The memory ignites again, giving him all his glorious details. I break free from my place and time and return to the territory where nostalgia gains a foothold. Pressed down into the leather sofa, in the scorching heat of the apartment. Halfway through my conversation with Edmund, he goes out, but not without asking if he’ll see me later at the Barracuda.
‘Is he going to the Barracuda?’ asks Edmund.
‘I don’t know, maybe.’
I hadn’t come here because of him, that could still happen, maybe that’s why he’s asking. Out of politeness? Flirtation? After he leaves, I stay where I am, becoming once again the charming boy putting together a question for Edmund.
The magnificence freezes along that perfectly formed stomach, in my secret room beneath the stars. A belly to spurt over, although limited, is better to caress. Waves of semen over the light sprinkling of hairs on his torso, a jerking torso that once again creates a melting heart. Flesh is made real when he touches himself. Clumsily, although he doesn’t intend it that way, he doesn’t know any better.
A glimpse of an era: New York in February, February in New York. Within one week, all the seasons pass by. Summertime Park Slope, Flatiron Building in the snow, Statue of Liberty in the fog. The facts take on the colour of the moment, so much variety. A moist pearly sheen lay over the tender green, like a farewell from the dawn. My first time travelling alone, if I don’t count that trip to Berlin, which makes people think I had something going on with Ricardo.
‘But what interests me is: what’s the configuration, which of you two…’
‘You mean, who fucks who?’
I thought about him while I masturbated until dusk, painfully aware of the scene. On a sofa with a white sheet crumpled around his hips, like the Venus de Milo. A body, softly illuminated by the dimmed glow of a light in the kitchen, to be kissed from head to toe. Embrace it. In his eyes, the confession gleams: I won’t survive the long night without climbing on top again. His mouth follows the same trail as his hand had followed, but there is no kiss. I meaningfully seal his mouth, transforming reality. He moves across the perky breast, the contact is thrilling. He begins tugging at his top, only just succeeds in climbing back on.
I can spy all I like, in search of a detail to betray the truth, but the situation refuses to reveal itself. My memory is perforated and unreliable, just like everyone else’s. I take out the recording that I still have. Turns out after a few listens (and again and again) that he didn’t ask a question, but made a statement.
‘I’ll see you at the Barracuda. I’m going out for a little while.’
In the hope of reciprocal love? Politeness will get you a long way, but desire bridges all distances. He works himself deeper into my daydream.
Reality alone is not enough for me, so it is unwise to hold back the fantasising brain. The result is more horizon, while you can be sure of nothing. Life no longer derives its structure from time. The lover’s discourse keeps itself going infinitely, as you portray the sky so beautifully. Perhaps that is what I am a little ashamed of. We see the whole scene repeated, the rough journey continued, but you recognise the cart tracks from just now. Can you do anything other than repeat yourself? What do I care if I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night after yet another erotic dream about the man? A completely ordinary dream would suit me just fine, I don’t deny it. Dream or reality, I enjoy the feeling that I am lying with him as intimately entwined as if he has been my lover for ages, even if nothing happens. You want to know what excites me? Everything. I can always jerk off like mad, thinking about him. Under other circumstances, this could have a lot of potential, although now, as a helplessly delirious man, I can still imagine exhilarating versions of the game, especially with him beside me again. Fell off the couch, he murmured. Caressing him, very thin ice.
My priorities were different, by which I mean: I didn’t dare to respond to his suggestion, or to him. I picture myself going into the Barracuda, searching for him in the neon light. Looks from other people. A wild animal recognising its demise in the headlights. Somewhere at the back, past the bar, that’s where he is. What do you want me to do? Come through to the back, if there’s an action room there, something else to quench his thirst, in any case: to continue the conversation. Here or in the awakening park, who knows?
On his knees, on the mattress, at this point in time. Barely visible, he looks coarse and grainy. Now something really needs to happen, interspersed with tender guidance. Very smoothly, he touches the penis with his tongue. He throws himself onto the sceptic. All those impressions he’s already left, I’m getting bogged down in sentimentality again. The scene is pathetic, the act of dismantling is frequently more positive, like a wave unleashing itself upon the land. The positions are contorted to the point of impossibility.
You don’t just start writing about intimate matters, but try resisting the temptation to do so. Body and mind produce awkwardness. I soon break down, inner life disintegrating and almost everything still needing to be said. Areas of paradise that I did not yet know myself are opened up. I act on an impulse, desire gushing out of me. I want to preserve the past, but for that I have to see him, the bow tie that encircles his neck, in an attempt to save the details. Fingers fly across the keyboard, the camera focusses. Faltering breath. The fierce battle, solely with myself. Will I succeed? Yes, this is literally about my own experiences, but not exclusively. And when I have written them down, I can finally shake them off. You may wonder how positive that is.