Letter #18 (or, Eat Pray Love)

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Dario.

It did happen. It was bound to happen. Like clouds that gather at the margins of the sky announcing rain. The ineluctable ticking of a clock, a leaf turning brown, the falling of snow.

I met her again. I was out with some friends after work and I was having one too many glasses of wine. The spring is here with gentle nights that invite you outside. There’s a church in a square near the sea which is just perfect to hang out with your own bottle. And I was sipping from my glass and laughing at nothing but the pleasure of being alive; from the distorted mirror of my drink I saw a girl, and when I raised my eyes, Erika was there.
And this time I took courage with both hands and smiled, and took the bottle from someone’s hand and poured her a glass. I extended my arm, an invitation to come inside that protected space.

She took the glass, and smiled back.

From there I forgot the world and the pressure of knowing, and I just played blank slate. Her name was not Erika but Julia, she was not 30-something but 26, and her face was not the hideous safe of a ominous secret but a map to serenity. I hit reset and stole the wine and the glasses from my friends and disappeared to the beach. Alone with her, alone with my fear.

And in the enchanted wind of a warm spring’s night I took her lies in. And it didn’t seem wrong. For if I hadn’t known her hidden soul I would have fallen in love with her on the spot.

I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking I’m mad, crazy, and should thread carefully. But where did I go threading with care? I have the wine to keep my thoughts from eating myself and little money to throw down the drain; a light summery place and a heart who wishes to fly. You said it yourself, maybe she’s changed. And I see a different person from there. I don’t see who she was but who she is; and that is enough to me.

Before your mind rushes let me clarify that nothing happened but the controlled entanglement of two beings while the sun set down and came back up again. The wine ended up too soon but we had the night and a blanket of stars to keep us drunk.

And I could’ve kissed her; I know I could’ve. But my mind is braver than my lips, so while I was playing out with myself how to do that courageous thing, that moment slipped away, and I simply said Goodbye after having walked her home.

I had her number and address before, but this time it was written on a napkin, and I could remember her lips closing it shut with red lipstick. I stayed up all night and sipped wine but my senses were tainted by chemicals my own brain produced. I couldn’t bear myself to sleep nor go to work, so I called in sick, and tried to watch some movie, and composed a message and a thousand more that I never sent her. And now, while I’m finally drowsy and feel that my body is losing the grip, I am writing you, looking for your words, for your blessing, because deep down I feel I’m doing something wrong.

Yours until Morpheus comes,

Alessio

 

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