Tessa, The Girl With The Wine Glass Spoke


Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Luncheon Of The Boating Party (1881)

What a human tapestry, with sailboats
in the distance. There they were on
the balcony of the Maison Fournaise,
having dined on rabbit stew, then
drank wine, utterly consumed with
each other in a kind of magnificence,
overlooking the idyllic Seine River.

Who should Mr Dufayel talk about but
the lady at the center, a wine glass
to her lips and talking to no one in
particular, as if she secretly lurked
in a kind of dream. And why not?
Life is too strange and flickering,
cinematic, full of quirks.

It’s how we live, feeling the ground.
Shifting so one’s made quite giddy.
Yet for 20 years, Mr Dufayel made
the same painting–Renoir! Isn’t it
strange, you say. Yes, a singular
dream, couldn’t you tell–thirst
assuaged–life’s one long spell?

Prompt: This is inspired by the French movie, Amélie, which referenced Renoir’s painting. In the movie, the protagonist, Amélie, seemed to be a projection of the girl holding the wine glass because she’s basically in her own bubble. Actually, as it turned out, every character in it is wrapped in their own bubble. Mr Dufayel, her neighbor, for one, drew Renoir’s painting every year. In the cafe that she worked, the lady who manned the cigarette counter was wrapped up in her allergies. A regular customer sat at the same table across from her counter day after day. Her father and a lady neighbor were both wrapped up grieving their departed spouses. Amelie met a man who looked for discarded photos at photo booths every day and pieced them inside a photo album. We repeat, you guys. Repetition is key. So what sort of dream is your character wrapped up in? Write about that.


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