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. 

Nothing was special to him

She was one of these girls

He met and liked

No girl was special to him

She neither

She never doubted that

But had once hoped

He could once feel

There was something about them

Magic at first

Then intensely true

They were beautiful together

They really were

Their laughs worth the whole universe

Their connection beyond rationality

She was one of these girls

No more no less

She was one of these girls

Sadness or tears

Would never change anything

Their beauty, their laughs, their connection

Were never special

To him

 

 

Acceptance

“No matter what form the relationship might take, he was the only person she could picture sharing her life with.” (Sputnik Sweetheart – Haruki Murakami)

The sadness is there. The pain is there. The love is there. Nothing has changed that much. Since you left. The only thing that has changed. I don’t think about it anymore. I don’t fight the sadness. The pain and the love for you. I just accept it. As part of me. For now and ever.

Love or to be loved?

“Sometimes when I look at you, I feel like I’m gazing at a distant star… It’s dazzling, but the light is from tens of thousands of years ago. Maybe the star doesn’t even exist anymore. Yet sometimes that light seems more real to me than anything.” (South of the Border, West of the Sun – Haruki Murakami)

She holds his hand, takes it to her cheek, keeps it there, then kisses it.

“Can I ask you something?” she looks at him.

“Yes, of course.”

“What do you feel when you know that I love you that much?”

“If I say, I feel nothing, would you think that I have a too cold heart?”

“Yes, but tell me anyway.”

“I don’t feel anything.”

Their hands are now tightly held. He caresses her face as soon as these four words are pronounced. God knows what he feels for her. Pity – Affection – Sadness – All together.

“No, actually I feel sad. I would like to feel something. Something like I could love you back.” He added after a few minutes in silence.

“I think to love someone is more powerful and much better than to be loved. When I love someone, I can control my own emotions. Look at you, you don’t know what to do. You are loved. And you don’t know what to do with it. You don’t feel happy or sad. You don’t feel anything. I love you. Even in sadness and despair, it is still a wonderful feeling. I definitely prefer loving than being loved”

He looks at her. He has one expression. Sad. Sad and sad. Now he feels something. Sadness. His cup of coffee is empty. Her glass of wine is empty. She stands up, hails the waitress. He still sits. He leans against her and puts his head against her belly. They stay like that for a while. They hear the wind, the leaves and the trees crying, as a sign of sympathy for their sad farewell.

Sad love is in the air. Strong love is in her heart. Unique love is him. Like a silent tornado broken inside her.

Wet kisses

The ground flies off

The earth quakes under my feet

The light darkens

The majestic Cathedral

Stares at us with compassion

No bells singing tonight

Nothing to celebrate

My legs shake

My body trembles

You hold me tight

We stand there

At the most romantic square in town

But for once it is all grey and melancholic

I kiss your lips

Wet of my tears

Why do you look so sad?

Because we are over

Or because tears and kisses

Are always a sad combination?

I will cry

I gave up on you.

And I cannot even cry.

What happened to me?

Pain does not make me cry.

Sadness does not make me cry.

Even though that strange and cold pain

Like a razor

It cuts and leaves me there

With no tears and sobs.

Just a heavy head and heart

And an endless love

A love with no tears and sobs

Is supposed to weigh less

But it is not true

I feel dizzy and weak.

To drag this love with me.

Now I know

That is why I cannot cry

I gave up on you

But not yet on my love.

I will cry the day

My heart stops loving you.

The rain and me

Look at the rain long enough, with no thoughts in your head, and you gradually feel your body falling loose, shaking free of the world of reality. Rain has the power to hypnotize (South of the Border, West of the Sun – Haruki Murakami)

In Saigon when it rains, small kids run out in the streets, shout out of happiness and welcome the rain. They play until the rain stops. Tropical rain gives a bit of freshness to the constant heat of the city, but hardly lowers the temperature. But rain is indeed a moment of relief.

When I was a kid, I used to watch the kids of my neighborhood playing under the rain. I watched them from behind the garden. I had never tried to go under the rain and join the kids. One reason was that from the age of six to ten, I considered myself autistic because I hardly talked and always played alone. I had never liked team game. I played by myself pretending to be a teacher the whole day, giving lessons to an imaginary class. That was my favorite game as a kid. So the whole thing of joining other kids was a little bit too much of the efforts for me. The other reason was that my grand-mother had the tendency to overprotect me. She had always thought that if one raindrop ever fell on my head, I would catch cold and be sick immediately. I stayed with the idea that I was very fragile when it comes to weather. I always believe I can only survive with sunshine. Though it was not true at all when I grew up, I still liked the idea of my grandma treating me like a frail princess. But this also means that during my whole childhood in Saigon, I had never been once under the tropical rain. I had always found it very tempting. I just watched the other kids playing under the rain and imagined myself doing the same thing.

Yesterday when I left my friends after a drink, dark clouds were moving erratically above my head, sounds of the thunder resonating from far, the storm was coming up. No umbrella. The tram stop was just there. I decided not to take the tram.

It started slowly. A few light raindrops. Then a few more. Heavier and heavier. People started to run for shelter. In just a few minutes the streets were empty. The city was mine. Nobody was crazy enough to walk under the storm. I made a few detours, walking through my favorite square in town. The view of the illuminated and imposing Cathedral was half hidden by some old buildings even more imposing at night. I made a stop in front of my favorite chocolate shop, window watching, beautiful cakes and chocolate boxes were nicely and artfully exposed. I smiled like a kid at the view of those gorgeous delicacies.

