It is the madeleine that gives him away. Well, that and the silk cravat pinned like a butterfly to his stiff white collar. His tragedy stands across the room, blue-T against sun-licked skin, flexing a muscle as if bored by everything but his own beauty. Marcel has gone the wrong way in time, forwarding toward the future. He sits in the darkness of this bar, nostrils trying to place whatever it is that is not champagne, and pretending to be entranced by the folds of the drape, falling like the grief of the Madonna’s robe, as Blue-T leans into his beer with the disdain of the Comtesse Greffulhe and for a moment Marcel feels not so alone as if this world is not that different from his own, where even those who are outcast can feel superior to something. But tonight the Apollo who meets his glance sees him as the lesser man, ridiculous with a camellia in his buttonhole. Time cannot save him, whether he goes backwards or forward, for what he wants most is what will always betray him. “It is better to dream your life than to live it,” he once said. So he sits and waits, for memory to take him where he has never been.