This two-piece is inspired by The Maccabees‘ Slow Sun.
I have designed it as a business-suit, underlining the pressure the protagonist is under and how she has to „keep it together“, to show strength when the storm rages outside. The front is completely covered, like a wall that surrounds her, whereas the back is open, showing her vulnerability, and how easily her wall can crack. Here is where you find the title of the song „Slow Sun“ – a big sun covering her back. She is caught in a „net“ of doubt, love, strength, self-consciousness, which holds it all together.
I have found the bordeaux- shimmering taffeta at a second- hand bargain store in my hometown. I chose this one as a reference to the lines „The red won’t come off you“.
The fabric is a leftover from a house clearing.
„You are such a special soul. I am constantly amazed by the words you say, thank you so much for your letter. I’m currently dealing with a massive jetlag but I will write more soon. Here’s to sharing love. Love of all kinds. I’ll see you soon. Sam“
Words resound in my head. Here’s to sharing love. Like an arrow through my heart. Six sentences. Sixty words. Poisoned. Sam has cheated on me before. But this time it’s different.
I’m sitting on the couch in our living-room. Our living-room. I’m surrounded by cameras, microphones, people talking into their smartphones. Love of all kinds. I’m callous. Numb.
“Are you ready?”, the camera man asks me.
They’re making a movie about The Band. The Band. The Band I helped building, creating, me being the voice of reason in the background. I bought Sam his first E-Bass from my first salary as a kindergarten teacher. Back then, we moved into a tiny apartment in somewhere Brooklyn. The first one we’ve shared just the two of us. All money we could save went straight into The Band. I believed in him. I still do. He’s the love of my life, but I’m not sure whether I can deal with this anymore. I am constantly amazed by the words you say. I wonder how she looks like.
It feels like I’m watching myself from afar, sitting on this bamboo-couch Sam and I bought on a flee market in Williamsburg, how we were trying to bring it back to our new apartment in Park Slope on the G train. We didn’t have anything but this stupid bamboo-couch, which I now want to set on fire. To sharing love. Fuck you. I watch myself answering questions I have answered oh so often before: How did you two meet? Has it been hard on you too?
I smile. I have put my dreams on the backburner for him. You can’t have kids if your husband is constantly on tour. It would destroy The Band. It’s his dream. I don’t do pottery anymore. I’m working two jobs.
I hear myself answering with a forced smile on my face: „Yea. Life wasn’t always easy on us.“
Sam is currently on tour in Europe. He asked me to join him. But I couldn’t get off work. I’ll see you soon. He’ll meet up with her.
This burning jealousy eats me up inside, numbs me from the outside. As soon as the cameras are gone, I will clean the apartment, run some errands, maybe pick up some flowers for the coffee table. He has always told me about one-night-stands on tour. This time it’s different. They have been writing for more than six months now. Since the last time he was in Europe. He forgot to close his laptop. I couldn’t talk to him about it and pretended I didn’t see. I think he’s in love with her.
Cut. The film crew has finished their work for today. They will fly over to meet up with The Band in Paris to get some interviews with fans. “Do you want me to bring something to your husband in Paris?”, the camera man asks. “Yes, I have put some shirts together, I bought him a new pair of denim jeans. He said he wore out the ones he had and they almost ripped on stage.”, I try to laugh sincerely. I wonder if she will unbutton one of these shirts, opens his belt, then opens the first button of his new pair of denim jeans. The ones I picked out. My eyes fill with tears.
“Huh? Oh yes. It’s just … I… nothing.”, I smile. To sharing love. “Tell Sam, I love him.”
“I will, hun” A hug. They’re gone. I want to cry, I want to scream. But I have to clean the apartment, run some errands, maybe buy some flowers for the coffee table.
I decide to call him. They must be done with the show in Berlin by now. No answer. Jealousy is taking over. I’m walking up and down in the apartment. You bastard. I take a deep breath. I dial his number again.
“Hey babe, how was the show?”
“Hey love, it was great! So amazing! The crowd was noises in the background sorry, honey. We sold out! The floor was filled with people singing our songs. I’m still amazed. How are things back home?”
“Great. Good, the film crew was here today, and…” noises in the background
“Sorry love, I can’t hear you. We’re going out for a drink now. Can I call you back tomorrow?”
“Sure. Sure, I…”
“I love you, too.”
I have to go to bed. I have to get up early tomorrow.
Before I go to sleep, I check his instagram feed and see pictures of a cheering crowd, him on stage “Thanks, Berlin” I wonder if she is on this picture. I push like and comment “So proud of you!” with a little emoji-heart. I cry myself to sleep. This time we might be done. I wonder if he’s with her right now. Here’s to sharing love…
Sam will be back tomorrow. He’s been on tour in Europe for two months now. He never mentioned her. He kept his mask, while anxiety took the best off me. I have decided to wait and see if he will tell me about her. We’ve been drifting apart. We might be done.
The apartment looks pretty. It’s warm and cozy inside while the storm rages outside. I bought some daffodils for the coffee table. He didn’t want me to pick him up from the airport it’s „unnecessary transit“. It’s late, and I’m tired. I have put on the white oversized wool jacket he gave to me in College, made some tea. I feel numb. I don’t know where to sit down. I don’t know what to do. Here I am, standing with a teapot in my right hand, a red cup in my left. My eyes are uneasily scanning the room. A feeling of anxiety overcomes me. Don’t cry, Frances, he’ll be home soon, he’ll notice you’ve been crying, he’ll want to know. I take a deep breath and sit down on the bamboo-couch. How can one sweet memory become so deadly?
I hear keys in the front door lock. The storm is raging. My heart is pounding. Don’t cry. He’ll notice. He’ll want to know. Door closing. I hear him putting down his guitar case. Steps towards the living room. His hair is wet. His bright blue eyes tired. His shirt soaked through. He looks at me. I feel how cold he must be. I can’t get up to give him a kiss. The weight of the moment pinned me onto the white cushions of the sofa. I close my jacket and look onto the coffee table. Daffodiles, teapot, cup randomly positioned. I want to say something. I want him to say something. Anything. My eyes fixed on the cup of tea.
“Do you want to have some peppermint tea, Sam? It’s fresh and you must be cold.”
His eyes are filling with tears, he stares at the cup of tea on the coffee table. We raise our gaze. For the first time in over a year, we look at each other, see each other, know each other.
He starts crying. He knows I know. He sits down next to me, covering his face with his hands. Lays his head in my lab. I start stroking his hair.
“I love you, Frances.”
“I love you too.”
“It’s gonna be ok, Sam.”
Photography: Lisa Altekrüger
Concept//Story//Design: Gloria Sophie Wille