I’m sleepless in Beirut.
“Do you think you wasted your time with me?”, he asked.
Botticelli, fierce with nonchalance, but always ready for some reassurance. How lovely a marriage!
“Of course not, you were the beginning of everything.”
He was. I vividly remember the morning after we first made love.
I looked a little distraught, so he held me by the waist and asked what was wrong.
I don’t remember what I said, but that is of no importance.
Just a moment before, I had gone to the kitchen on the pretext of getting some coffee.
What I in fact was doing was trying to stop myself from bursting into tears. I wasn’t sad, no. It was more of an affirmation. I was showing myself that I had been wrong to think that I had become numb, that I was still capable of feeling. Up until I had met Botticelli, I had been wandering along a street of peep show joints. I was a Peeping Tom.
Before turning into that street, I had been deeply in love. I had fallen head over heels and overhead again for Lulu, a man I had known for but a day, literally. As legends go, it was a love at first sight kind of love. Legendary!
It was an obsession I had allowed to fester for three years. Three years! For three years I was walking down a street of perfect proportions, so perfect that it wasn’t a place fit for human presence.
So imagine my relief, when I finally turned a corner, straight into the universe of the organic and the frivolous! The street was crowded and noisy and lined with numerous opportunities. Each time I would open a door, the foyer would take my breath away and I would venture in deeper, hoping for another perfect room. It was then that I discovered my short attention span for imperfections. So I drifted along, setting up camp here and there, always hopeful and always thinking, “Here, this is the one.”
The circus vanished with the masterful flick of a wand. Botticelli was in the house.
My tears were round and hot, and I even indulged in a couple of quiet sobs. I wiped them away, washed my face with some cool water and went back in to where he was sitting behind his desk.
How could I answer him? Could I tell him that he was the martyr who had slain Lulu? Could I tell him that he had erased my doubts of never feeling again? Could I tell him that I was afraid of actually feeling? Why weigh down tears that are already falling?
I said nothing.