Log:Waking Up Alone
He rolled over and went to drape his arm around his wife only to find she wasn't there. Over the past year, he had grown accustomed to her warmth beside him. Maybe the baby woke up fussing, and she'd gone to tend to her. His beloved Fleur. His little Llesenia, who looked just like her mother. He smiled against his pillow and settled in to doze a little longer. He had been clean of the laudanum for nearly a year now, and sometimes it felt nice just to lie in bed without shaking, even if the need still nagged at him. On this particular morning, it left him alone, and all was warmth and contentment.
Except he couldn't smell her. That was the first hint that something was wrong. There was no lingering trace of her perfume on their sheets. He opened his eyes. This wasn't their room. Instead of glass French doors opening onto a balcony, there were four windowless walls, with draped fabrics dyed wild colors in chaotic patterns. An ornate hookah sat on a low table surrounded by cushions. Perfumed smoke lay in hazy planes upon the air, wafting from a brass brazier. Amidst a mishmash of Tibetan prayer flags and posters depicting the I Ching were tarot cards and small pagan idols carved from semi-precious stones among an ashtray and a pack of cigarettes. These were the trappings of someone seeking the divine through mortal vices, willing to try anything to attain whatever heights they might.
He sat up slowly, loath to touch anything. He had a wife, whose face he could remember in Prosperity during those dark days, but her visage in the backdrop of New Orleans was already starting to fade from his mind. His little Senni, so perfect and, faded into a vague yet emotionless knowledge that he was a father.
Arthur he remembered, though. He was in Philadelphia or New York, somewhere in the North performing. Martin has received a letter from him just the other day, but he couldn't remember what it said. The clearest memory he had of his lover was watching him pack for New Orleans. Only he kept interrupting the effort for some quality sinning.
He rubbed his eyes, then stared at his hands. His ruined left-hand was whole, its fingers spread. He wiggled them, and they cooperated.
He jumped out of bed and went to the closet. Inside was a row of silks and satin, women's clothes intermingled with men's and some things that defied gendering. Whoever lived here, they liked soft fabrics in a riot of color. The most conservative thing he could find was a white and red kimono-style robe. He put it on. It would have to do. He had to find his wife and his lover, his child, his cousin, and Miss Angeline. She would know what was going on, and she would explain to him why he woke up alone, naked, in the dwelling of some perverted hedonist.
He had to admit, though, the robe felt rather luxurious, and it fit like it was made for him.