Tuesday, 30 August 2011

A headful of words and nothing to say

I can't look back as I walk away. If I do, I will cry.

There are two champagne flutes on the draining board, remnants of a night that would lead somewhere I could never have anticipated.

What's to follow may seem like the trite ramblings of a fleeting holiday romance, but for now they are real and alive. I don't know what to make of it all. So, I will type as I drink a glass of the end of the bottle of red wine of last night.

I wander into the pub to meet a friend and to sit amongst the group of waifs and strays in the place that is my social haven. People with lives and conversation.

There are two friends and another.

The smiling, handsome stranger I assume is another visiting musician or part of the crowd I've yet to encounter. We say hello and introduce ourselves, and it is the beginning.

This used to be his place. He is here for old time's sake and the familiar. I'm not sure whose friend he is, but he is welcome and he is here. Somehow, somewhere along the course of the evening chat to turns to flirting, it's nice but pointless. He lives on the other side of the world. I have no intention of following through with someone who is unavailable.

But – there's that word - as I try to shake off the flirting, pretend that isn't happening, I weaken. He is upfront. I am too. Yes, we can can have a drink and that is it. That is all.

I open the bottle of prosecco meant for tomorrow's party. We smoke and listen to music. And, somewhere amongst these threads, there emerges a person I want to listen to. A person who's listening to me. We kiss and talk. They are the kisses of teenagers new in the world, from adults reclaiming some innocence . Words of discovery. I unfold the sofa bed in my sitting room, so that sleep is found with John Martyn playing. There is no need for anything else.

Even as I type, these words seem absurd. Surreal.

As the morning unfolds, we hold hands and each other knowing reality must intrude. There is a visit to the jewellers and lunch, dragging out the moment where we must part. But, parting doesn't seem like an option. There is a an evening to squeezed be from these last couple of days of his trip home.

An evening turns into 24 hours as I take an afternoon off. I'm nervous and excited when I meet him. There are drinks, and dinner, and too little sleep. Ideas and intimacy seem more more important. Sleep will come after.

His hands are rough from making things, and so very gentle. His smell is just his smell, and oddly familiar. He as a muscular, slight frame and deep eyes. As we make love he is gentle and good humoured . He reads my eyes. There is no quest for quick gratification but a need for connection and consummation of whatever this is.

A day spent in our home city, in an art gallery, on a terrace, wandering round a film set that the city has become, in eating, in walking at a good pace, in trying to pretend the inevitable does not exist and enjoying the moment at hand. Happy, authentic, interesting.

We've talked of death and love. Of fun, of fear, of olives and good cheese, of places and people, of family, our teenage selves, of books and dreams, of furniture and simple lives, of driving, of not beng parents, of losing friends and lovers, of having adventures, of god, of sex, of music, of all of it.

We have spoken of this, of being surprised, and sad that this is it.

He feels important. He is a world away. Clever, creative, well read, cheeky, less tall than me. Both of us with coloured pasts just being whoever we are now, and somewhere in all of this is a connection that scares me a little. He makes me feel beautiful. This is beautiful.

He finds me at a cusp of then and now, with a future that must be embraced and celebrated, and which I'm a little terrified of.

Our words slow down, and eyes and hands cling and seek. I have no idea how to articulate what is in my head, and I know that it wouldn't change a thing, so I stop. And hold him. And kiss him goodbye, both hands slipping from his as we turn finally and walk away.

There are no words that can bring our worlds together.

In another life, he is someone I could fall in love with. 

Tomorrow this may all seem like a bizarre fantasy, and I am afraid it will still feel all too real.

Thank you for reminding me how it should be.

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