Feet, please!

He stands behind the kitchen counter. He wears a black undershirt. They are in the middle of winter and his skin is golden, the color of the sun. Or the color of honey. It depends on the intensity of the light. His shoulders are well defined and well muscled. He insists, however, that he has never worked out that few lately. They are still in the midst of a lockdown. He looks happy, cutting the onions and preparing a sauce for the pasta. He sips from time to time the wine. He gives her a small glass, knowing she will drink nothing, like all the other times. A few hours before, he asked her what she would like to have for dinner. She answered: pasta. She has missed his pasta for a while. When the sauce is almost done, she tries to taste it but in a cute gesture, he does not let her. He always wants it to be a surprise when he serves her the dish.

He asks her questions about her job, her friends, her trips to the mountains, her mom. He tells her about his new projects. They talk about his older buildings but the ones she has loved most. She tells him that she could never be able to buy something, not only because the real estate market is so high but also there are no attractive projects for her. She tells him that he has somehow ruined her perspective of owning a property. She wants him to build for her something. He tells her not to worry, first they need to find a reasonable piece of land then he could draw something she likes. She says that he would be too expensive for her to afford. “I am not. And not for you.”

He tells her he wants to be like her friends. The nerds. He calls them. Her friends are all scientists like her. He says he loves nerds. He admires nerds. He has never known any woman as nerdy as she is. He repeats again that he just loves nerds. He looks in her eyes and smiles. “You do not want to be a nerd, you know”. “I do, I want to be with your friends and you, at your dinners and be able to discuss”.

He leaves the kitchen counter and comes behind her. He kisses her in the neck. He poses his chin on her neck for a few long seconds. He smells her and kisses her again.

They sit down for dinner. She never sits in a normal way at the table when they dine together. She always stretches her legs and puts her feet on his thighs. He caresses her feet and eats with one hand.
When he gets up to serve the pasta again, she takes her legs off. He comes back, puts the new pasta plates down. He sits down again and says, as if it was the most normal mundane thing to say: “Feet, please”. Under the table, she stretches her legs again and gives him back her feet. In a most normal mundane way.

It is difficult to know what is going on in people’ heads. It is difficult to know the feelings of people. All they have is the unspoken, the small gestures, the rituals. They hang on to the rituals and guess. They could feel anything, secure or insecure. They never say anything directly to each other. They show their love with codes and rituals. Sometimes with words in indirect ways. They let each other interpret the other’s emotions, freely, without any restrictions. The freedom of interpretation at first seems unlimited, yet very quickly narrowed down to a very small space of possible interpretation. “Feet, please”. What else could she understand? Two tiny words but so beautiful and full of sensuality and desire. She does not need to know what is going on in his head. But that precise moment, she knows. She knows enough.

Conversations

You were not happy the last time we met at the hotel.

 No.

I know. It was our first time. I mean the first time like clandestinely.

The first time we did not spend the whole night together. 

I know. You were sad. 

I was.

We are about cooking, talking, catching up, watching Netflix, cuddling in front of Netflix.

Yes.

And sleeping together. You always stay over. 

Yes.

Sorry about the hotel thing.

Don’t be. We have survived.

Avoid the idea of “an affair”

It was an illusion for her to think that she wanted to see him because she just physically desired him and wanted to see him. She hadn’t seen him for a while. The pandemic situation was not conducive to meeting and reuniting. They had tried to see each other several times after their weekend in the mountains. This was not happening. Perhaps because of a lack of will. But the desire was still there. They did not live in the same city. Perhaps this factor had also contributed to the difficulty of organizing a meeting.

 

He was very free in the early years of their relationship. Then his children came to live with him. Reunions became rarer. They tried to meet each other somewhere else than where they lived. But this was not always easy. When restaurants reopened between the two lockdowns, they could see each other for dinner, but she could no longer sleep at his place after dinner because of the presence of the children. Then the restaurants closed down again and they had no solution. Those long dinners when they knew they could not spend the night together, when they spent the whole dinner touching each other and kissing.

