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.

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”.

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.

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.

Worse-case scenario

One week after Milan. You survive. The longing for him is definitely less. The missing him is a blurry feeling. The symptoms of an “infection” of him are less severe. Transformed into a permanent serious illness: love sick.

You are sick. Love sick. Love him. Loss of appetite. Bored with people. Only want to see him. Only want to touch him. Have you just said that the symptoms are less severe ?

How are you gonna get cured of this illness ? You have no idea. Is there any remedy? Lock up your heart right now ? Isn’t it too late ? Walk away ? Never see him again ?

Or just let yourself being sick? Worse case scenario: you lose weight. It could be a good thing. Worse case scenario: you write more poems as you are inspired by him. Worse case scenario: you play more music as the music always reminds you of him. Worse case scenario: you tell him that you love him and he already knows so it will not change anything.

Love him to the fullness and wait for the worse case scenarii.

24 hours in Milan or the G. experience – Part one: the arrival

“Am I in love? Yes, since I am waiting. (..) Sometimes I want to play the part of the one who doesn’t wait; I try to busy myself elsewhere, to arrive late, but I always lose at this game. Whatever I do, I find myself there, with nothing to do, punctual, even ahead of time. The lover’s fatal identity is precisely this: I am the one who waits.” (Roland Barthes).

This is very subjective guide to how to spend 24 hours in Milan with the man with whom you are going to fall in love.

You know he will arrive in the afternoon around 4pm. At lunch time you are not hungry. You want to do some more visits of museums before he arrives. But your head is already somewhere in the clouds. So you end up sitting at the CafĂ© Fernanda of the Pinacotheca di Brera, a beautiful palazzo museum. You sip very slowly your cappucino, it has never been more delicious than this particular cappucino, it’s the capuccino of the day you will meet him. He sends you his location. The closer he gets to Milan, the faster your heartbeats. Even when his train stops somewhere in the middle and has a few minutes late, and he sends you again his location, even then your heart aches. He asks where you want to have dinner. He wants you to choose. He says he has a list of restaurants recommended by his friends but he will follow you anywhere you want to go.

You give him the name of the hotel where to join you. You were already in Milan a few days before his arrival. You tell him that you would leave his name at the reception. When he arrives he would just need to ask for you and you will come down. He sends you a heart emoji and a happy face.

From that moment your brain stops working. You walk around the streets next to the hotel but you do not really know what you want to do. He arrives in two hours. You go back to the hotel. You take a long shower. You pamper yourself. You smell good. He sends you more live locations. He is about 30 minutes away.

At 3.30 pm you come down to the reception to wait for him. At 4:00pm he let you know he takes the cab at the station and heads to the hotel. Ten minutes drive. Your heart stops beating. The heartbeats more and more irregular. You are stressed. It is not the first date. You have known him for almost two years. But you are stressed and excited and nervous. 4.20 pm, he is still not there. Traffic, maybe. Then he calls you. He is too shy to go to the hotel and asks for your name. He tells you he waits for you at the Swiss Corner, right in front of the hotel. You tell him you will be there in less than 3 minutes. He texts you a heart emoji and a happy face.

You cross the street. Enter the Swiss Corner bar. He waives for you. He has a big smile. He has the happiest face you have never seen. He gives you a warm long hug. Then he pulls you back a bit and look at you for 10 seconds exactly. Then he kisses you. The longest kiss of the century. No, really the longest kiss of the history of kissing.

(end of Part One: the arival…….to be continued)

There was that one second.

The third day after Italy. You wake up this morning thinking of him. Like a routine. No surprise. He is under your skin. Any small particles of your skin has a bit of something of him. The longing of his caresses and kisses is there. Not as strong as the day before. But still there.

Before you went to sleep last night, he sent you some pictures of your trip together. Without comments. Just some pictures. You replied to him with an emoji who waives a Hi. And that was about it. You are always shy. You could write to him every hour. You could send to him heart emojis. Tons of them. But you never did. Even if when he sent them to you. You answered with a smile.

