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a flight home

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There were those moments.
Gentle and devastating: able to sting our throats, to make us cry or stab our backs, in symphony with the hands clawing the backs and the plaintive whispers; but they were also able to fill our eyes with stars and our ears with infinite laughter. The bed was getting heavy, the pillows were wet and hands were shaking, but that was enough.


I'm home.
I am home, I thought. And that's when he kissed me. It was foggy, acidic and drunk, but it kept me alive if I think about it today — I always think about it.

 

His cold skin slipped over mine, and a smell of sweet dew was in his hair.
I am home, I thought again.

And he kissed me again — that’s when I felt afraid.

 


 

 

It was the third time I had checked my watch since I walked into the airport.


Every sound, every step against the dry and dirty floor, and every voice — thin or deep — pierced my ears and caused me to have a headache. I had always been sensitive to sounds — the sound of glass bottles bumping and filling at night, hard steps and flashes approaching, closer and closer, stronger and stronger, more and more threatening and the laughter of drunken young girls with their heeled shoes thrown on the false floor. I watched, straightening my head at the agreement of the door that had just snapped. I stared at the wall of my room, my hands squeezed my fine duvet (far too fine for the season) and my heart was about to drop any second. I had to be sensitive to sounds, I had to listen to any movement or slamming. I had to.

 

I sat next to an old lady in the airport lobby. She was reading a newspaper, and her wrinkled hands turned the pages to the rhythm of the screeching suitcases that wandered through. I was shivering — My ticket to New York in my hand was shaking and a sweat stain had just appeared on the plastic that was covering it. In those moments, I was usually speaking. I speak a lot and I know it, a way of defending people to focus on something other than my body or my thoughts: listen ! Listen, but do not look or try to understand, something like that. But in this hall and next to that old lady, gray-haired like Paris’ sky that day, I was not able to utter a word.
I tried, though. I could talk to her about the bad weather, ask her what the headline of the newspaper she was reading peacefully was, or if she had pills for the head. But my mouth was stitched, and only my eyes and ears were functional; I couldn’t stop the trembling in my hands and in my leg, which was moving the whole bench on which the old woman and I were sitting on.


The voice of a young girl made me look up: “Vous auriez une cigarette m’sieur?” and I let out a sigh. After asking the same question to dozens of passers this week, I immediately understood what that french teenager wanted: so I took out a cigarette from the package I had just bought at the tobacco bar in front of the airport (which took half of what I had left of my money of that week in the capital.) But it was a good buy and I knew it.

The girl was reminding me of someone and I wanted to laugh when I remembered their name — pronounced eyeliner, red short skirt and black tank top while we were in autumn. She caught the tense cigarette, looking at me with a troubled look, as if I had just said something incomprehensible and foolish.

 

Kotku always looked at me the same way when I pronounced the nickname of Theo — Potter. She was saying, I remember, but why the fuck do you call him that?  Or something.


When she appeared in my life (I had met her buying her weed between intercourses) it was like a lifeline; I was really drowning, I was asking for help, a sign or something else — because that night went too far, it was too much and above all and it was not normal. We were not supposed to do that, I was not supposed to have a feeling of intense happiness in my chest and I was not supposed to feel good after  what we had done, and to think about it when I was in class, daydreaming about the sensation of my hands in his hair.

So I hung on to her, and I used her well. I never loved her — I did appreciate her, but it was a little too uncomfortable. She was right there when I felt I needed to distract myself. The worst thing was that she knew it. It's obvious, Boris, she was telling me. I took care to tell things about her to Potter when I was with him — How she liked her pizza, what was her new compilation (hip-hop is so cool Potter! Yes! Yes! I swear!), the siamese kitten she wanted to adopt: my mind was elsewhere and far from the other thing. But everything was weird: when I was with her, my mind wandered and always came back to the same point: Potter Potter Potter.

I knew he didn’t like her. I knew he asked the whole class who she was, where she was from and what she was doing with me, but when I was talking about her to him, it was like he didn’t even care — It was bothering me. Was it normal ? I don’t know. I just know it made him sad: his look was different and his responses were cold, and oddly it made me feel so bad that my heart was waving with each look he was discreetly throwing at me between the two scenes of a movie chosen for a party.