 

One day, they took the afternoon off. She had booked a hotel in the center. A nice hotel, yet deserted because of the confinement. He came to join her in the middle of the afternoon. He looked tired. His hair was even longer. He was wearing the same jeans he had at the last meeting. He had called her at the reception and he gave his name. She picked him up at the reception. They were wearing masks and they couldn’t kiss each other. When they got to the room, he hugged her for at least five minutes. She caressed his hair. The same gray, rebellious hair that she loved so much. He looked at the room and its arrangement. He talked about the architecture of the room, the use of concrete and the transparent shower. He thought the room was well decorated. Then he got into bed and undress. He asked her to join him. She undressed too. But she kept her underwear on. They made love for an hour. Their bodies were sweaty. The kisses. The whispers. Moaning. The screams. The caresses. The hugs. The two bodies embraced to become one. The hands grabbed the bodies. Fingers sought the lips. An hour of pleasure. Or can we say one hour of love.

 

They didn’t talk much. It seemed like they had used all their energy for sex. He had asked her if she was happy. She replied that the sex lasted longer than usual. He protested with a slight sneer, it lasted longer at times. She thought in her head that maybe it was with someone else. Not with her. But she didn’t say anything to him. His body was filled with desire for her for an hour. Tense with desire. As if all his muscles were made to give her pleasure, every part of her body.

 

She hadn’t asked him anything about his children. She had felt that he didn’t want to talk about them. She hadn’t asked him about anything at all. She had never asked about anything in two years. His wife separated but not divorced. In the same city, not in the same city. Maybe even she was in the same city that afternoon. He didn’t feel like sharing anything. She didn’t feel like asking.

 

The hotel restaurant was deserted. People don’t travel anymore because of the Covid. They were alone in this hotel. He could not stay the night because the children were waiting for him. He asked her if she was going to stay and enjoy the hotel’s spa and the gym. She answered yes. She had chosen a hotel with a gym because the gyms were closed.

 

When he was gone, she continued to work a little. It was the first time they had only been in a hotel for a few hours and only for sex. It was the first time she had been in a hotel for only a few hours for sex with a man. It was the first time she didn’t spend the night with him after sex. It was the first time he didn’t cook dinner and they didn’t watch Netflix after sex. It was the first time they spoke so little to each other. It was the first time they made love for so long.

 

She decided to leave the hotel and go home and not spend the night at the hotel. The idea of eating in a restaurant empty of customers during the Covid depressed her. She wanted to see him, she wanted to have sex with him, it was her idea to meet in a hotel. It was an illusion to think that she only wanted sex with him so much. Their story had never seemed to her to be just “an affair”, even though she was always very certain that he has never been an available man, precisely because they had never seen each other in a hotel just to have sex. It was an experience to understand that she didn’t want to meet him just for sex. She wanted to avoid the idea of an affair with a man who was not available. The meeting in a hotel, the sex in a hotel were symbolic of being in an affair. For a thousand of men and women who are not free. Whatever the situation, she wanted to experience some semblance of a situation that would allow her to believe that he was free. The rest didn’t matter. Whatever form their relationship would take. The idea of being in an affair never pleased her. Lovers. Friends. Mates. But not an affair. She just wanted an illusion of not being an affair. 

Hotel Waldhaus Sils and him

The Swiss mountains are known to be unique and breathtaking. When he said he would join you in the Swiss mountains, you did not know which one would be unique and which one breathtaking. How could you live simultaneously the beauty of the Swiss mountains and his beauty. How could you handle the news? .

The Waldhaus Sils hotel was built in 1908. It is simply exquisite, every corner and every furniture seem to be there to make you happy. Your eyes when you walk around the hotel are just filled with beauty. You stayed there for one night. He asked you to stay one more night. He said he would join you in a private jet as he could find one free seat in this 6-seats jet. You could never refuse him. Like Milano, it would be just heavenly sensational to spend some time with him in the mountains.

He was so happy to see you. He smiled from far. You were waiting for him at the lobby. While the whole country is locked down and nothing outside is open. Only hotels are open and guests can be served at the restaurant. At four in the afternoon, there was a chamber music concert with tea and cake. He was so happy that his eyes were smiling the whole time. He held your hands and kissed them again and again. He thanked you again and again for letting him join you.

