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.

Thoughts during turbulences

photo-63Last night I flew from Atlanta to my city. The flight for once was empty. One day before the last day of the year, people stayed still and traveled less? But during the night we went through some tough turbulence. Somewhere above ocean or land. I did not even know. Probably the ocean.

I took a blue pill – a kind of sleep aid I bought in one of those shops at the airport. It is the only thing which helps me sleep, with no addicted effect. At least I think so. However the pill was not powerful enough so as soon as I felt a strong shake, I woke up.

Some rougher turbulence came more repeatedly. For a second, I got a bit worried. My first thought – I asked myself when the last time I’d told you “I love you” was. Then came my second thought – I asked myself whether I’d told you enough about my love. And then my third thought – Had I told you how huge my love was. At each question I believed I did not have a clear answer.The turbulences went on for some more minutes. After that I did not remember anything else than my sleep. Like in a dream. But I was assured somehow, I did remember that whatever had I said or done about that love, you would probably have known by now. I remember I could not handle the weight of my eyelids any second further, I closed my eyes and surrendered my fatigue. I fell asleep again, thinking I would tell you all of that sooner or later. Above the ocean or on the land. Somewhere on this earth and in this life.photo-62

** The sculpture on the left is called ” Pensando en ti” (Thinking of you) of Jose Kuri Brena

*** The sculpture on the right is called “Serenidad” (Serenity) of the same artist

(Museum of Modern Art in Mexico city)

In Tulum I have learned to miss you less

photo-58Last week I was in Tulum, Mexico. I touched base with nature and earth. Only me, the infinitely desert beaches and some palm trees. Mornings arrive early in Tulum. At five in the morning, I already found myself lost in the blue sky, barefoot in the sand, following the curves of the horizon, listening to my usual music. Then, nights come early in Tulum. At eight in the evening, there were only me and the sound of waves.

In Tulum, I have learned to live with an empty mind and simplicity. Simplicity in my heart, simplicity in my smiles to the warmhearted people around me. I have learned to live in the dark of the night, with no electricity in my bungalow. I fell asleep sometimes thinking of you and surprisingly, most of the time not.

In this simple life my soul has found peace, more than usual. In this simple life, I have learned to not miss you. Not to be obsessed by your absence.

In Tulum of quietness, I have learned to miss you less in order to love you more. Like the waves, these feelings of missing you came abruptly, hit me strongly then go away as quickly as they could. Somehow predictable like when I was standing at the beach and waiting for the waves to come and get me. I swallowed these waves or they swallowed me. I did not know. The difference did not matter. Then again, things came back to normal. Calm and quiet. Like the mornings. Like the nights in Tulum.photo-59 I have learned to write to you less than usual.

I have learned to miss you less than usual.

I was renewed.

In Tulum.

In order to love you more

Back here at home.photo-61

In this “cruel” world of dating

I have a sweet girlfriend who was torturing herself the last few days, trying to find out whether she would text a colleague to ask him out, as he had written to her several mails and texts. She asked me almost every day what she should do and if she writes to him, how the tone of the text message would be and in which frequency she should answer to him, etc and etc. She indeed asked herself a lot of questions as relating to the “behaviors and rules” in dating.

I am no expert in dating. And I usually don’t write about dating advices or hints on this blog because I only want to write about love in an absolute form, rather than about dating, which is more “down to earth” and more “tactical” to me. But as my friend asks questions, and a lot, it makes me think.

Yes, I think I do have a rule in dating. HONESTY. Yes, to be honest and to be yourself. In the “cruel” world of dating. My rule is the NO-RULE. I answered to my friend: “If you want to write to him just do it. If you want to text him right away after his texts, just do it. In the evening, if you feel like writing him a mail, just to do it.” You cannot go wrong if you always do things in complete agreement with yourself. Because in the end, all you ever did is to really act as you has felt, with no games and with honesty. Because in the end, all people could feel in you, in your texts, in your mails is your honesty. I told her not to think too much, not to torture herself with some strategies. The truth is always the best way to get closer to someone and it also gives the other person the possibility either to come closer to you or to reject you. The sooner you know it, the better.

I remember I met a man who now is a very good friend of mine. We had a thing going on for a while. And at the time, he said something that I really liked: “Truth is great because even if it can hurt sometimes. When someone tells you the truth, he does a favor to you. Knowing is the best thing it can happen to you.” He also told me something that I liked even more: “If you want to write to me every day and several times, just do it. If you miss my mails, just tell me. If you want me more, just tell me so. Don’t worry about how I would feel. Believe me, I can handle. If I don’t want any of them, I will tell you the truth too. Just be yourself all the way long. You will never be disappointed with yourself when you are honest. Don’t worry about me and how I would react when receiving your words. Don’t build assumptions based on your own thoughts and analyses“

Since then I was even more honest. I never regret any of my words or acts. I did everything with sincerily and selflessly. The best thing about it is I have gotten to know the best people, people who are like me and who can handle my words, my mails, my intentions, without being scared.