Then there was the incident: something that I will remember all my life. I didn’t even care about the guy Kotku had smoked some joints with or whatever. I swear it again today. For real. Exactly, that's the problem: I didn’t care. But if it was him, eh Boris, who would have done that ? That’s what she told me — And it was too much. My heart was on the verge of exploding, and it was already playing tricks on me for a few months now and — He, and his ghostly body that haunted my mind, made me feel a guilt that was digging deep inside my chest: I saw myself die as the frozen nights passed. 

It's probably one of the things I'll never forgive myself for doing — I'm still suffering from insomnia because of this episode: I see Kotku's terrified eyes and I feel the pain in my fingers again, but somehow I wanted more from my dad.

 


My father.

A violent figure who was the last person capable of being a parent: no sensitivity and no emotion, some sort of zombie, living only with his bottle of vodka like an infant and his bottle. Well, I knew he had had some emotions when he met my mother — I knew that at the beginning of their meeting they were happy and in love, that kind of couple getting up from their chairs to kiss each other in the middle of a meal in a restaurant.


When he left my life it was as if I was reborn: like when we remove a stain on a floor. I tried to be cleaner, more fit and more alive. I was alone and had nowhere to go (I had even decided to cry in front of Potter's house for Xandra to let me inside — I was crying because of something else, though) but somehow I felt liberated from a weight that had always on my shoulders —  covered with purplish marks.


My father had always been away despite the fact that I was always taken wherever he went. I didn’t know him and I never knew how he was working.
No, I really did not know him, and he always made sure that I thought it was normal. When I was asked where my father was and what he was doing, I shrugged, and replied stammering: at the hospital, he's learning to walk again. Out for business stuff, uh, in town: he was my father and that was normal. The fathers of the persons whom I frequented, in the different schools I had known, took them to the gulf, to the zoo; mine brought back porn movies from bars where he was hanging out at night (when he was in a good temper) or he was bringing back impregnated sticks of scotch (which had become familiar with my nose), and that was, for me, normal.


This bastard never gave me anything  — except, perhaps, his "sweet violence " that he had taught me so well: when someone stabs your back, Borys, shoot them in the head. You will be weakened, but at least, them, they will be dead.
For my father it was that, his rule of survival.


When the girl thanked me with a nod, the number of my departure lounge was announced. I left my thoughts and rose weakly. My hands tapped my coat pocket — I needed to smoke. The smell of disinfectant that this airport gave off was unbearable (it reminded me of the infamous hallways of high school in Vegas) and made me so dizzy that I thought I was going to faint. I hadn’t eaten since the day before, and I felt my legs wobble at every step. For a moment I hesitated to ask for a ticket change. Why not go to New York after all, sir? Well, I fucking realized that I could not answer anything, except that I was afraid, and that fear paralyzed me to a point that I had not eaten since the purchase of my ticket in the agency trip, two blocks from the Sacré Coeur. Yes. I eat when I'm anxious: an absurd reflex to order three Russian dishes and a dessert (only if I had the money on me — or I was leaving without paying), to occupy my mind to something else. Because, unlike my father, to me — my rule of survival was to ignore my problems, to distract myself and to pretend that nothing has ever happened: (trust me, but no, everything is going well. shh, relax) — It was in one of those moments that Kotku was one of the pieces of the fucking crappy puzzle I'd been trying to assemble since the day I was born.

The first thought I had when I put my suitcase on the recording mat was that maybe he had grown up. I had always laughed about with his size — a way to see him get mad to cause me a laugh to shake the walls of his (our) house. But his small size had been useful during those nights: he was clinging to my neck, and his legs to my body: a kind of koala, like the ones I had seen in Australia when I was a kid. I didn't really sleep during those nights, I could not. The smell of his hair, the tears running down my collarbone, and the vibrant Vegas lights from the window that lit up his pale back scarcely gave me energy to blink — I was caught in an elevator that was never stopping, playing with my heart, and making me pant every time a tear fell on my cold, bony body. I knew that sometimes he did not sleep. So I began to sing with the few voices and breath that I had left: a poem I had scribbled in my dictionary in the morning at breakfast (although I ate absolutely nothing, just a tea that I was never finishing), a song we'd played on the bus the day before (I'd had the headphone mark in my left ear for weeks — then it had faded when he left), or I just told him about my travels: what I had seen, what I had learned, and where I would take him.