If your time with him in Milano was heaven, this time it was ten times heaven. You find words would not be enough to describe him and his happiness and yours. He wanted to have dinner in the small “Stubli” with candlelight and not in the ballroom with more people. He chose a table in the corner and said he wanted to feel like being alone on earth with you. After dinner, there was another concert in the lounge, this time the music was all tango. He held your hands even tighter. He was still tanned and his arms were so strong. You love his arms. His silver bracelet shined together with his tan. You love that wherever he is, in a fancy place or a cool place, he would always wear his old grey T-shirt. He would not mind to be different. He has his style. He is chic in his own way. He does not care about what people could think of him. He is so free and so apart in this world. He is simply so rock and roll. Really. He never bullshits you or anyone. What you see is what you get. It is him. No promising words. No strategies. No games. No manipulation. Just pure transparency and joy when he is with you. And it is the most precious quality in a lover or a boyfriend or a partner. No games ever.

The night was long and too private to be described. The morning started with kisses.

On the way back on the train, you asked him shyly: “It would be expensive to come by private jet, right?”. He looked at you, smiling and answered: “Yup, but it was for the two years with you”. Breatheless, you could not answer to that. Next week will be two years of you and him. No promising words ever. No strategies. No games. He is the best, whatever he could be. Two years of sincerity and honesty. You wish everyone could meet a man like this.

You do not need Milan.

You do not need to go back to Milan to live the same emotions. Every time you meet with him, here you are, exactly as if you were back to Milan all over again. Isn’t it beautiful or magic?

It was even more intense than Milan. You do not need the romantic setting of Milan to feel romantic again. You do not need to be in a palazzo to feel like a queen. You do not need to have anything special because he is already there and so unique and special.

It seems impossible for you to describe your dinner with him. There are so many different feelings you have experienced that it would take you too long to understand each of them at every moment of dinner. Nothing is obvious, not even the fact that you were captivated by his beauty of always. This beauty that made you fall for him in the first place. Despite the gloomy fall weather, he was wearing a t-shirt and his two strong tanned arms look even more beautiful than ever.


His silver gray hair was rebellious but made him look as majestic and powerful as a lion.


At all times, he would clear unnecessary items on the table so that he could hold your hands. He would squeeze your hands very tightly, bring them to his lips and kiss them. You would caress his hair that he would want to cut soon but you would tell him not to touch it, it is so perfect the way it is in your eyes.
The width of the table would push you two to almost stand up so you could kiss each other.

You would not feel the cold outside. His kisses to say goodbye would make you forget you were in November. Like two adolescents, you would kiss each other in the middle of the street as if you were alone in the city. The night was bright, the stars looked at you and shined in the dark. His kisses would last an eternity. You would come closer to him and look for his arms. You were becoming one with him under his coat.

You would not need Milan to feel warm. Milan was right there within you. And him. It was better than Milan. Every time you meet with him, it is better than the previous time. Every time there is this new magic nourished by the same old unique emotions. There was Milan and there was “after Milan”.

The emotional nudity

When it comes to love, it seems to be all about balance. We can think, talk, analyse, elaborate hypotheses, assert, confirm, refute, the sentiment of love is the most complex one. Sometimes we think we get it, finally we understand it, then suddenly everything is obscure again. It seems like all the efforts we put into analysing and understanding the feeling of love are vain. Then we step back and think. Again, yes, again.

Can a miracle happen ? Could love be rational ? Is it all about balance ? Could the brain takes back the control ? One moment we think we are crazy and the love we feel for someone is totally out of control. The heart beats in an excessive speed. The pain unbearable. The absence kills. The silence tortures. We feel like we are drowning. We do not eat properly for days during the first days when we realise that we are falling in love. We do not sleep properly. We do not function properly.

But then there is a moment when we look at ourselves in the mirror, in an old pyjama with no make up, we say: “what the f..k is going on here?”. We realise that there is something a bit ridiculous about this whole situation of “being in love”. Why not eating? Why not sleeping? Why dreaming all the time? Why staying all day in pyjama?

That moment when we realise that the emotional nudity we are going through the last days, weeks must come to an end. Yes, we have been undressed ourselves the moment we fall in love, we have been showing ourselves naked. We reveal our weakness, we confess our needs, we admit our wants. We reveal we have lost our independence, we admit we have been vulnerable. We confess that we have cried, that we could not sleep. We said we have lost even the capacity of seduction as we have doubted so much about ourselves. But funny enough, it is exactly at the same moment that we feel stronger and invincible again. But we need to hit the bottom to climb up again. There is something very strange about the emotional nudity, you become so weak that you have to become strong again. You have become so unarmed that you have to arm yourself again with dignity to keep on loving.