Though love is not a game, you do not reveal yourself. You are always careful. You protect yourself, building a wall between him and you. And why is that? You are afraid he is not available. You are afraid things will change between you two if you open yourself up. You wish you could one day put down this wall between you two and tell him how much you care for him.

In Italy you realize you have surrendered him. In Italy when he holds your hands, walking around the Old Town, when he stopped suddenly in the middle of the street, around a corner, to kiss you. You know you have crossed the line of no-return. You could no longer protect yourself. There is this fatal second when you know you are falling in love and cannot take it back.

There is that moment when he tells you that the only person who cares about him in this world is probably you. He says this, holding your hands and looking at you. This moment lasts one second, two seconds or ten seconds, it does not matter.

Strategy. Protection. Rationality. Control. There was that one second when all of these have no more power. The brain has surrendered. One second. That is all. Like Murakami said: the rose is red, the ice is cold, I am in love.

Mood after Italy

You let him come to Italy. Live dangerously, you call it. Live cautiously is not to let him come. Majestic him. Whom you know you cannot resist.
The experience was vertiginous. When you live the ups you have to be ready for the downs. Who wants rain must expect the muds. You were ready. Or at least you think you are ready. Ready for the downs, the moment you kiss goodbye at the station. When you only want romance, that is what you get. The slow and irregular heartbeats when he walks away. You take the last train. Outside the night is falling. The rain drops stick on the window and slowly disapear, just like the memories of your day spent with him.
The next day you get these symptoms of those who are in love. Are you too? The question is irrelevant. You should have things under control. Vulnerability is not part of your vocabulary.
The next day the symptoms are acute. You think of him the moment you open your eyes in the morning. His smile. His strong arms. His blue eyes when he looks at you. You hardly eat. You live out of memories. Your heart feels weak. Your brain functions half of its capacity.
You embrace the symptoms. If truly you are in love, then it is a gift. But you doubt the symptoms will last. You hope somehow they will last. For once, you let your guard down.
You think love is a decision. Rationality. There is nothing more powerful than your brain. How long are you going to let him stay in your heart. Some will say that it is not love if you can control.
The second day you still feel dizzy but the memories of his smiling eyes fade away already a little bit. But the feeling of him is still very present. Now you are tipsy when you think of him. And it is nothing in comparison to the moment you went to the bar to meet him in Italy, that moment you feel like you have swallowed a bottle of wine all by yourself.
You dont know how to fall in love and how to be with someone. You only feel. Your five senses tell you what love is. Love is science fiction. Love is alien for you. Yet the symptoms of love are earthy for you. Even in the landing you can feel them.

I did it…

I calculate how long it would take to cover your body with kisses.

I would pose my lips on each millimeter of your skin.

Each kiss would last one second.

It would take six hours. At least.

I would not leave out any part of your body.

I would take pleasure in doing it.

I would look at you in the eyes from time to time.

I would smile at you from time to time.

You would let me do it.

You would smile at me.

You would smile at me with your eyes.

You would kiss my hands.

You would return some of my kisses

By kissing me even longer and softer.

This would not be a dream.

As

I did it.

Eight hours.

Between talks.

Laughs.

And love.

I did cover your body with kisses.

Every inch.

You did return my kisses, each of them.

This was not a dream.

In between I remembered saying: I love…

Just “I love…” and no more words

I remembered you saying: “do you…”

And no more words.

This was not a dream.

While I cannot move

I lie in bed and cannot move

Those mornings I see the sun but cannot feel it from my room

When winter allows spring to show up

But just for a moment

Your words come to me

With kindness, empathy

And mostly love

The laughs you share in words

The music you share in letters

You show up in my mornings, early than usual

You warm me up

In distance we share the sun, the winter and the short moment of spring

When I lie in my bed and cannot move

Your words see the world for me

Your letters bring the world to me

I lie there and receive

And write to the world about you

As you are exactly the poem I wanted to write