In a rainy afternoon

The boy in the balcony of one of the houses opposite, in the sight from my window, is stretching his arms to catch the rain. The sound of the rain is mixed with that of music, Philip Glass, Duport and Schubert and many more. I can see blankets of cloud far away still reflect the sunlight of the afternoon, that makes them shining brightly white like bales of cotton. I have no clothes on but a black boxer, lying on my bed to watch it raining hard outside.

Sometimes I am dying to write H. a letter to tell him that I have been learning Spanish and about my obssession with D. Even though H. knows nothing about D. Yet I did not write a word, and the letter is just a product of my imaginative mind.

The dusk is falling and life matters no more.

… when I was around 7 or 8 years old, an uncle of my paternal lineage came to live with us. And I had a huge crush on him. He is gay I believe. I spied on him, found every occasion to watch him take a bath. I would sneak in my parents’ bedroom, where windows would be opened during the summer to alleviate the heat, from which I would have the vintage point to watch him perform his ablutions, under blossoming Tonkin jasmines. Once he caught my eyes, and he smiled back, almost invitingly. I liked to sleep with him, to hug him and feel his warmth, and to rub against his body. I thought he liked me too. And he got married. As every guy in my village. My father got married at my age now, my mother bore me when she was 27, the same age as me now. My uncle came to live with us when he was 27 too. He got married, as my first love is going to do, thinking it is what needs to be, that it is inevitable, that it is one of the must-do-s in one’s lifetime. He got married and has two sons, among whom the elder is going to college. He, the son, must have gone through a lot of difficulties, having a gay father, with the fact known in the neighbourhood. He is turbulent, and quite handsome the last time I saw him, about 6 months ago at my sister’s wedding. How has he, my uncle, seen his life? I wonder.

And after the span of 10 years from now, which flies, I will be at the same age as my father when I first went to school. He would take me to my class, on his bicycle. And I would wear a short and a T-shirt, which would make me stand out among my peers, because I was the only kid who wore a short at school. He would play football with me, just two of us, in the playground in front of my house, with a red plastic ball. He would hug me so often and I would tell him everything I experienced at school.

Once he got angry at me and my sister for something wrong we had done. He took a rod to punish us. “How many rods do you think you deserve?” he asked my sister. “Three.” replied she. Then she got three. He repeated the question when it was my turn. “One hundred.” I said. Then he dropped the rod and hugged me deeply in his arms. He could not do it. I knew it. It might be my trick at the time. I was somehow sure that he could not do so. But what if he could?

When I was 22, I came out. And since then we rarely talk. Sometimes, like this time, I want to write to him so much, when I am young like he used to be, drink much and get drunk. I am like him, at least in the way that we can consume a lot of alcohol. At least…

When I was 12, I had an injury in my leg that I had to have a plaster cast. My father took me to and fro to the local hospital, also on his bicycle. He also had me bathed, with all the awkwardness as I was already in my early teenage years, when I started to be able to turn on and had pubic hair, when I learned to yearn for a male body. Then I had a very close friend, who had been my academic foe for years. We would spend summers to naughtily swim in the public lake which was used as a source of water for residents in our neighbourhood, and in the stream so far away from our homes that we had to ride our bicycles for hours in scorching sunny days to get there, where we would enjoy ourselves in the water, naked.

Once when I was in high school, during one of my visits home, after dinner while I was having a walk in the garden. It must have been cold then, and the night fog was falling, my father suddenly came and hugged me from behind. I did not remember exactly but it was not after numerous quarrels I had with my parents during tumultuous years of mine, when my bad performance at school was a headache for them. Perhaps then he had some shots of liquor…

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