Will you take me Boris?

Yes I will take you, I answered him blowing in his hair. And he fell asleep a few minutes later, and it was only then that I allowed myself to burst into tears.

 

"Sir? Your ticket ? And your passport…? Sir…?"

I left  my thoughts, handing my ticket to the young man behind the counter who had been looking at me with concern for a long time.

I had digressed once more and his face continued to haunt my mind — Wherever I was. I ran my hand through my hair to try to calm myself — in vain. I had just managed to mess my hair by letting my curls fall on my eyes: I struggled to take my passport and my ticket back; and then I turned around to buy something to drink.

 

All the bars at the airport were full — it was midday on a Saturday in Paris and I should have known: but I was too busy trying to find a way to quench my thirst, to dull that feeling of irritation in my throat, instead to blame myself for this lack of insight.

I ended up buying a bottle of water from the vending machine next to the somewhat shabby newsagent (it reminded me of the one in Vegas I stole porn magazines from) and whose salesman had been staring at me for a few minutes. I did not blame him; I would have been suspicious if I had been a stranger. I wore a long black coat that came to my knees, with big black leather boots at my feet that I had stolen from I do not know who some years ago, and I had a complexion to scare someone stiff: I was pale and colorless, apart from my lips that became purple because of the cold (I wore only a thin shirt), and the dark rings under my eyes seemed to be so big, dull and imposing that I had the impression that they blurred my view. My black hair, curled with moisture, creating a chilling contrast, was in my eyes and bothered me: it prevented me from launching friendly glances to reassure people who looked away after ogling me.

Then it was when I saw the name of the painting in the Paris daily newspaper that I nearly spit out the sip I had just taken on the floor.

 

“The Goldfinch, still missing.”


When Potter was drinking, it was like a second personality inside him was waking up.
I discovered in him all the dark faces of his heart and mind when he was drunk — He couldn’t control his darkness, which I knew was driving his dreams and nightmares. The first times him and I were smashed had never been so hectic. Boris why is there a stain here? (he had vomited here last night), Boris, why do Xandra's cushions look burnt? (he had tried to set them on fire the day before), Boris why the fuck is there sand on the floor? (he had forced me to go with him to the Mcdonald's sandbox the night before): something was waking up inside him, frightful and deeply dark. He scared me. The number of times I stopped him from jumping off the roof to " land nicely in the pool ": C’mon Boris, I got this! Let me jump for god’s sake! Or the number of times he was laying down the street, waiting for a car to roll over him: leave me Boris, leave me here.


He wanted to die; he told me that so many times that I ended up believing that I would find him dead the next day — I always kept an eye open, and I remained attentive to all the sounds like I was used to.


I hated when his footsteps, leaving his (our) room, woke me up, because I knew where he was going: the railway line in the suburbs, where people often smoked after classes. He sat on the rails in a ball, and when he saw that I was approaching, he justified himself in the simplest possible way. I want to die Boris, I want to join her, but I still caught him, pulling him in my arms and gently rubbing his back. Often we fell asleep at the place where I had recovered him weakened, crying; he was in my arms and he shivered so much that he made both of us tremble. And the next day he was blaming me: it's not a real bed Boris, why did we not sleep at home? Fuck you, Boris, you’re an asshole, I'm cold now because of you — and the fact that he did not remember anything always caught me off guard but I got used to it, to the point of believing myself that he had never wanted to do anything the day before.


But deep inside me, I knew Potter was living the most painful moment of his life; the world was spinning and resuming its course, but he was just a lost satellite that had left orbit and could never return.

 

But it was when he started to forget that he was kissing me that caused the worst conflict inside me. The contact of his wet lips (recent hot tears) on mine seemed to release him; it was wild and impertinent, full of leaps of tongues and lost teeth, but it was such a sweetness that it was making my heart melt — He kissed me to say good night, or when he was meeting my eyes during a silent moment. I always looked at him intensely, too much maybe, by trying to decipher what Theo he was at that moment. Is it good if he forgets? But why do we act as if nothing had happened I thought he had a girlfriend? Pappya or something?

