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Visiting my friend Marcel in his hospital bed the other day, he clutched my arm and whispered hoarsely: "You know, mon cher Nitram, I have such fond memories of the long discontinued Cellini by Faberge! It was the summer that Albertine and I undertook a motoring tour of the Italian countryside, and the smell of Cellini seemed to surround us everywhere - a splendid opening of lemon and herbs and - the thing I remember most - a unique development of such a sunny resinous warmth. I have never known its like in any other scent! It really seemed to sing of the Italian summer, good food, good fortune, happy futures, the promise between Albertine and myself! And to see me now, surrounded by the smells of disinfectant and tapioca pudding, bored nurses and self-important doctors! Albertine gone, Cellini gone, myself almost gone, and you standing there, twitching, unsure how to console me! Empty beds of the dead!"
17 September, 2011