Love’s delight

The soul is healed by being with children. – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Antoine stands quiet and motionless at the edge of the table, studying the drawings in front of him.

Behind him I wait, expectant.

Finally, a chuckle through the nose.

“Tu aimes?” I ask him.

“Quelle fripouille,” he says, then: “Quelle chipie.”

He loves it.

L’Architecte II, 1 (29 October 2022)

In another time, in another place, my father sits at the head of his table, reading the letter he’s found in the pile of mail his wife has left for him next to his lunch plate. This letter, like the ones before it, signed: a neighbor.

Right beside him I wait, expectant.

Finally, a chuckle through his nose.

No need to ask him if he likes it.

He loves it.

L’Architecte II, 2 (29 October 2022)

God works in mysterious ways, my mother always said.


Antoine chuckles through his nose and I am seven years old again. All I want is to please, to love and be loved; all I understand is kindness and patience.

L’Architecte II, 3 (29 October 2022)

Luckily for the architect. He certainly could use a good dose of all these things. The guy’s a little broken, his soul’s a little wounded.

See how he rubs his nose lightly over the back of his hand? It soothes him to do that.

L’Architecte II, 4 (29 October 2022)

What is it exactly that needs soothing? What trauma, what pain, what fear?

If God ever needs me to know the answer to that question, he will most certainly make me privy to it.

In the meantime, when it comes to Antoine, the only instruction I’ve been given is to love him with the heart of a seven-year-old. Seven.

Much to my love’s delight, of course.

“Tu es la punition que Dieu m’afflige d’avoir emmerdé ma mère,” he says.

But he’s not kidding anybody.

He loves it. All of it.

L’Architecte II, 5 (29 October 2022)
Cracks for L’Architecte II (Dean Street, Brooklyn)
Making of L’Architect II (Providence, RI)
Making of L’Architect II (Providence, RI)

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