Why did it make my heart feel like a disaster? I thought I was dead every time he kissed me; a whirlwind of emotion that was tearing my chest so hard that I thought my heart had let go — But I suddenly came to life when I heard him laugh out loud. A rare melody that gave meaning to the whole world: the moon was spinning through his laughter, and the faint flowers that resisted the heat of Vegas survived thanks to his smile, and the stars twinkled in imitation of his eyes — they shone intensely when I told him a funny story in Russian, under the fine duvet of my or his (our) bed, watching the smoke of our cigarettes joining in the air, as our souls so often did.

 

So I assumed he had forgotten that he showed me the painting one night.

Look Boris, look what I have! No really look! Hey asshole, look!

 

When I took it, I obviously intended to give it back — yes I had already lent him some candy bars or other things that I ate between two classes, but that was different. This bird, chained, reminded me so much of Potter that I could not even look at it when he was gone: he was chained like this animal, as trapped by his past that cut off his wings and breath — I had already helped him to catch his breath when he woke up screaming in terror and hovering under the bed to avoid a catastrophe; Shh Potter, come here, gently, breathe, odin dva, sort, inhale, odin, dva, sort, exhale. I had already kissed his lips so that he would resume normal breathing, and I knew that I had done it to help him and nothing else ; it was like a reflex, seeing him close to tears, his chest rising to the rhythm of the sounds of the night, and a look begging me to help him. I was taking his face as delicately as possible, and rubbing circles in his neck to relax him. It always worked, and a few minutes later, his sleepy head rested on my bare chest.

The painting was a way to always have Potter beside me. I took it because it was worth a lot of money (like a lot) but from one perspective, it was a link I had with him. If he left, if he left me, if he abandoned me, maybe he would stay because I have his painting? I didn’t know. I had caught it in his locker while I was skipping my History class; my heart was beating so hard that I was shaking the padlock I was opening with Potter's double keys. (I always had them on me, just in case.) Then all my thoughts mingled, creating scenarios in my mind that made me lose my breath as people were coming out of their classrooms, under the bell. That made me jump, just after shoving the painting in my backpack.

 

I wiped the little drop of water that was at the corner of my lips while playing with my ticket. The words Fast Flight! Paris to New York listed on it became the only thing I could see and everything seemed blurred around me. New York. Where do you want to go sir? New fucking York. I said New York with difficulty though — I had stammered badly. In Vegas, when I was lost (maybe too many joints) I always tried to remember how to join Potter, his apartment or the place where I had last seen him (sometimes I had to go on all fours he burst out laughing at seeing me swear in Russian on the doorstep to let me in.) And at that moment, in the travel agency I was well and truly lost — I had an argument with Astrid in her apartment in Paris for "vacation" (she liked to go there with the kids when she was tired of skiing ): too much and too complicated. I had answered New York because I thought about him suddenly; without even thinking that it had been years since I had seen him. Maybe he was not even there after all. Maybe… He forgot me ? No. No, he couldn’t. Right?

Astrid wanted me to do something in my life, if I understood correctly: you're just scared Borya, stop being scared. I didn’t know what the fuck she was talking about. I didn't even know how old I was when I married Astrid. Too young — I'm pretty sure of that. She was more like a confident, a friend, and we were both much too bored at the idea of a divorce. She was nice, and we lived well, why we should move on? But I knew, and so did Astrid, that I wasn’t happy — And as true as it was frightful, that thought was unbearable to me.

I knew that being unhappy was always a part of me. Like my shadow, it followed me everywhere. I got used to it and, to be honest, I realized that I had been unhappy for quite some time already when I started feeling happiness from time to time. So I learned that happiness was in the most common things — when Potter was gently pushing me on our way to school when I made a comment about his hair that was starting to look like straw (fuck you, Boris), when I had a headphone and Potter the other, in silence, listening to Radiohead's album (sometimes I was hearing him whispering the lyrics), or when my body was next to Potter's, that his hands were wandering, in a rhythm of sounds and gestures, in harmony with the rain patting gently against the window.

