Friday, August 15

SECRETS

This summer Paris didn’t feel like it used to feel. Perhaps because I was tired, or perhaps because the city had really changed, a change I hadn’t witnessed and was determined to deny. Moto taxi guy was waiting for me in front of the Jardin des Plantes. This was the moment that I loved him most, the moment he was still waiting for me, unaware of my presence, not knowing when or if I would arrive. Despite the heat he was wearing a black sweater, as if he knew the weather wouldn’t last. I knew he was the kind of guy who would forget my birthday on purpose, just to punish me for being me. Still I agreed to meet him, to listen to his stories about how hard his life was, to comfort him as if he were my child. I knew I had a lot of anger inside me, but I would never share my true feelings, never tell him how I felt and why. He waved at me and took my suitcase, asking me how my journey had been.       
I wondered if he would love me if he knew all my secrets, the unspeakable, the things I did and didn’t do. Maybe he didn’t deserve my secrets, maybe a short walk through the park with him would be enough.     

Friday, August 8

CONFIRMATION


Yesterday I went to visit Oreste, just to check if he was still alive, and if they still had those lemon biscuits which I like so much. I needed my daily dose of coffee, but also my daily dose of admiration, the confirmation that in someone’s eyes I was still desirable, perhaps even part of some violent and unspeakable fantasy. Oreste looked tanned and tired, he had just spent a few weeks in Turkey, but told me he would go back to Italy next year. Relaxing next to the pool had been nice, but there was no nightlife, and he had missed something he could only find back home. I imagined him next to his wife and children, which gave me mixed feelings, and had to remind myself why I was there. Oreste smiled and said: “You look tanned,” a statement which almost sounded like “You look good” and perhaps meant the same thing. I ordered my coffee and reminded myself I had to be more independent, not attach so much value to the opinions of others, especially those of men. “Here’s your coffee,” said Oreste. “Those lemon biscuits are a gift from me.”