My living room is warmed up by a beautiful carpet – it’s white, with a huge red flower spreading its petals towards all four corners. It’s warm and alive, because if you’re patient, sometimes, you can feel the red flower sighing.
I rolled up the carpet and put it in a corner, it needs to be cleaned, and now my living room seems distant, cold, the French window gets reflected in the shiny tiles of the floor, and it’s as if I can open that reflection of the French window and walk through it into an alternative reality, where Luca didn’t exist and never left me.
Yesterday I managed to go back to CF. After almost more than three months. Of course today I can barely flex my legs or sit down. And it was scary. My going back. I can see myself paralysed in a corner, waiting for the class to start, barely breathing, prepared for that moment when my heart, tired of all the madness, would give up and stop. And yes, I was there, and I met old friends, and we hugged, and I was happy to see them, but I’m not sure I’ll be going back, though. I mean not as much as I used to go, regularly. I feel tired, as if my body is taking some kind of revenge, making me lie motionless in my/his leather armchair for hours. As if I’m trying to melt in the black leather, disintegrating into millions of cells, looking for his epithelial ones that must have been kept prisoners there, and absorbing them, like an amoeba… This amoeba can’t find that passion that used to wake her up at 5 a.m. Not anymore. It’s a void which has become my routine, a lack of vitality which seems to govern my every day counting of the hours.
‘Ok, this amoeba will get dressed in a minute and go out! Now!’
Rona looks over my shoulders and sniffs.
‘Let’s go for that breakfast! It’s getting late!’
She’s on a crusade to get me out of my low moods, and most of the time I would crawl into a corner, in a fetal position, and close my eyes and phase her out until she would give up and leave me alone.
But this weekend I don’t want to be an amoeba anymore.
We drive downtown and have a French breakfast on the terrace of a nice restaurant, by the lake. There’s so much light I could use two pairs of sunglasses.
We chitchat for a while, but then she gets a phone call and I get to look at the other people on the terrace. It’s a healthy habit, if you ask me. The young blond woman carefully picking up crumbs from the white tablecloth, the annoying curly-haired toddler who keeps kicking the table with his feet till the water in the glass spills and spatters on his father’s nice, Saturday suit. The French guy, luminous and full of life, reading Camus and keeping his latte cup in his left hand, with his little finger pointing up, like a precious primadonna. I had heard him ordering his ‘omelette’, that’s how I knew he was French.
This is a very nice place, and it feels literally far away from the city, though it’s not, as if the towers, and the traffic, and the noise, and the dust had vanished, and there’s nothing else but the bright lake, the blue sky, the French guy and his ‘omelette’, my cheese and Rona’s telephone conversation.
‘So, how’s your cheese?’
It seems she has ended her phone call. Her words reach me in slow motion, as if travelling through a high density liquid, like honey. Would they taste sweet to my ears if so? Is cheese a sweet word? I wonder what my left ear thinks. The right one is a little impaired, so it cannot be a reliable witness.
I don’t utter anything; I just cut another small piece with my fork, and put it in my mouth. It tastes a little sour, but it has an interesting consistency, almost aristocratic. Now, that’s an interesting thought.
‘Do you remember how I always say that Mercedes have that aristocratic…. attitude?’
Of course I can understand her bewilderment; she looks at me as if I’m eating a Mercedes.
‘That’s how this cheese tastes like. I mean, I don’t know what an aristocratic taste should taste like, it’s just a feeling.’
She finally swallows her bite, thank God she hasn’t choked, I saw the Heimlich maneuver only in the movies. On the other hand, it would have been a very pertinent reason to address a few words to the French guy, wouldn’t it? Asking for help… Shall I bewilder her one more time? I’m like the thunder here, cannot be both spontaneous and witty twice in a row.