It is about balance not about to stop loving. It is like when an alcoholic, after a tragic accident, realises that he should stop drinking. But here, you do not stop loving. The emotional nudity is a tragic accident in the course of love but it is necessary because it forces us to overcome. Because there is no love if we cannot be vulnerable. The whole exercise however is about how and when the balance needs to interrupt the emotional nudity. Too soon would be an abortion of the experiment of falling in love. Too late would turn the feeling of love into an ocean of suffering.

What to say? Think carefully before falling in love or falling in love first then managing the rest?

Bonding

You have fever and you do not know where he is. You would like to talk to him, hear from him. Hear from him asking you about your health, your moods, but it was not possible. He is simply not there.

It takes you a while to get to know him. He writes damn well. You want to meet him. To discover him more than just his words. You want to make the dream come true. Going from the impossible to the possible, from illusion to lived experience, to meet, to touch or simply to talk. You want to have these extremely rare moments. He is among those people with whom you created a bond, at that specific moment of your life, a bond that re-invents you. A bond that requires moments together, a bond that can only exist if the desire and trust exist.

You do not know what is going on in his mind. One day, he comes to you like a storm. Big storm. Like a tsunami that floods your heart. Like a thunder that takes away your breath. Like an earthquake that drowns you into an infinite abyss. Then one day you have the impression he just wants to save himself, first he wants to know you more, then he seems to regret and seems to be embarrassed. You can feel it. Virtually.

A disappointment ? Or a betrayal that you could not accept, or is it his omission of telling the truth that you could not bear. Maybe you are talking about a certain morality that is heavy for him to bear. No, your language is all about rare encounters, shared happiness, people who matter then life becomes liveable again.

And this is the only way you see love today, a love you wish for everyone, in the most non-cynical version and not in the promise of an exclusive commitment. You could understand he could not give you that but you wish he would not need to struggle that much and run away from the most beautiful story of his life.

You are deluding yourself. Given the emotional pangs you are in right now, but this idea of love keeps you going and you are brave as you face it honestly. If you did not have that courage, you would not have exchanged with him that much and offered to come and meet him. For him, it would be the same. Why would he come to you that far.

You dare to hope that this is only the beginning of the story, that would take you and him to you do not know where, but for example just to hear him recite some poems of Shakespeare, or simply to walk with him by the water’s edge of the Hudson river.

A recurring dream

You dream of him again. Not a surprise. A recurring dream. You are with him at this restaurant in Montauk (it is strange that you always think of this place – you have never been there but always wish to go) and you are having oysters. You do not even know if he eats oysters. Maybe because you wrote to him yesterday about being by the beach in Montauk.

You have this image of you two at that beach – desert and untouched landscape. You talk to each other. But you seem shy. You talk more by moments. Then stay silent suddenly then ask again lots of questions. You do not know where to start. He is patient. You look at him non-stop. You do not want to waste any minute when you are with him. Every minute counts as it is a dream and if you did not enjoy it as much as you could, he will be gone when you wake up.

In the dream, you never touch him. Not just once. You just stare at him. Your eyes say more than words. Words of a new-born love.
The “erotic density” between you two is palpable. You are separated from him by a fragile wall made of foam. All you need to do is to touch it softly with your fingers to pierce it and be even closer to him.

A recurring dream with recurring desires. In your dream, you imagine how soft the skin of his face would be. How soft the skin of his hands would be. In your dream, you imagine efflorescing his eyelids. His eyes are close. He seems peaceful, waiting for your fingers.

For you, B.B.

Tonight at 9pm curfew starts in several cities in Europe. We are lucky as it will not affect us. For once, the long distance is our advantage.

Let me remember how it all starts with you. Some virtual exchanges. Some “likes” and “comments” here and there on social media. I have known you through your movies and acting. And lately I have gotten to know you as the most decent human being I have been in contact with. Every small words you write is well chosen. Never too much, never too few. You always have the right tone and I really appreciate you for that.

When I receive your words, I smile. They have made me feel happy for the last few months. Why? I do not really know why, but as said, maybe because they reflect your intelligence and certainly also a bit of your soul. One cannot write and react with care, refinement and delicacy without having an extremely developed emotional intelligence.

I like to exchange with you. I thought it was something quite normal to like to exchange with you. Until something happened. A few days ago, suddenly I saw that you unfollowed me on Instagram. I would not care about that if it had been someone else. But not you. It cannot be you. In one second, I felt like there was not enough blood coming to my heart and I could faint on the train. My heart physically ached. I could hardly breathe. I did not know what happened. The day before, you still wrote to me.

