A Trick of Centuries


People see you for the first time and they see what I saw that first night in the bar. They perceive your height and imagine a towering conceit, accustomed to staring down whatever waltzes into its line vision. They look at those pools of green that swarm like a transparent ocean in stormy weather, those eyes that narrow and focus as if they’re decomposing the scenery, undressing every character, stripping the air of flaky niceties and unnecessary wavering. You get to the point. I took in your stance, the way your limbs, taught and carved, glide as if they’ve signed an accord with gravity. I saw alcohol on the table and a girl sidling up to you as you moved, your body surprisingly synchronised to Marc Anthony’s voice. I’d always dreamed of someone who could dance salsa.

You say you like that. You like that people see you and picture a ragged soul, spoiled with enrapturing aesthetics and a fuck-off demeanour nurturing a careless heart. You say it acts as a triage of sorts, weeding out those simple people who do not care so much as to surpass first impressions. The rest, at least, might turn out to be somewhat valuable. I myself was not bared to the prejudice that someone as beautiful as you would not necessarily be a decent human being. But here we are.

I know you don’t drink unless it’s a very special circumstance. I just happened to meet you on one of those lovely occasions. I’d seen pictures of you on a runway and now I saw you drinking and swarmed by a female you didn’t seem too intent on keeping away. Pardon my non-too-positive thoughts. Phase out to July in Paris. I showed off my abs, a remnant of past strength and gymnastic days whose misery and authenticity were quite behind me. We were wrapped with friends on both sides and some conversation accompanied by Roquefort and wine, sufficient time to realise you were quite okay. We laughed, exchanged friendly hugs. I liked your eyes. And precisely because of that fact I made it a habit not to stare at them for too long, if at all.

A trick of fate and we’re in Bogota dancing. No toxic substances and yet I felt heat swimming in my veins. You sang along, mouthing words teetering on dame and beso. I kissed you on the cheek. We went out for coffee and the coffee got cold. We created a new index to measure the value of a conversation. Your thoughts took me aback; the values underlying your past surprised me. That smile of yours tugged at my eyes and the intellect and humour lacing your words tugged at my interest. Yes. I was kind of interested.

That interest slowly metamorphosed into desire, then friendship, affection, and ultimately, love. A love that was birthed in a e.e cumming’s trick of centuries but that still combats (thrives in) the distance of oceans and time differences. People think we are crazy. But there’s a beauty in diving into waters that seem cold and inhabitable to society. There’s a beauty in being proved wrong and realising that beauty doesn’t necessarily need to signify carelessness and that distance doesn’t need to symbolize decline. Here’s to envisioning a future with the person you make love to. Here’s to transparent words and laughs that abound a friendship rooted on fertile ground. Let’s laugh across screens and fall asleep in two separate countries at the same time. You took me by surprise and you continue to surprise me. I could just lie here and hear you breathe.


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