Waiting at the gym

The bus 31 took me to his gym. I have never taken the bus 31 to go to this side of the city. Eleven stops from the station. He was waiting for me at 9pm. I arrived in front of the gym at 8.10pm. There was nothing around this area except one small Migrolino – the equivalent of a 7 Eleven in the US. There were only buildings for offices with no light inside. And above the main street where his gym is located you can see a bridge illuminated in the night. I have never been to this part of the city. I was way too early so I went to buy a small coffee at the Migrolino shop. I bought a take-away Starbucks coffee whose taste was disgusting. I crossed the street and found myself in front of the gym. No one in front. No one inside of the hall. I saw the name of the gym on the first door on the left. 8.20 pm. I entered the gym and said to a man sitting at the reception desk: I am a friend of S. He answered: Oh yes please come in, he is just there.

I took off my shoes and entered the room, sitting on a sofa, facing the training area. Here he was. On the floor with a sparring partner. He waved at me and smiled and got back to a jiujit-su position. I have not seen him for three months. And most importantly, I have not written about him for more than a year. Suddenly I felt a big wave of confused feelings all over me. I was happy to see him again. After all, he is my dear friend. I was scared to feel something more than a friendship again. And what I was afraid to face was very real at the moment I saw him on the mat. I was not indifferent. Something did happen inside of me. But I tried to avoid to put a name on it.

Here he was. The man with the eyes which carry the whole humanity like I have always thought. I could see those eyes from far. I opened a book on the table and browsed it slowly. I tried to avoid to look at him train. I have never seen him train. For all those years I had no occasion to come and see him train at the gym although he had asked me more than once.

Three months ago we had dinner at my place. With his parents. When the parents left, he told them he would stay and help me clean the kitchen. We washed the dishes together. When we finished he grabbed me and kissed me. The kiss lasted forever. I kissed him back. My kiss lasted more than forever. We were friends. We had stopping being lovers for a while already. Then the kiss in the kitchen. A kiss which is not sexual. He did not stay. Though he could. I could invite him to stay though. The kiss was the one of regrets, of affection or love, the kind of love which carries the universe, which gives you the world. His kiss was that kind of kiss. And that kind of friendship.

I was still sitting on the sofa, watching him train, remembering his kiss in my kitchen. 8.46 pm. In less than ten minutes he would finish the training and would come towards me and his hand would touch my neck as a sign of greeting me.

And this is the way our friendship goes now after having been everything together. I would say hi to him and catch furtively one of his fingers.

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