I remember the evening when he left — he was fidgeting everywhere, and the atmosphere was tightening more and more. I was chewing on my fingernail and counting up to ten in Polish in my head, a way to reduce my heartbeats that I had learned from my mother when I was little. Count with me mój kotku. Shh, don’t worry, dad won’t hurt you. C’mon. Jeden, dwa, trzy, cztery...

I told him to stay, I swear. I tried everything. He acted so eagerly that I wanted to give him a slap in the shoulder to get his attention; I instead tried to sing but he was continuing. I have to leave Boris, right now, I have to go, shut up, so I did. But instead, I tried to kiss him. I did it when the drug was peaking my head and when I had so many feelings in me that I could not talk — I kissed him. I had his attention at that moment: he was looking at me in a way to make me die, and I was caught off guard myself; but I was acting so static because I knew that if I was making a step, I would fall to the ground.

When he slammed the door of the cab that night, that's when I died — my lips were burning, my mouth was shaking, and my eyes were filling with tears as my heart filled with an indelible sadness.

 

Good luck, I won’t forget you, I told him — and of course, I never did.

 

I was wondering what he was doing at that moment. Maybe he was with his girlfriend or even his wife. It made it strange to think of Potter with a girl. No Boris, I don’t want to, she's boring; What, her? Never, what the fuck? No, Boris, I won’t ask her out and I don’t care that she's hot. After all, it was Potter, and I was glad to know that he wanted to be alone with me at parties, instead of passing them with a random girl in our class.

Maybe he was happy. I don’t know, and I have shivers just thinking of Potter as an adult, with a house, a job and a wife. We were always together, in Vegas, both of us, smoking and drinking like sick and laughing when we received our reports — I felt like I was betrayed and forgotten. I know I didn’t send him even one text since the night I managed to find a phone at a party (it was fucking boring — I told Potter lies when I said that he had left at the wrong time. Of course he was gone at the wrong time, though: my father had left with a blonde chick and never told me, I realized it when he never came back after a month, Kotku had let me down, and my heart was shattered, but Potter had not missed anything at all.)

I had to get busy and find something to distract myself as soon as possible — I was desperate. Kotku had noticed the worm I had become after Potter's departure. She had so much pity that she had left me a bundle of money under my doormat before leaving with her mother and a guy (Tyler? I don’t remember) who was twice her age, to go to Norway or something. I had discovered the money when I returned home when Xandra went to live in Reno, in Nevada. Yes I lived with Xandra, maybe five months. She had greeted me when I was crying at her door and she had strangely welcomed me. I cried to death, repeating that I was alone, that I was going to die, that I was cold and hungry — something in her eyes, when she opened the door (I stepped back: I wasn’t expecting her to open the door at all), made me understand her existence: a little blonde girl on the street with torn clothes popped up in my mind.

I don’t believe in telepathy or any other shit of this kind, but we did not even need to communicate with words. She gave me hot milk, some Christmas DVDs, and then I fell asleep in her bed after a few minutes. We did not talk much when I was with her. Not as usual. I had always appreciated Xandra though; she was cool and mysterious, (and she had a ton of pills) but most of all Potter hated her — the most exciting thing to see was when I complimented her: (Pretty hairstyle!  Xandra Ya lyublyu etot stil!), he was lowering his eyes and grumbled: it was hilarious.

Except Xandra was gone (with my father and Kotku) and I was alone in my father's house in Vegas. I had just cried even more. I was definitely alone. And the worst of all was that I was missing him more and more everyday. The days were endless and the nights were glacially silent; I was coming to a point where my mind was playing tricks on me, hearing a dog barking and nicotine-smelling laughter — I raised my head, and breathed with difficulty. Potter? Popchyk? Then I started crying, louder and louder until I could not feel my lungs anymore. I ended up by buying a train ticket with stolen money — randomly. I didn’t care where I was going to land because I knew I would not feel at home anywhere. My house had never been in all the countries I went to; my house was gone like a flapping of wings, and I felt more and more homeless as the days went by.

