A story about the beginning of the end..
He is a very mysterious, captivating man. No doubt as gorgeous as they come, his physical beauty is not to be denied, every inch of him completely perfect...this shallow observation adding more weight to my predicament.
Casually stretched out on my bed with his head propped up on the pillow his attention amusedly trained on me at the foot packing my suitcases. He compliments of how neatly and respectfully I have organized my treasures from Paris, Milano, Venice, and Florence and I laugh to myself because I’m sure he has no idea how much money I’ve spent on my new collections. He makes a commentary on a piece every now and again as I continue to fold delicately. We are trying to avoid saying goodbye. I talk a lot about work I’ll be going back to, a new job on Fifth Avenue, and he teases me by telling me I am welcome to stay with him a little longer. He launches into a theatrical story; telling of the adventures we might have together if I stayed, entertaining us both with his wit and charm. Folding a magnificent pink silk dress I bought in Paris that has traveled with me through five cities, I looked at him and tilted my head to the side and rolled my eyes, as I was sure there was no way he was serious…
With a dramatic what’s a damsel to do sigh (because what the fuck is he thinking??) I explain to him once again how sorry I am to leave him, but I just cannot quit my job, and it is time to go back to NYC. He’s looking at me so earnestly; I surrender just a little bit, leaving my suitcase to organize itself, crawling onto the bed next to him. My eyes sweep the scene; his long hair splayed out over my pillow. His eyes are dark brown almost black, so dark that it is hard to tell where the iris and pupil meet. He turns a soulful gaze to me, his eyes pooled up into rippling depths of appreciation and love, and he says, “If you married me you could stay here and work on my Visa.”
This makes me laugh but in a nervous shaky way because… I mean what the fuck else am I to do? Take him seriously? Would I even do that? Could I? The way he is looking at me right now at this very moment I just might. I want to drown myself in those eyes, diving in all the way to the back of his brain until I can't breathe at all.
Shaking the temporary insanity I know the only decision that I can make is getting on my 6am flight back home. There is no sleep for me that night. It is excruciating anxiety and uncertainty that plagues my thoughts. I toss and turn. Holding me close he tells me not to worry and to picture myself going back to New York and being happy to be home, and that everything is going to be okay. He soothes me. He goes to sleep. I do not…hours later I get out of bed, slipping away, we do not say goodbye, he sleeps in my bed as I leave. As the door closes behind me, my first rational thought as I realize he has let me escape way too easily.
I used to travel for a job so I’ve been around… I have many scenarios and stories of my condition and or antics upon boarding my flights returning home most of the time coming straight from a job or a party, there’s been some hangovers, nights of no sleep, missed flights, and trying to just get on the flight in any condition I can manage to get home to sleep it off.
Today I am poorly prepared for this journey home because I have sacrificed my time to spend every last second with my lover, actually not the first time for that either… I am not fresh faced; I haven’t slept or really combed my hair. All the obligatory Italian cigarette smoking has caught up with me; I am feeling and sounding worse than Lindsay Lohan after a 3-day bender. Making my way to my beckoning coach class seat I plop next to my fellow traveler, a beautiful girl who looks as perfect as a beauty pageant queen with every hair on her head in place. She is speaking to me with polite formality, to which I respond with a fit of coughing like I am carrying the bird flu to America. She is much too proper to obviously notice my disheveled condition, although she does cozy her pashmina closer to her shoulders. She is beautiful and elegant, she seems in love too, and I imagine there is a handsome gentleman waiting to get her at JFK.
Tired and numbed to reality I check out and stare at the clouds. As the flight climbs higher and higher into the air, I know I am in love with him. I did not tell him I loved him. He whispered those three words into my ear one late night, holding me in his arms, suspecting I was too asleep to hear him… but he never said it when I was awake… even if he had what was there to do but just leave? It is too late now. All that is left is this choice I have made, but something profound has happened.
My heart has been opened wide, cracked completely open by the affection of this man real or not and with this realization I understand that maybe that is all that was supposed to happen, touched by love if only for a moment, but deep down inside I hope our story is not over, that perhaps we will intertwine ourselves in romance again, and then sleep hits me like a tidal wave.
Hours later a decent from the sky wakes me up. I have landed back home, New York City the best city in the whole world. I do have a certain excitement to be home as I wheel my bags to my waiting car. I’m looking forward to having some sushi from the local spot downstairs my apartment and crawling into my own bed, a little rest before I go back to work the following days.
The magical charm from my vacation is still with me, and especially my lover is fresh in my heart and my mind. I return to my regular life always keeping my watch set to the time in Rome to remind me of love. My high lasts for days, weeks even, I feel so happy! Everyone is so happy! With new eyes I drink in the scenery with curious wonder. Has life always been this happy or is it just me???