With great sorrow I announce the passing of the one whom I hold dearest, Patrick. It will be shocking for many to hear that he passed away, and it will be all the more so for those who know both of us. It has been nearly unbelievable to think two of us could date. My close friends often said about the polarities between us, that we were not meant to each other, by any means. Many others, who didn’t know about our (open, complicated) relationship, loathed him and often shared with me their views about him, which I heard with considerable confusion that I had to try so much to hide.
It was a long story that I would, one day when I am much better and calmer, love to write down. But now my loss is unfathomable, almost unspeakable. At times I think it was my fault that the tragic accident happened. Now my memories of Patrick come back, as clear and beautiful as a movie, right before my eyes and serve as reminders of how much I have loved him for the last one year, before he was not here any more.
Now I would like to praise his life and bid him a farewell.
Ce vedremo lassù, angelo.
About three months ago, it was the eulogy for Patrick I “wrote” in my head when I was standing in the balcony at my workplace, smoking, watching him walking out of the office to go to the airport for his working trip to D. And the last sentence in Italian is also the last in Holding the man by Timothy Conigrave, which and whose film version I enjoy a great deal.
I always imagine how people around me would die. Sometimes, I even make up an apocalypse for the world to die. As if by doing that, I would not be so shocked when people really die. It has yet to happen. And Patrick has come back. We have met and made love a lot of times while his father, suffering from two cancers, is the one who is dying, second by second, right next to him.
On my 28th birthday, we met and did what we usually do whenever we meet, and then we went out for dinner. And by a strange coincidence (in the sense) that almost one year ago we talked and had sex for the first time, I felt nothing, as if everything has reached its time limit. My urge and passion for him, once strong and obsessive, fade away.
My competences of languages, even my mother tongue, are falling, like grains of sand slipping from one’s palms as if it was inevitable, unavoidable. Much has happened during these months when I could hardly write anything worth being written. I have made many new friends, I have travelled, and done this and that. I saw my name appear in new publications elsewhere, here and there but the euphoria is ephemereal and the name becomes strange to my own self, as if it belonged to another person, not me.
I don’t go to work now though I still have a lot to do, nearly to the extent of being overloaded or it is perhaps what I think. At some moment, it would be inexplicable for me not to go to work, in that very office despite of the fact that I would never ever trade off what I have now to come back, even if/as if I could! I drink less, and eat even less than drink, only a meal a day, for many days. And I am becoming more and more trivial and phony, over a very short time.
The deserted road was bathed in sunlight. The backdrop of cicadas shrilling was intermittently broken by roosters’ crowings. A woman, soaked in sweat, rode by on her bicycle, her little deep-tan-skinned daughter on the backseat looking back at me. At that scene, I recalled twenty-odds years ago, it might have been my mother, soaked in sweat, with me on her bicycle’s backseat. Occasionally, a motorbicycle passed by. I still sat in silence, and at intervals, drank a little liquor.
I told him that I wished we had had a small house here, among the high mountains where we could raise chickens and pigs and keep a garden for our own use. On the backseat of his motor, I wished that the road would keep on and never reach its end so that I could be there forever.
We came to a hill from which we had a panorama view over a huge swath of the province, mountains running high and low around us, the wind playing on our hair and skin. He dug up and removed a rose myrtle from the ground. “To bring it home and plant it,” he said. “To commemorate the day we go out together, maybe for the last time,” he continued, “before… I get married.”
On the way back home, I hugged him from behind and tried to inhale as much of his warmth as possible. It was good sometimes not to be able to drive. I felt I had left a part of mine there among the high mountains. “I love you,” I whispered, in my head.
The landscape… the river… the port that was once busy now surrounded by bushes… under the bridge where I and T. used to play and look for snails…
I tried to wake up that day, to watch the sunrise on the bridge where we, I and my peers in the village used to play and do exercises in the morning, which, when the construction was completed, had become a playground for those children who did not have many things to do to kill time, and to find again my childish joviality of dipping my body parts in the first beams of the warm sun of summer and of having a great view of the far away mountains, which for my younger self was the image of Mount Fuji. But much to my disappointment, it is not beautiful as it used to be… perhaps it was beautiful because it was in my beautiful past, perhaps not that beautiful but serene. “..the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and [that] thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past” Garcia Marquez once put it.
The sun rose when I was back home, to find out that in the past I could see far east from my porch, now I cannot because high houses are all around, blocking the view.
Sitting in the front yard trying to capture every second passing by and every shade of sunlight, it dawns on me that soon after I leave the house will be destroyed and a new one will be built over it. When I am on the verge of death, may this moment come back? May I remember the house where I was born and grew up? Where love came and went and tears shed. Cicadas keep shrilling around. And where there were once many gum trees.
And with that, also were buried boxes where my childhood memories are held.
I always have an uncanny drive to break into a stranger’s room to see what books he reads, to smell his sweat and to see how he makes love or jerks off. Perhaps these thoughts are despicable by standards of many people. Perhaps…
The sunshine aslantwise in the afternoon, moribund. J’aime la couleur du ciel: impressionante, profonde.
I remember, when I was a child, I usually kept a mirror in my hand or put it down on my lap while sitting on a high chair, the ceiling above would then be a cliff and I would dangle my feet around the limited space beneath me, supposing that I would fall down in seconds.