Crossing Paris from point A to B, to reach an X. I'm calm, yet unsure of his motives. The last time I saw him he was leaving to work, disheveled and in his dorky glasses, and I was leaving to the airport.
I refrained from contacting him while in Beirut, to let him know that I had indeed moved on, and to spitefully put him in the same drawer with all the other Parisian flings.
Ever since I've been back I've been so disinterested by the opposite sex. In one month I had had collected enough to last me all through the summer and more.
I told that to Lucifer. I had to be honest. And it's not only out of empathy, by telling lies to others or by not saying anything at all, you are also lying to yourself. Slowly, the truth you know becomes harder and harder to discern against the background of lies that you have woven for this and that, for him, for her. Being frank also allows you the freedom to concentrate on details that matter rather than the details that serve as decoration.
Lucifer, despite being a "technical" catch was clearly not the guy for me. He has a sadness that is not within my power to dissipate, and I know that somewhere down the line, the smile on his face or the passion in his eyes will prove to have been a temporary reaction.
I exit the underground: I'm in the suburbs but it doesn't look like the other side of the wall, newspapers and news channels built up so many expectations that crossing the peripherique was a near peripeteia. I thought I'd see cows.
"Je suis en route, attends moi à la croissement".
Crisses and crosses, my fingers fiddled with the possibilities that were about to ensue.
I saw him at the red light. I'd finally see the new home I had heard so much about.
We drove through the narrow winding streets. I was disoriented, had no idea where I was, where we were going, when we would arrive. It felt like a long time. My right hand held my left fist, left thumb trying to calm them both down. He noticed it, but I could not help it.
We drove into the garage. A portrait of his brother hung on the wall.
"C'est ton frère?"
"Non, c'est son ami."
The white living room looked out unto the forest.
"Have you seen Twilight? This room reminds me so much of their house!"
"Non, je ne l'ai pas vu, mais tu n'es pas la première de le dire."
I told him about my holidays in Beirut. I gave him the olive oil soap he had asked for. He talked about his next trip, his dislike for London, politics... I was so focused on his fast French that I had no time to form an opinion. Not that I had any. Global politics I could never retain in that little head of mine. I felt ignorant and noted to myself that I should read more news, for dinner conversation's sake.
We needed to get physical. "Tu sais jouer?"
He handed me the racket and the empty white ball. "A toi de servir."
We hit the ball back and forth, the only extra rule was not to interrupt the eye contact between us. It wasn't so hard, although eventually I lost, 13-21, but it helped to sew back the gap of the few weeks between the last time we had been together and now.
He opened up a wine of Alligote. Same as last time, only better. The hour long match had warmed me up, I had my legs up on the L-shaped sofa tucked under me. My elbow was up on the backrest, my head resting, hair falling on shoulder. Comfort, finally.
Comfort, is worth it. There is nothing better in human relationships. I'm done with formalities, done with power struggles, done with labour, done with stiffness. Why seek mediocre company? Why talk about the weather when it can be warm inside?
["Pas de prise de tête", says the girl beside me into the telephone on the adjacent table at the cafe de trottoir]
Exactly. No heads held high, no writhing hands, no tapping fingers, just comfort.
But with Pope, it was always a final destination. A journey to get there was inevitable. The weekend headlines, the weather report, the future forecast. Slowly, our polarities would begin to change so that we could both become one large magnet pointing to the South.
With cooking dinner out of the question, we moved straight for the dessert. Good ole recipe of home-made fondant au chocolat-like skin, natural, familiar, butter-smooth, equator warm, tantalising, mouth-watering...
Sometimes, it is the best choice to go for your favourite dish on the menu.
"I didn't think a human voice could be so loud," I later told Flutterby during one of our Skype sessions.