My girlfriend finally wrote to her colleague to invite him out for a movie. She said she appreciated him. She was really sincere. He stayed silence for a while and then answered to her that he only wanted to flirt with her and had no intentions to go for a movie with her, and he had a hard time to decide whether he wants a woman in his life or not.

She was disappointed for a few days but glad that finally she knew. It saved her time and energy. Her being honest was contagious. Her colleague became honest too. And that is such a good thing in the “cruel” world of dating.

A world within and apart

People keep on asking me why I did not stop loving him. What impedes me to get out of a relationship like this one? Most of the times I did not answer but just smiled. A few times I answered and said something. “Just because…”. How could one know why he/she stays in love or in a relationship? I could name a thousand of reasons to not love him and to not be there for him. Then it might just be one reason to stay as it is and keep on giving him all I have. And this reason is enough, at least for me at the moment. I don’t love to be loved back. I don’t give to receive. When I talk to him from far away, I don’t need any reason to persuade me to be there for him, probably forever.

But there might be something. There is something in him that draws me deeper and deeper into this relationship. This something is particular and unpredictable. He is different from the others. He never acts like anybody else. In certain situations, when people act cold, he is warm. When people get mad, he smiles and accepts. When I think he is mad at me, he is there. When I think he would definitely push me away because I was annoying, he holds me back.

There might be clearly something. Certainly the feel of his hands and his eyes over me. I had never felt such touch and emotion. It was very different from any other touch of hand that I have ever known. His gaze also was very different especially when we talked to each other, when he looked at me in the morning. As if he wanted to see through my soul. When he touched me, he created a parallel world for the two of us, a world within the world we live in with other people. A world in which everything was possible. If you wish for wings to fly, you could have them. If you wish for dreams to come true, they will. Anything. You close your eyes, wish for something in our world and you have it. This was the way he looked at me. In a way that all “maybe” and “probablys” could easily become “certainlys”.

If you ask me once again why I stay in love with him, I think I could give you this approximate answer. Because I still want to travel to this place he created for me and for him. I still want to explore it. As long as I see myself in this place with him, I will stay in love. Even though he is not with me everyday. This world was already there, waiting for me. I just could not move on without getting there first. He might be there. He might not. He had already given me his words:

“whatever we would become one day, whatever shape our relationship would take, we will stay connected”

Certainly in OUR place. Where else ?

Infatuation vs. Love

I was attracted to this man for a while. I wrote to this man for a while. We wrote to each other for a while. But then suddenly somehow I ended up writing only common stuff, observing myself becoming superficial with him. The feelings were gone even though I had several times tried to look for them, carefully with my soul and my heart. The words and the feelings could not connect anymore. I wrote empty letters which were less than nothing. It happened and I did not even know why. I guess like everything, things come and go, feelings too. Especially infatuation. It can never equal love and true love. Yes, I felt for him a certain infatuation, which cannot last without proximity and sharing.

I often ask myself what is the real difference between attraction, infatuation and love. I now have the answer. With true love, you go through silence, separation, loneliness and nothing ever changes. The love is deeply anchored in you. You carry this love with you, walking through darkness sometimes, bearing the loneliness in times apart, but it is just still there. All your mind and soul and body just bear the love, powerfully and imperturbably. Silence never means emptiness. Words make sense. Separation survives distance. You connect no matter how, no matter where, no matter what.

Infatuation fades away very quickly once the physical contact is no more there. Love goes far beyond the touching, the talking, the meeting. Those wonderful feelings of love, you stand there by yourself and feel them all, carry them all inside you. Infatuation is nothing in comparison. Barely a sensation of lust.

I had experienced several times infatuation but had loved not more than twice in my life. I guess that was all the difference.

 

Partir c’est mourir un peu

“Partir c’est mourir un peu”, in French we say that – “Leaving is dying a bit”.

Traveling is excitement. Traveling is discovery even when we go back to the same place we had already visited and known. Traveling is what I like most. However there is always a moment before closing the door of my apartment that I feel a little bit “sad”, looking at my room, my piano, my books for the last time, as if I would never be able to come back again. I don’t know why I always have that feeling. It just lasts two or three seconds.

I admire people who travel around their whole life, without being attached to anything, anywhere. They just change places whenever they feel done with them. There is something amazing about that capacity.

I am the one who travels a lot and most of the times alone. I always feel attached to the people I met and the places I visited. During a short or long trip. That is why I love traveling but it always costs me a bit to decide for a trip. The balance between the excitement and the lost of something when leaving the place. Maybe because I left my country when I was too young. And had never been back. The scary idea of not being able to go back home still haunted me sometimes.

But for today this trip should be alright. It is just a short trip for work to Chicago. I will be fine.

“Partir c’est mourir un peu”, I guess what it is all about. Just two seconds – A pinch in your heart – Irrational tiny pain.

