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. 

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.