Locking fantasies away and throwing self in daily routine has been getting less difficult.
I went out and met a couple of friends, those who are really close, like my gap-toothed best friend and his new found and also first love who also happened to be my close friend, like Alyona from Ukraine with sparkling brown eyes and warm embrace that was my privilege to take whenever she sees me sobbing, or Alan whose messages in the early morning always a favorite treat.
I also hit the gym again and went biking at night, normally after my night teaching, before heading home. There’s this bad habit of sleeping less that is starting to take form, which I need to ditch. My quota of just 3 cigarettes per week has been violently broken. I remember how Steve always shot me messages to remind me of my intake but again, the idea of engaging in the act is always more tempting than the act itself, isn’t it?
I went on dates. Yes, very quickly. My excuse is that I’m in my early 20s and drowning in such modern city life with instant technology. But it was just sex, mostly. I went to a fancy hotel built on stilts sticking out of breezily calm lake in one early morning to meet up with this hotel manager dude from Switzerland, where he gave me fantastic blowjob with his color changing doe eyes looking up, examining every single tremble that I made. And then, upon learning he was cheating on his long term boyfriend, I went to the balcony, lit another cigarette and sent my thoughts adrift on the still water.
I met another guy, who is at his early 40s, named David. He spoke to me in his raspy French accent about life as a graphic designer, how he lost his virginity in a beach front, his amusement for locally produced t-shirt and his Vietnamese-origin sister while playfully running slim fingers through the floating cloud-like hair. We drank and talked up till 1 am in a dark corner of the funkiest bar in town the I chose and parted way with a goodbye. David gave me his lighter, saying by using it I’d be able to keep him in mind. “When you reach a certain point in life, you know what is good and what you should invest your thoughts into, for example, not meaningless hookup,” basically that’s what he said. Ain’t it the thing I always find charming in mature men?
Anyhow, I finally let the sex lead the way on the 2nd date, during which he sweetly gave me small “bisous“, which is my favorite word in French, rather than devote to the other physical acts. It ended up with me laying my head on his lap, half wrapped in the solf blanket just clumsily turned into a mess, while he was introducing me to Hugh Coltman’s music. For a moment I feel the storm had been weathered again in the sense of belonging he was pervading.
But then again, getting by isn’t that accustomed, at least not yet.
The other day, while sorting out my stuff from the dirty backpack to clean things up, I stumbled across something. At the bottom of the pile lied Jorge’s favorite swim trunk, the one with coconut trees standing in the colorful sunset, which I forgot to return to him. And then it all flooded back.
I saw George everywhere in my music library. There was Broken Bells, the Nationals, Damien Rice, Eddie Vedder, Who Made Who… There was Lana Del Rey whom he didn’t really like but blamed me for injecting that Born To Die song into his head. And of course, there was Bon Iver, whose music brought us together in the first place. And I think, he still saves my contact as Bon Iver in the phone.
I wear my pasu, or longyi, or sarong, whatever you call it, every night when I go to bed ever since the trip, not just because it feels surprisingly comfortable but also it reminds me of our first night, when we were skin to skin, and George would approach me from behind, giving me a loving hug, guiding my hands with his to the bundled mess that I made and said “This is how you properly wear a longyi.”
The weather has been playing out unusually strange again, since it was really chilly in the middle of April. My hoodies have to be resorted to avoid another cold. I don’t know, maybe, or definitely, it’s just a coincidence, but it was exactly like the last time George left: the town turned into gloom for a whole week, and that’s how it’s has been for at least the past 5 days. But unlike the last time, when I was full of excitement and hope for our bright looking future, this time, there’s no promised sunlight.