This love feels just right

It is another quiet Friday evening. I had an early drink with a dear friend who was in town for a conference. It was very nice to see a familiar face and a friend who knows me well. He is expecting a baby and is in a happy couple. His good vibes were precious to me. We had a good talk and even though we had never seen each other a lot, we were always close to each other. He has a mature approach related to couples and had found the right woman. It makes me feel happy for him and it gives me hope that nice couples in love still exist. He said something like: “You will know when you meet the right one. Because there is something so beautiful, so dear to you, so intimate. You will just know.” I did not need to answer to my friend because I thought exactly like him. The “right” one is so particular. This person could be all “wrong”, but just “right” for you.

I know it too. Because I love you in such a way that I am the only one who knows and understands. Because your beauty is a beauty just for me. I see it as beauty but maybe nobody finds you beautiful. I find you funny and smart but maybe to other people you are normal and dull. You are just so right to me. I can’t imagine anything else. I know all your flaws. But I never care. Your words arrived just when I said goodbye to my friend. My friend told me that the most important thing is that I feel good and whatever direction I had taken, I had fully accepted it. He was one more time right about it.

I have chosen to love you. So far away. In my own way. There is no rational explanation to it. But then there are also a million of explanations to it. It is personal to me and important only to me. I am not waiting for you. I am holding back my life for you. I just love you because it feels good, it feels right.

The tramway with my friend inside moved slowly away. I watched him going away. Till the next time, I said to myself. The love for you this evening was sweet and strong. I felt mature and strong. I decided not to go out tonight. I like the loneliness on Friday evenings, being with you in  my mind, avoiding crowds and noises. This love is so right even in its loneliness it feels right.

The office

“Memory is like fiction; or else it’s fiction that’s like memory.” (The Elephant Vanishes – Haruki Murakami)

When I leave the office late at night, I usually think of you on my way home. I have a thousand of moments with you at the office. People say that falling in love is like something which grabs you suddenly, something out of your control. With you I don’t know what that means. Loving you is not sudden. Loving you was not love at first sight. Falling in love with you was slow, so slow I did not even remember when and how. I had never thought of you differently as a colleague. I did remember we used to stay very late in the office to talk about life. Yes, we talked a lot about life and the world around us.

The last three days, I worked late. When it is dark outside, it reminds me exactly the moments we were together, talking. The building was by then empty, the cleaning ladies were there. I had a boyfriend at that time. He had never understood why I could stay so late in the office talking to you. He always thought that I was attracted to you. I had never had any thought about that. I just liked to be with you, late in the evening, in the office. I could never explain it to my boyfriend. He would never believe me. But it was not important. I just loved to be your friend, late in the evening. I had never felt the need to justify myself and this precious pleasure to anybody else.

Now sometimes I close my eyes during the day, just for a short while, I can still see you in front of me. Your desk is there. I did move it to the corner. But I can still see you sitting there. To access some databases, I still need to put on your name and password. You were the one who took care of these things. The other day I was cleaning up my desk and some files. Some notes falling out of a notebook, us writing to each other, nothing fancy, just work-related. But it gave me goosebumps, a quick warm and cold sensation in my back.

Memories seem recent. Memories seem fresh. It was like yesterday. Things are still so present. The past is more present than the present itself. Memories are not even memories. How could they be memories? I could feel them like my fingers could feel my hot cup of tea, like my tongue could feel the boiling tea.

I took my time to fall in love with you. I took my time to love you. There has never been any emergency. Nothing in me will ever turn into memories with you. Nothing was sudden. Nothing was impalpable. Being there with you was part of life. Loving you is part of living life, slowly and carefully. Because it is just me being. Like the chairs, the desks, the computers. Just being.

Impotence

“And so they parted, she to the east, and he to the west” (The Elephant Vanishes – Haruki Murakami)

Trying to be close to someone is one of the most difficult things to experience for oneself. At some point the more I try to create closeness, the larger the distance between me and the person will be. The efforts are useless and vain. If efforts there were to be. It is like running without being able to move forward and to have the feeling that my feet could not even be lifted of the ground. It is like staring at a strong stream of water from above, but somehow your eyes  functioning in a slower movement than the water. Impossible to follow the stream. It is like dropping an object in the waterfall, watching it flowing away, increasingly further and further. With a feeling of absolute impotence.

Trying to be close to someone when the relationship does not flow is frustrating and painful. Reaching out in words when words are just words. They never carry any truth, yet I still have to use them. Reaching out in acts. Acts are more meaningful than words. But acts are meant to be received. Reaching out in emptiness when the other person is a ghost. The shadow of him is the only thing I can follow. This same shadow surrounded by secrets and darkness. My words and acts then resonate with no echo.

Trying to be close to someone sometimes is like walking without moving, speaking with no sound, singing with no notes and slowly becoming a ghost myself.  That is when feelings go south. Seeing myself digging a ditch and burying all memories left. And his ghost waving at me goodbye.