everything was beautiful and nothing hurt
One of my best friends can’t come to terms with the fact I still write about you. Truth be told, I haven’t written about you for ages, now, but he’s read something old I published recently and got quite worked up, because you should have become something irrelevant by now, you should have passed. (The thing with me is that nothing ever really passes.)
Two things happened this week that made me think about you. I’ll start with the second.
You remember I used to cook everyday? How everyone went nuts about my food? You’d be surprised to learn I haven’t cooked for years. Apart from the occasional party guacamole, I mean. But that’s different, that’s not routine. On the weekend I went to the market and bought a whole bunch of stuff to start cooking again (having lunch out is ruining my budget). On Monday I cooked some broccoli and I don’t know if it’s because it’s December and this time of the year always gets me emotional, but I remembered a lot of things. I remembered living with P. far away from my favourite neighbourhood, and waking up at 6am everyday to run in the jammed avenue nearby. I remembered the feeling of power I had from knowing my body was strong and healthy, and the taste of the fresh made juice I used to have every morning. I couldn’t grasp what made me abandon all this.
It feels good to take care of ourselves.
Today I got home a bit later but I didn’t want to let that be an excuse — I’m tired of excuses. I had drunk two beers, I wasn’t drunk but I felt a little sluggish, so I wanted to prepare something quick and easy. So I grated a zucchini and as it was cooking, I remembered it was your recipe. Quick and easy, best prepared late at night and a little bit drunk. Like the previous night, the memories took over me and I could almost see the hostel’s kitchen with its dim light and worn out pans. That was the last period in my life I used to cook as a routine, everyday, for myself, for you, and for everyone else who happened to be around and hungry.
I know this sounds ridiculous but man did it hurt staring at that zucchini. And I realised as much as I had poured you out of myself on endless lines, vomiting everything that had scarred, it was all pain and sour. It had all been so bitter.
You see, I’ve been trying out this Buddhist thing lately. And Buddha tells us about the “Middle Path” — I’ve always had difficulty with in-betweens, so it’s been a struggle to put it in practice. With me it’s always all or nothing, full commitment, open heart, intense, deep and painful if it must.
So after all the bitterness, I think now it would be fair to give it a go at writing about all that was sweet.
This brings me to the first thing (remember? — two things made me think about you this week). It was on Saturday. Talula asked me about the most memorable fuck of my life. I’m sorry this is how I’ll start on my good memories, but that is the one thing that’s never been stained. I’ve never been able to convince myself that the sex wasn’t amazing, no matter how worthless it made me feel — but hey, I said I’d make it sweet.
So on this day you had just climbed up to sleep with me (I had finally made it to the top mattress on the bunk bed). It was almost morning and you had sneaked up without warning, as usual. I never knew when or if you’d show up, but you almost always did. I remember I really liked talking to you, and we had all these charades and puzzles and word games. It would go from “would you rather be the foot of this bed or the knob of the cupboard?” to more mundane stuff like our top three favourite things about each other. I had told you two of mine, but I had saved the third one for a more appropriate moment. You see, one of my favourite things was how you’d always be hard as soon as you’d lie down next to me, but that wasn’t my most favouritest thing of all; I unzipped your beaten up jeans and grabbed your warm hard cock in my hand and whispered to you “this, this is the third thing”, and back then I was childish and shy and couldn’t bring myself to say it, but I kissed you and I wanted to eat up your moans, I wanted to eat you all up. I guess one of the girls that shared the cheap hostel bedroom with me was sleeping underneath us, but I didn’t care. I had never been so turned on in my life, and I dived under the duvet and kissed your stomach and got rid of your pants and licked your cock slowly and firmly. I swallowed just the head, jerking you off with one of my hands and stroking your balls with the other, and I could feel you tremble and trying to hold any sound. I started licking the base of your cock and used the palm of my hand to stroke the head, wet and warm, and as your back arched my mouth went back to the head and I swallowed it all in one go. You grabbed my hair and I was almost suffocating under the duvet but I didn’t care, you pulled my head and whispered, urgently “do that thing with your hand again”, and I did, while I sucked your balls and scratched your stomach and you were pulling my hair and I started sucking you again, faster, but it was far from over, and time was endless and I sucked you until my lips got sore and then I'd jerk you off faster, harder, just to breathe a little, and get you right back in my mouth and I could go on but you grabbed my head and pushed it against you and I felt you filling up my throat, hot and thick, and I swallowed it all.
