petal grazed the bright background. Gravity didn’t exist in the world the painting portrayed. There were orbs – dark and light, material and energetic aimlessly wandering on the canvas. Some of the floating objects stood out: a conch, a colored scarf, and a star fish. To the center right of the canvas appeared a floating woman. She was floating through the air, head down. Her skin was a turquoise hue, one of her breasts were exposed, and she had additional appendages protruding from her body. From her head, curly, sponge-textured fiery orange locks of hair expanded onto the heavens. 

They paid the check and began to aimlessly walk. For the remainder of the day, Selene and Nico strolled by the eiffel tower, the Louvre, Notre-Dame, Arc de Triomphe, and other well-known Parisian sites. As the sun began to set and the night began to approach, they decided to head to the Latin Quarter to dance the night away.  She fell in love with the way the city made her feel. The next morning, Selene was set to fly to Sri Lanka.

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