Will be leaving the day after tomorrow, and the strange melancholia is setting in. I will even miss the cruel and foul madame of this place, smoking her cigarettes while mixing drinks in a frenzy herself, disgusted with the incompetence of the pretty boys she after all hired, perhaps on a whim she now damns, or a drunk. I will miss her stalking about the premises, presiding over the tables on the beach from the top of the brick steps, hands planted at her hips, making certain the waitresses are doing their duties efficiently, taking a long drag now from her cigarette, eyes squinted, counting the seconds from the moment the gentleman puts down his empty glass of wine to when the girl with the ponytail and apron, now clearing a table full of empty plates, will notice. Yes, I will too miss the cruel French madame, because she is an inextricable element in the mystical essence of this place. Even if while smoking one of her cigarettes she takes to mixing drinks herself, hurling insults at her staff, spitting bits of chicken onto the floor, the bar, dirtying her own chin now, dripping with tantrum, chicken, bile, and tobacco, I adore her nonetheless. She is like the black in one of the Rouaults which seduced me long ago—his paintings do indeed contain some of the very most glorious colours—what shades of reds, of yellows!, of blues, even—but the heavy strokes of black, which so many objected to as diminishing the glory, the vibrance of the color, for me, made the piece in question whole—the black finished it, framed it as if a window of stained glass, a universe complete containing the spectrum of everything expressible, birth and death and rebirth and all of it in between. Yes—the madame may be the heavy, black scourge on the thriving, exotic, lovely palette of Cabarete color, but while she may temper certain joys, or force certain joys to fear her temper, she is exuberant in her foulness and filth, and thus makes blackness gloriously blacker, which is an achievement not easily attained, and while it might seem that this diminishes the other lovely shades and sources of light about her, she not only adds texture and subtleties to each, but in her cruelest, most awful, most threatening moments, she undoubtedly though reluctantly causes all the beauty she seeks to squelch to shine, and shine the more so, in the last breath, the seemingly last gasp, where we all fear that everything will, indeed, fade to black, fade to nothingness, fade to cruelty and soullessness. But it doesn’t, does it? No—it is a stunning beauty, this life—a bloody fucking riveting triumph—but nothing of value is won so easily, so let us marvel at the great, great struggle. On that note, I will miss you, dear madame—I really will.