Venice without her | Festivals and awards

But every time I asked someone, I got the same answer: she wants you to go. She wants you to live a fulfilling life. As Peter wrote in an email, “I think Kate would encourage you to come back to the site for some of your happiest times together.” Other times, friends would say, “She’ll be there with you, so of course she wants you to go.” Would she ever miss a trip to Venice? Either way, it will be a growth experience. You will come back stronger. What I was thinking: Yes, but at what emotional cost?

I made the decision before I could change my mind. The festival booked my plane ticket, and reserved my hotel room. In fact, I started to think about some of the films that would premiere there. Almodovar’s new film, “Parallel Mothers”. ‚ÄúDune. Leonard Cohen’s new doc. The six films of the Biennale College, always a treat of adventure. Am I really doing this? Yes, it seems so.

The old one Texas monthly editor-in-chief Gregory Curtis recently wrote a memoir titled Paris without her. Curtis and his wife Tracy have made Paris their magical place over many visits and many years. When Tracy died of cancer, Curtis wasn’t sure he could turn back the clock. But he did, embracing the experience to the point that he ended up studying French at the Sorbonne. If he could do it, then I certainly could.

I had my first fit of sobbing on the flyby, something in the long solo flight reminding me of the finality of his absence. It would be hard. I landed in Venice in the early afternoon and allowed myself to relax on the familiar water taxi ride to the island, the spray kissing my face. I spoke to Kate in my head. “We are here.”

I quickly realized that I would be in a different hotel than where Kate and I stayed. It was good. We loved this hotel. Kate especially liked the generous breakfast buffet, which was prepared with a lot of panache each morning. It wouldn’t be good to stay and eat there without her. I quickly met my fellow American panelists, a smaller contingent than usual, just me, Glenn, and Stephanie. The others, for various reasons, were unable to do so.

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