Jon, Paloma, Robin and I went to the Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. It was bitterly cold. Snow dusted the ground and threatened in the sky. We walked up cobbled paths between family vaults, between the tall elegant stones of the ilustrious. Jon got a map of the cemetery on his I-phone and guided us like a hip Charon, to the top of the hill, past the crematorium. None of us said much. Seeing Oscar Wilde's tomb - my goal - left me feeling even bleaker than I had done before. I'd wanted to make a video there, recite a poem there to put on Youtube. But the stone itself, designed by Jacob Epstein, my favourite British sculptor, seemed strangely dissatisfying, the bird-man carving not inspiring at all - more like a gargoyle left over from some forbidding, Mussolini-influenced edifice. Not only that but the whole monument now sat inside its own rectangular fishtank of thick protective glass, courtesy of the Irish government. So it was now nigh on impossible to place a few posies at his side. And impossible to daub graffiti, either in praise of the man or in homophobic contempt. Around the glass was an untidy area of gravel and some temporary metal fencing, skewed at an angle, as if the glass, too, had had to be hastily protected. Oscar seemed imprisoned yet again, or at least very distant. We left. Jim Morrison didn't get to see us, we were in such a hurry to leave.
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