One night, I decide to go out with my bicycle. And at the end, I find myself riding to Thomas’ house. I ride at my top speed, which can equal that of a motorbicycle, unstopped by traffic lights, and about two kilometres from his house, I smile a happy smile at the memories of when I was at high school when on a day like this, I came back to the dormitory when the gate was closed, I called the guard and asked him to open it.
“Open the gate, please.”
“No.” said he.
“Ok, then. I won’t come in.” said I. Then I turned away and rode, first without a destination, then to D., where I heard somewhere, somehow that there were fossils of ferns which had been living millions of years ago among coal beds though coal is itself a fossil. I clung to the thought, and kept riding. I did not come back until dawn the next day. And mis compañeros in the residence hall demonstrated at the front of the guard’s office.
“If he does not come back, you will be done with us.” the boys said, in their seething anger, while the girls cried.
It was not until four in the morning did I come back, sneaking through the steel chains over the wall around the school. From then on, the guard, considered the hardest among his peers, did not dare to not let a student to come in in late hours.
In fact, I rode around thirty kilometres, for I reached the capital of the district, without seeing any hints of the fossils. Or I was too naïve to believe they were there, not in a museum.
The road to Thomas’ is as familiar as that to your own home, that when you are drunk, you still manage to arrive, safe and sound. It was as on a day in May two years ago, I also rode to his house, to meet him, and to confess that I had just cheated on him. It was heart-wrenching.
And I think on Friday, when people wake up for work, and Thomas can be still deep in his sleep, I am leaving for P.
I think about how Thomas has changed my eating habits. I ate phalau for the first time here in Saigon with my second ex, I had not liked it. And I have come to love it when I went out with Thomas, he is the only one with whom I enjoy the dish, even until now. When we broke up, I stopped eating it. And fast food too, though I have never enjoyed it.
And on the road to Thomas’, the scent of milkwood-pine’s blooms remind me of my time in high school, with Toru, in that dark harsh winter, more than a decade ago.
I pass his house, and I look up at his window, brightly lit. I know for sure that he is not asleep at this hour, and that, of which I am more certain, he does not go out, not like me, dragging myself through those bars and others, drinking almost all alcoholic beverages from wine, whisky to champagne and beer, the list can go on, smoking incessantly and going back home totally intoxicated and falling on my bed, to sleep. Or to oblivion?
Drops of sweat are falling on my glasses when I stop, to gaze at his window, wondering what he is doing: reading, editing, listening to music, watching films, or porns. And the memories of my staring out of the same window, to the bush of bougainvillea in his neighbour’s garden, it was raining hard, and we had just made love, as we had done numerous times, in his room, came back to my mind.
Then I come back, stop at a convenient shop to buy a beer, a Belgian this time, which I am drinking while recalling a warm, sunny afternoon when I was waiting for him at the same shop. I could not go to his, because his father was at home, and he did never like my presence, which reminded him of his son’s homosexuality, I assume.
Love is not gone as long as the memory of it stays… I think.
I come back, and along the way, I think about Patrick, who might be thinking that he is still young, while the breath of death is inhaling and exhaling next door.
Está lloviznoso, no mucho, pero persistentemente.
Se llama K, another K, not Kelvin.
Los calles son desiertos. El barrio tambien. A veces pienso que el ultimo refugio es debajo de mi paraguas rosa.
Patrick might have come in a day like this, at this hour. I would love to sleep in K’s lap, I thought, in a sudden.
Outside my window, a perching bird jumps, jumps…
My eyes could capture his figure in the darkness, but my phone could not.
The road to the office is as familiar as the road to a lover’s house…
Carmen said in a few years from now Patrick would be so sick…
The cats would die one day. And I would cry my eyes out as when rabbit kittens died when I was just six or seven years old. I would sit by Patrick’s deathbed… now I am going to tell you… and then I would tell him about my childhood, when we kept a fire under a eucalyptus tree, when we played along on a vast stretch of sand, when I sneaked to see young boys’ adolescent bloom.
As era inevitable: el olor de las almendras amargas le recordaba siempre el destino de los amores contrariados. It was inevitable for me to miss Thomas when I see my two cats, who I took from his house.
I thought my niece would be born when I was with Patrick. She was born today, and I am going out with Patrick, maybe for the last time.
When people wake up for work, and Thomas is still deep in his sleep, I am leaving for P.