Brando in Cannes, 1950s
OLD MAN (CONT’D)In her bare feet she would come to me. She would fold herself against me, like that, her shape to mine, under the sheets. And I felt her there...Yes, and then I realised: she’d been out, at some point, out in the morning light. Blue morning twilight, that haze before dawn. Bright, but blue in the shade, that frail and fragile blue. That sheen of...not frost or dew, nothing so romantic as that--but simple condensation, darkening, dampening things. The shadows, all wet...And, somehow, yes, I could tell all this from the way that she felt against me, the way that she smelled. It was on her, her skin. Proof that she’d been out, you see. I could tell that she’d gone and then come back again to me...She was a very light sleeper, of course, and she would often wake at ungodly hours. Out of bed at five or six a.m., depending on the light. Maybe making herself a slice of toast, cups of tea.
Florence Peterson, 1909
OLD MAN (CONT’D)But the extraordinary thing...the miraculous thing...I realised...was that these weren’t my sensations...No, they weren’t mine...As I lay there with her: I was only half-awake, my face buried in the pillows and the crumpled bedding, but I suddenly felt that morning out there, the whole wide world, just as she must have felt it...moments before...outside in the open air...It was hers, you see. All hers. The prickling wet of the lawn, the sun miraculously rising, the day gradually warming. Yet, I could somehow feel it, in the arches of her feet, at the small of her back...I had pulled her close by this point, and I remember thinking to myself, guiltily, holding my breath: I don’t deserve this--any of this, this life that she was sharing. With me, for god’s sake. Me. (Pause.) Lying there, lying there with her lying next to me, I naturally said nothing. But, god, how I felt. Everything. Everything I was not.