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Josh Rouse

I was in love. She wasn’t. ‘Nashville’ got me through spring 2005. I bought the CD; that was something you still did at the time. I went to her building, but not having the code, I waited in a café until someone came out the front door to slip the album into her mailbox. Later, when I didn’t love her anymore and she still didn’t love me, she admitted to me that Josh had brightened the crossbeams of her grey Parisian ceiling for months.

Josh went south. I did too. I fell in love again. I think Josh did too. You can hear the sweet voices in the choruses of ‘Subtitulo’, the voices that cry ‘Sweetheart?’ when they get home. My new love and I decided to take a week-long holiday to Altea. If we had time, I would write a book, or we would record an album. Or make a baby. But mostly we would look for Josh. And when we found him…we would say ‘Hi!’ or ‘¡Hola!’, but I don’t think we would have said anything else. We were shy and Josh is too.

My new love didn’t come with me to Altea. She didn’t love me enough for that. Not for the album or for the babies. So I went with someone else.
With her, at least, it was clear. She didn’t love me. So we went to the beach. And we went to the market. And we went to the internet café. And to Chinese bazaars. And we followed a procession. Questioned cats and bodega waiters; elderly, quiescent Brits. And I wrote a book. And we didn’t make a baby, but some sublime bouillabaisses.

One night while we were looking for Josh, we found him in a music store. The clerk knew him. He told me that Josh had just left for Valencia; ridiculous, we had been there the night before. I bought a guitar, and once we got home, while my unbeloved tanned naked on the roof, I used the patio table to write a bossa for the cats.

Text by François Thomazeau

Translated by Tara Dominguez