 

After passing the customs and all the procedures (I spoke French so badly that every sentence I tried to formulate my speaker looked at me as if I had just sworn on all his family) I waited on a seat the announcement who informed me that I could go on board. I hadn’t stopped shaking, and everyone in the room had noticed. I smiled, embarrassed, at everyone who was looking at me with a raised eyebrow, after whispering something with their neighbours. With surprise my phone vibrated — a liberation.

 

It was Myriam.

I had met Myriam the first time when I was blind-drunk in a random bar in Stockholm a few years ago — which was not considerable at all. And, God, she made me get out of enormous shit (I was without a house, without money, the painting had disappeared ) and she always made sure that our "business" worked well. I had managed to find a new occupation, and I had always appreciated her presence. I felt lonely (for too long ) and this Ukrainian girl out of nowhere was a gift from heaven. I had told her everything about the painting (and about Potter, among other things ) — she was… upset? Her face didn’t let go one single smile.

 

It was then that I realized that I really fucked up.

I thought about it every night. I had thought that Potter hated me and that he was glad I never contacted him again. I could see him open the package and discover the book I had put there instead and say what an asshole Boris, this fucking thief, I hope he is fucking dead somewhere, and I could hear his angry voice echoing in my head, like the one he had when I wasn’t sharing the spoils that were stolen from the neighborhood grocery store.

 

Myriam — 9:14

Why you didn’t even tell me that you bought a ticket to New York? Durnyy.

 

I rolled my eyes: Astrid had surely seen the purchase of my ticket on our bank account and had to believe that I was breaking off all ties or something like that, before to call Myriam. Why should I have told you?  I answered by tapping with difficulty on my phone — I could not stop shaking, and I thought for a moment that my heart was going to give away.

 

What if I bump into him in the street?

 

A shiver ran through my at this thought. What if he bumps into me and he doesn’t recognize me? No if he bumped into me he would recognize me, I hadn’t really changed, (well, I had some teeth surgery but I don’t think it would change that much), I just had clothes reserved for more serious people, quality that I tried to implement every day since the departure of Potter. I encountered difficulties. Like, a lot.

No, if he met me, surely he would greet me (I hope ), but he would hit me. He was going to kill me. For real. So I will try to be natural: No way! It's an accident, Ships passing? Then I'll make a remark about his complexion or his expression of astonishment that he will have (I know which one — the one he had after the kiss: full of stupor, thrill and confusion.)

I know how much he loved the painting. He held to it. And I took it just because of the fear that was gnawing at me — I felt (I still feel ) terribly bad and guilty.

"I'm such a dick." I said that out loud as I stared into the emptiness of the waiting room for boarding. Heads turned to me, and I sat up in my seat, embarrassed — excuse me, sorry, I said to the mother who looked at me angrily (one of her children, 5 years I would say, had just asked to her: what's a dick, mom?  in French.)

They finally announced that the passengers could embark: I jumped up and I hurriedly headed into the tunnel that led to the plane with such rapidity that it would have been believed that Potter was there at the end. I had shaken my head at this idea.

I felt all my blood circulating in my body and with each sound, it accelerated; if I was touched, I might fall and not be able to get up again. My body was tied to a thread and I felt the beating of my heart in my temples, a rhythm to drive me crazy.

 

Listen, I'm sorry.

Nope, lame. Potter, please excuse me — No.

I waited for the departure of the plane with more nervousness than impatience and the noise of the passengers, in rhythm with my lead pencil which banged against my seat (which I had borrowed from the old woman who had finally found herself being my neighbor on the plane), made my ears buzz. I was just looking around, and I felt like I was being watched, and everyone knew what I had done — no, no I have to not think about it. I looked with emptiness and disgust the back of my receipt of my pack of cigarettes, blank, where I had just written EXCUSES TO POTTER: there was still nothing written on it. Well, there were just a few sketches of his scratched face at the bottom of the paper (I had drawn him with glasses, does he still have his glasses? ) The dirty receipt had been damaged because I was crushing him with my hands in my pockets, when an anxious feeling invaded my body.

Then I grabbed my phone with a shaking breath when a young man came to remind us that the airplane mode was mandatory — that's when I saw the notification of Myriam's message, and I felt my soul leaving my body after reading the first sentence.

