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.

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.

Just remember the desire

The train you take that night from Milan to home, even if outside is dark and you cannot distinguish a thing but only your own shadow reflected on the window, nothing is more poetic than the thought of a new-born romantic feeling experienced for someone. Perhaps the most romantic person that Sunday evening is you as what nourishes that melancholic yet beautiful feeling is your courage facing the uncertainty. What is the most admirable is that you do not have any fear. You are not scared of getting burned. You embrace the day spent together with him, with joy and grace and no fear. No plan. All you have is desire. Your desire. This irrational “thing” that people usually want to figure out very quickly as soon as they “feel” something for someone.

Your desire for him is the only constant variable since the day you first met him. The desire that functions like a huge machine, that works for itself, that feeds and gives energy to the rest.

You assume your desire. You never need to justify your desire or to kill it with moral or social boundaries. You do not want to be sad. To kill your desire is to be sad. The kind of sadness that usually impedes people to live fully their emotions.

You just want to live your desire for him. During this long train trip, you see your shadow on the window but also your desire. Its outlines are sharp. You see the day spent with him like a movie, with scenes after scenes of desires. A movie in which there are not necessarily any images of him and you. Only the vivid memory, and the perfume of the desire transformed when possible in kisses and sensual touches. The kisses have the perfume of what you both love most, the white truffle.

You live your desire in Milan endlessly. That is an unique experience. Something you will always remember. What should come after does not matter. How you both go back to your lives and how you both live apart will not matter. Just remember the desire.

He is back

He is back.

He is back.

He is back. How come he is your inspiration and now this is all you can write? He is back in your city. The moment he writes to you from the airport to tell you that he is back, you lose all the capacities of normal functioning. This week you forget three umbrellas in the train. Yesterday you went to work without your wallet, you had to go back home to get it. But you still feel like it is normal to be this way. You are in the clouds. Your rational mind still denies that you have feelings. Having feelings ? You laugh out loud. If this is just having feelings for someone, then being in love would be what? How many umbrellas will you forget in the train if you were in love? How many times you would have to go back home because you would forget again and again your wallet?

He is back. First thing he writes to you. He tells you he is in a festive mood. He says that Milan was great but too short. He calls you a romantic nerd. He reads your blog. He says you make him happy. You stop the whatsapp exchanges first as your small heart is too weak for such emotions.

He is back. The idea that he is a few miles away is totally extravagant, crazy, insane, exciting, romantic, poetic, inhuman. How come just knowing that he is back and not too far from you could procure such emotions and joy. Who knows the answer?

He is back. And it is not a dream you have in the middle of the night.

The struggle

In the early stage of being in love, you struggle. The rational in you would ask the same question again and again: is it worth loving him?

You analyze the relationship and give yourself a thousand of reasons to escape from your love for him. You struggle because in your rational thinking you could not give one reason that tells you to keep on loving him. The absence, the unavailability, the uncertainty, the impossibility of a future together, any reason is good to stop your feelings for him. You struggle because, on the other hand, there are another thousand of reasons that do not give a damn about your rational analysis. But these reasons are purely romantic, emotional, poetic and they have nothing to do with the reality.


In the early stage of being in love, you want to reject him, you even want to hate him for being so perfect, up to the point that you cannot resist him. The person with whom you fall in love is just amazing and unique, yet you are tormented and feel the need to escape from that love. The struggle does not come from fear, at least not yet. The struggle is a reaction to something too strong for you at the moment to handle. The minutes, the hours, the days after you fall in love, you already regret. But as much as this feeling tortures you from inside, there would still be this floating exquisite feeling. The feeling that reminds you of his kisses, his voice, his gazes.


The struggle lasts long as both your rational mind and the memories of him are powerful. They are inside you in equal strength. The moment you think of his kisses, your inner rationality reminds you of his absence. And it keeps on living in you. During the time of struggle, there will be no room for other feelings or other persons. Love. No more love. Love. No more love. Until saturation. Until exhaustion. Who is gonna win ? You have no idea. The only thing you know is he occupies your mind day and night. Until saturation. Until exhaustion.

24 hours in Milan or the G. experience – Part three: the dinner

Yesterday evening you accepted a dinner date. Last Saturday you were in Milan with him. At the exact same time, a week ago, you were falling in love with him. How come you accepted this dinner date.

You have no choice. Either you stop living and keep on waiting for him or you keep on loving him, without waiting and keep on living your life. The long-distance between you and him. The Covid situation with all borders locked down one week after another. His work. Your work. His free-spirit. Your free-spirit.

The date was not bad. It was just meaningless for you. There was nothing to compare to last Saturday when you were with him in Milan. He was so happy you picked the right Osteria in the Old Town, small, authentic. You sat outside. The weather was still perfect for being outside. He ordered plenty of food. He was like a kid. He held your hands during the whole dinner. He ate with one hand so he could hold your hand with the other. He asked you about your childhood, told you about his. He asked you about your dreams, your goals. He told you about his dreams, if he still had some. He said he felt lonely travelling around for work. He said he did not have a social life and did not really care. He said he have you when he arrives each time in the city where you live. He ordered three desserts. He made you try the mousse au chocolat and the tiramisu. He said you could eat whatever you want you have a perfect body.

His eyes were smiling with you. He always knows exactly how to make you melt. But he does not play with it and plan it. It is just the way he is. He looked at you so intensely at dinner that sometimes you could not bear his gaze. Sometimes you had to look somewhere else.

After dinner, you walked around the Old Town. Your hands were in his. He stopped at almost every corner of the street to kiss you. His lips were delicious. There was still a bit the taste of red wine. You let your head on his shoulder while walking. You remember he told you once that the people he loves are invited to join him in his modest journey of life. That evening you were certainly part of these people.

To love him is to accept the absence, to accept the ups, to accept the downs. To accept intense emotions and pain when he is away. But what could you do else ?

Yesterday you went on a dinner date to survive. On the way home you promised yourself not to survive that way again. Your heart is too small and you only have space for him. Even though he is more often absent than present. But a thousand dates like yesterday would never equal one dinner with him.

You go home. Your head and heart full of him. Your decision: loving him, not waiting for him, keep on living your life, but not going on dates anymore. Your heart tells you so.