My whole life I have tried not to be vulnerable. Why would I feel so vulnerable that day ? I decided to write to you and ask you why you unfollowed me. That was the only way to do to know why, even though I had for a moment to expose myself and tell you how I felt. My courage received the most beautiful price. You wrote back to me and it was not you who did it. Something happened and you did not know why. A few others of your friends were also unfriended. You wrote to me that you would never do that to me and I am a treasure that you would never want to lose.

My heart from pain to succumbing, to melting. You make me feel new. Not only happy. New. That day I went to a piano rehearsal and I played with my heart and with you on my mind. I played exceptionnally well that day.

The next day we wrote the whole day. You were in New Mexico shooting a new movie. In spite of the time zone, you were with me the whole day. I told you that you are handsome and your beauty is illegal. You smiled and you did not agree with me. You told me you are old. For me, you are perfect. I insisted so many times. One day you will have to believe me. You will have no choice. You have to believe me that your heart and your soul are so special. I will insist until you believe.

The whole day I went through your Instagram pictures. I looked at your blue eyes, clear and sweet and plenty of good intentions. I told you that if I were a filmmaker and I was to shoot a movie, in my movie, the female main protagonist would fly to New Mexico and ask the male protagonist to marry her, all in 24 hours and fly back home. In spite of the Covid situation. In spite of everything that could happen in this world. You told me that in our movies, there would be very few scenes with dialogues, only gazes between the two people. That would be an intense movie – I said – with your eyes, blue like the ocean and your face, tanned and beautiful, where every wrinkle is placed perfectly, like a piece of art.

The day of your birthday I played the song on piano and sang for you. It was the first time I did it for someone. I told you that I did it for you because you deserved it. You said you were melting. I would do anything to make your heart melt even more. Or at least to make your heart sing and be happy all year round and not only at your birthday.

You had a dream about us. Your words that I copy here, words by words, because they are so beautiful: ” It was very sunny on a balcony. I was in the shade sitting on a table. And I told you to come in from the sun”. I told you about my dream during a nap. We were in the South of France, we were driving a convertible old Mustang like in the “Bullitt” movie. Dreams are with you, every time.

You want to know about the whole story of my life. Be sure that I will let you know me. Again I quote you, words by words: “If Bach has gotten to know you, I shall get to know you”. I remind you that if there is Bach anything is possible. On that one, we agree. On your beauty, you still fight back and tell me that I am wrong. But one day you will agree with me too.

People criticize Facebook and Instagram and the social media. I cannot say anything. They brought you to me. It is a wonderful gift. I wish us everything, I wish us more of everything. The sharing laughs, the longing, the melting hearts, the crazy imaginary movies we will make. Most of all, I wish you well and all the lovely things you could have, including me.

Dance…

Life is complicated and we luckily can understand it, piece by piece and not always as a whole. And that makes life more interesting and not boring for one second. We cannot plan everything. To fall in love with someone, to stop loving someone, to encounter someone, to feel something, We do not have the answer for everything and that is the coolest part of living. Otherwise our lives would look like an Excel spreadsheet, in columns with subtotals and incomplete mathematic formulas.

Living a meaningful life is like living a thousands of experiences that you want to put in a novel but then you realize it is impossible to write this novel.

Life is like a masterpiece of art. Building your masterpiece of art with new experiences, enriched with old ones. Some have families in there, with kids, wives, husbands, exes. If you are lucky, in there, there are loves. One unique love story or plenty of love stories. If you are lucky, you experience the idealism: long lasting love. Most of us do not.

Then what is even more important is the honesty. Do whatever you want to do, love whomever you want to love, be with whoever you want to be, be sincere, be honest. And dance. Like Anthony Quinn in Zorba the Greek. Dance and smile. You can cry while dancing. You can love, you can suffer, while dancing. Be sincere while dancing. People who are like you will follow your steps, the others will be left behind but it will not matter.

Do not judge. Do not let yourself being judged. Do not justify. You do not own anyone anything. Be free. Do not expect people to be like you.

The longlasting love – the most certain one is with yourself. So, first, love yourself and if there is some love left, it will be for him. Not the opposite. Never forget yourself while loving him.