 

Myriam — 9:24

You know your little Potter with glasses, I found him. Do you know Hobart and Blackwell? And the painting will be soon as well. Call when you land. Your driver will be in New York for you. (Like your boyfriend haha.) I took care of everything. Khorosha poyizdka!

 


 

I had fallen asleep on the plane after two hours, and I had the strangest dream, which oddly remains in my memory ever since.

 

Everything was pretty vague.

I had entered into a bright and lush room. The walls were not delimited — It was too faded, like a memory that comes back when we are about to fall asleep. There was a smell of sanded wood and lavender cream, and golden highlights caught my attention on either side — it was painted picture frames, which were framed in gold and… They were alive. I had approached one of them: there was a turquoise blue that dominated, pigmented with a cherry red, mixed with black curls that floated in chlorinated and dirty water, mingling with a chestnut color like autumn palette; in alliance with wild hands and panting breaths. Then the blue deviated to a white dove, and then formed sheets that enveloped bodies in fusion and agitation, fingers that grabbed pillows and nails scraping for more connection — hands grabbed and sank, while a melody rang in my ears, Home, Home, it was singing, accompanied by a symphony of kisses on a pale neck.

I continued to walk in the room — there was no one and the sound of my footsteps was inaudible because of the deafening silence that resonated in the room, with the pictures that adorned my misty vision. They were pictures that represented memories as fierce as the others, with a faltering ardor, certain as soft as the sensation of smooth hands on a body damaged or violent like a tears that debone the chest, and wringing the heart. A painting had, in a mixture of darkness and light coming from a distant moon, hair twirling in the air at the rhythm of a swing and a deep voice purring a contine. A joyful and intense laughter absorbed the room; a foam-colored snow was in his hair, and his glasses were damaged — he was beautiful.

That's when he came into the room — which caught my attention. I stepped back — He was more than thin and in his eyes reigned a torment as powerful as raging waves, arriving by slamming the rocks. His gray suit brought out his pallor and purple rings under his glasses. He did not even need to talk — I saw in his face a pain so strong that I had carried my hand to my heart: he sank every second as I watched him. His lips trembled, and, in a strange way I already had their taste on my tongue: strong and drugged with sadness, with a pinch of sugar from a lukewarm tea, taken in a place that brought together tragedy and contempt.

He had gone a step further, and I could not feel my body anymore, as if I was in a petrifying trance — I wanted to talk as I used to, but I did not know what to say, a kind of blockage caused by his bitter gaze that pierced me more and more. I had stretched out my hand, a gesture urging his stormy waves to come down on the hot sand; I didn't even try to smile, I was frozen. He was frightened and it was then that I saw dust in his hair and blood on his hands holding a school backpack — then when my eyes returned to his face, it was as if he had rejuvenated: tighter lips and disheveled hair. Somehow I knew that I had rejuvenated as well because I felt in the depths of me a hunger and a breathtaking thirst for love, my teeth scratched my lips and I had the taste of stuffy metal in the mouth.

His heavy coat weighed on his shoulders, his chin trembled and his eyes sought help; he was so desperate that I began to cry — tears were slipping down my warm cheeks with the choking of the room, a kind of closet of fear overflowing with pain and inadequacy.

Then he suddenly looked at me and he was about to say something like run for it, Boris, go, while I opened my mouth because I finally knew what to say — but time stopped and I saw the room be cutting into molecules of golden colors, and a deafening noise echoed in my ears. A dust spurted from all sides, blurring my sight and spoiling my eyes and I was crying even more now — the last thing I saw before closing my eyes was his child's face that smelled of death, and the painful smile that was drawn on his lips.

 


 

 

When I woke up suddenly in my seat (we’ve landed in New York, ladies and gentlemen! ) I felt myself falling into a hole full of star dust and memories (a pool, a Polish song and a particular night ) and my breath was getting faster and faster every second.

At the moment I couldn’t remember my name, why I was on this plane, or what feelings I felt at those times. I could only remember what I was going to tell him before an explosion of fire, graves and heartbreaking cries came up in that dream —  and which was, of course, I love you.