I felt the thick raindrops on my skin. But it was not like a tropical rain. It took me a while to start to feel that my dress and my sandals were finally soaked. I crossed the bridge. Not a soul. I stopped in the middle of the bridge where I could catch all the raindrops and stars; each of them fell into the lake and disturbed the movements of the waves. Black and dark water dancing with the raindrops. Further away a small water fountain illuminated in white, a kind of symbol of the city, arisen in the middle of the lake, looked more like a twinkle star than a fountain. Perfect temperature. I felt like having a shower outside, in the most beautiful city in the world. My brain was empty. My heart was quiet. It was just me and the raindrops. Nothing in between.

Suddenly something came from behind. Someone touched my back. I turned my head. A friend. As soaked as me. The only other soul on the bridge beside me. Coincidence. Fiction. Dream. We walked together for a few minutes. We did not talk.

I felt rescued. I had found peace through rain.

This morning, I started to sneeze and snivel a bit. I thought of grandma. Maybe she was right. I am a bit fragile but not as much as a princess. I finally tried the rain with no protection. I did not play under the rain. I just wanted to experience a new thing. And by the same occasion let it rinse my sadness.

My last post on him

I said goodbye to her and left. This was our final farewell. I knew it, and so did she. The last time I saw her, she was standing in the doorway, arms folded. She seemed about to say something, but didn’t. She didn’t have to say it out loud—I knew what she was going to say. I felt so empty. (Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman – Haruki Murakami)

We started our story a year ago on the day of the Street parade in our city. I left my friends in the middle of the frenetic fiesta and loud techno music to join him. The streets were full of people disguised with colorful and delirious costumes. I was excited to join him. We started our story right after that evening.

Today we met to say goodbye. Yesterday was the Street Parade, exactly one year after. The next day of the Street Parade is usually calm. People seem to rest from the crazy night. Here and there, the rest of the party, empty bottles, empty glasses on the streets. The city is quiet again.

We were lovers who had given to each other all we could. He had his own way to be with me. In selfishness and freedom. I got trapped in my love for him, stronger and stronger day after day. I was warned. I had always known he was not the kind of man who would settle down for me. Simply because he did not know how to love and even simpler he did not love me. I was warned but was still wanting to love him. I probably loved obstacles and challenges. My love was still true though.

I considered this love as a chance, a self-redemption, a way for me to be a woman, an adult, to get back to love and life. I had been with others for so long without having felt anything as special as this until him.

I had loved him for who he is. With his flaws and qualities. I had loved him without asking for anything and especially for nothing else than just the love felt for him.

At the beginning it sounded pathetic maybe but then it turned out to be all beauty and greatness. Pain never mattered to me that much. But one day I decided to become an adult and to want more from this relationship. He could not offer me anything else. First he did not believe in my love because of my past and my usual indifference and coldness to others. Now maybe he believes me a bit but it does not matter very much. No matter how we analyzed our story it all came down to one evidence: he did not feel anything else. And who knows what he had felt the last year when we kissed, when we laughed, when we embraced each other. But it was none of my business. Not anymore.

I had been proud to love him. Really.

Even if I am suffering now like a bleeding animal, hunted and wounded, I do wish to you all to have felt this kind of love once. Just once. You will see the difference from all the rest. Nothing can be compared to that feeling. But be prepared to be strong.

I had written 140 posts, more than 100 posts are about him, on him and dedicated to him. But this will be my last post on him. This love will now be locked up somewhere very far from me. This love will be frozen, not dead but frozen. This love should never be analyzed or decorticated again. It was accepted, cherished, grown and lived. He was the love of my life. But I read once somewhere “letting go means to come to the realization that some people are part of your history, but not a part of your destiny”.

Yesterday we kissed goodbye like adolescents saying goodbye after a flirt during summer vacations. It was tender, passionate and romantic but I was not an adolescent anymore. I would have loved that high and intense feeling a few months ago, when I was still immature.

I whispered into his left ear “I love you” and put my hand on his right ear so that the sound of these three words could stay there forever. It was symbolic and it was my last word to him. I omitted on purpose the word “forever”. Because it will not be true.

He said that the most important thing was that we had gotten along so well. And we will stay friends for the rest of our lives.

This will be my last post on him. Because all had been said about him. I felt so empty.

Tears and blood

If you can love someone with your whole heart, even one person, then there’s salvation in life. (IQ84 – Haruki Murakami)

I took an enormous risk

To having said yes to meet you again

I just started my process of healing

I am still a mess with open deep wounds

But how could I say no

To not meet you before you go

Even though I know

After our meeting

I will be bleeding

All over again on those same wounds

Wounds that would never become scars

I will be crying

When you are gone

Tears and blood

On wounds

Is an experience one should definitely avoid

An undignified spectacle for all lovers

I prefer loving you

In laughs and tender kisses

But as it was not possible in this lifetime

I would go for tears and blood

All over those cuts

Even though nobody is worth such pain

Not even you my dearest love.

Hope

So far she was convinced that rain brings sorrows

And cold amplifies the darkness inside her.

But when she looks at the bright sun,

And even when the summer heat invades her skin

She still feels nothing else than a wave of sadness.

She guesses sorrows have no seasons

And her soul knows no other light

Than the glimmer of hope

She desperately cherishes

Through years and time.