The curious thing about this is that I don’t even remember if I came that day. I know I smiled, and we kissed lazily for a while, and you apologised for taking so long and I didn’t say anything, I just grabbed your soft cock and fell asleep holding on to it, my head resting on the place your shoulder met your chest, my favourite place on earth. (And later on, after you moved out of the hostel, you’d message me asking if I was in need of a Human Pillow on that day and I would always say yes, and I almost wouldn’t mind walking down the steepest hill in the city knowing I’d have to climb it up the next day to get to college.)
Your top three favourite things about me were: 1) how intelligent I was, 2) my sharp sense of humour and, inevitably, 3) my cooking.
You see, this friend of mine, the one who thinks it’s a waste of energy that I’ve made you my personal villain for so long, what he doesn’t know is that the only reason you reached so deep is because of your unmatched wit. I swear, no one’s beaten you to this day — of course, I’ve had some spirited conversations, some tummy-aching laughs, but the way you’d twist my words and bend them at your will is unparalleled. I've identified a pattern; the type of guy I usually get fascinated by tends to be smart enough to know I’m smarter but proud enough to never let it show, and that’s what makes the chase. But you’ve outsmarted me more than once, and trying to guess what you’d say next was always an adventure.
I remember all this stuff, now. I remember getting drunk every weekday on extremely cheap alcohol, that you’d drink from a tiny coffee cup. I remember when you found out my phone number (you could have just asked, but everything was a game and you always had to be one step ahead) and would send cryptical text messages inviting me to meet you in the backyard so you could steal one of my cigarettes after everybody went to sleep. And I’d sit on a chair opposite you, and we’d make up schemes to prank our favourite people, share stories about the crazy ones who slept with knives under their pillows, hate on Bukowski together and talk about all the books I should read and all the movies I should watch and all the songs I should listen to, and discuss the dogmas of my made-up religion and the particularities of my personal geography delusion (I was USSR, you were Nicaragua). Eventually, you’d look at me different and say, very low, “come here”, and I’d curl up next to you and we’d make out until it got so out of hand that we’d either go to sleep in a panic of frustration or, if we were drunk enough, go to your room and try to fuck in silence so the other boys wouldn’t hear us. And the next day I’d get to college and there’d be a youtube link in my inbox to a soft beautiful song, and I wanted so bad to impress you but I was so afraid to tell you anything real about myself, I was so very young.
I remember convincing you to let me cut your stupid all-over-the-place hair because you had no money to go to the hairdresser, even though I had no idea what I was doing and I absolutely loved your messy stray dog looks. I remember the day you cried and my chest shrank and I hugged you and all I wanted was to pacify your heart and for you to be happy, even though I knew it would never ever be me, but right then it was ok, it was really really ok.
Somewhere, all of this got lost and only pain was left.
It’s a bit silly that it was the zucchini to cause this epiphany, but I remembered this all at the same time, with a strange feeling, but it wasn’t bitterness, it wasn’t hurt — it was an infinite sadness for having buried all this tenderness you gave me, for having repeated so many times over the years that you were the only person I wish I could erase from my story. It was a release, something burst open inside of me and finally the words can come out, I think I can finally say it:
i wouldn’t change a thing.
(PS.: this is the first unsent letter I don’t feel bad for keeping — now I realize none of them was ever meant for you.)
img 1; horst faas
img 2; lina scheynius
title; kurt vonnegut