I'm wide awake in Beirut.
What do you do when you can’t connect? With what do you fill the seemingly comfortable silence? When you look around and you are part of a mural, looking like an angelic fresco, with curls and sparkles and pastel clouds drifting by in your pupils, what do you say to yourself – I’m sorry says the elbow that poked you – to make it alright? Tu veux y aller?, Hugg asks. Non
The light is a skin falling soft on the wooden stools and the voices are a movie playing in the background and the thumbs twiddling beside you mean that you’ll be asked what is wrong and the music filling the void between your ears is the only answer.
The dress is pulled tight on my body, I can’t move. I’m in a gorgeous straightjacket that binds my body and thoughts. When does the body listen to the cloth it is wearing? When the mind itself wants a justification for its lack of purpose, does it turn to physical explanations? The jazz – tu ecris quoi, tu veux pas me dire? Non – the jazz and the dim lights and the barely visible brooks of free space flowing round the bodies call forth a vintage New Yorkais scene and perhaps it is in this specific invocation that I allow myself to feel disconnected amongst all these breaths and heartbeats.
Beards entangle to say hello and he wants to go.
We drive as I sing to “Walking After You” by the Foo Fighters under my nose. I am not trying to be discreet; I really dislike walking behind someone. I was walking behind him most of the night, and even if my high heels were partly to blame, we were never in a hurry.
We smiled at each other in the elevator. The silence was light, we kept on rising and we arrived at his door.
T’as un T-shirt?
Je peux l’avoir?
We lay next to one another in the darkness, my legs a light brown against the sheets. We stay like this for a moment long enough to call it a night. I run my fingers through his hair.
J’en peux plus.
Je suis tellement loin de la societe.
I remain silent because I understand, and he continues talking. He jumps out of bed and turns on the light. I close my eyes, the light is so violent and I feel harassed by the remnants of his abrupt movement.
He opens up his suitcase and pulls out a tattered brown envelope. We sit together looking through his childhood photos. He looked like a girl.
Je ne les montre pas a tout le monde.
He puts his arms around me and I close my eyes. I feel his arms, their largeness, their strength and the smoothness of his skin. I feel his beard settle into my shoulder. We do not move.
I imagine the weight of his arm enter mine, I imagine his beard on my chin, I imagine the length of my legs stretch out to the end of the bed and I imagine the shape of his head take form over mine. I lower my breathing and I imagine my body strong and masculine and I imagine it to be mine. I stroke my thoughts against my skin and turn them into a reality so close to my own that I can feel a soft and malleable bulge form between my legs.
He’s asleep by now. I turn towards him and nestle my face into the curve of his neck. His skin evaporates into a tempting aroma and I press my nose to scoop it all in. Chasing butterflies.
I want to wake him up now, so I draw his body, paint his lips, brush his beard and bite into his ear. He takes my hand with a hmmm and his breathing is regular.
I bite harder and cover my traces with butterfly kisses. His body starts to move and his neck stretches and I dance over his lips until I feel he’s between sleep and desire and I know I’ve won because he will choose me at any moment.
We kiss and roll and writhe and sigh and play with losing control. Desire glues itself to us and fires our loins, but we don’t verbalize our limits. When he’s about to jump the line, he gently turns me away from him and I tease him with my forceful hands, bringing him back to me. He pins my arms behind my head or pins me to the cold white wall to buy some time, to cool his fire, to cool mine…we struggle at the edge for over an hour until it feels like we have fallen and our bodies need to reenergize.
A week ago, in the same bed, during the same intense wrestling with our natures, we stopped to talk.
I agreed. I realized that when we thought we were making love, we were in fact having sex. Our emotions and our relationship was worth more than sex. But it wasn’t love. Tenderness would be our new choreography. Tender was the night.
We fell asleep.
It was dusk, there was a building, there were two women and there was a secret I was keeping. I think I was writing about it and someone’s hand crept up and found it and I relished in being found out. I moaned with pleasure. It fired through my body and I was now aware of mud, humidity, heat and sliding fingers. There was a building, and there were two women on different floors and the elevator kept on going up and down until it stopped for a second and I felt his fingers caressing me and I didn’t understand it and I couldn’t care less. It wasn’t my fault.
When I recovered, I moved away and said:
Comment s’est arrive?
Je ne sais pas. J’etais en train de rever du pain. Je te jure je dormais.It must be the frustration resurfacing. Pause. You are so hot when you sleep, why can’t you be like this all the time?