WWWBT 12 Camus, Mozart and Popcorn
Cyclothymia – mood disorder characterized by alternating episodes of depression and elation in a form less severe than that of bipolar disorder.(Merriam-Webster)
Who eats popcorn at the opera? Really now! It’s Mozart, for crying out loud! But you know me, I’m that dog that barks but doesn’t bite, I didn’t say anything. And, luckily for my poor nerves, whoever was so unbelievably ignorant to crunch popcorn during COSI FAN TUTTE, stopped pretty soon after the show had started. No, it wasn’t my powers of concentration, as I kidded myself for a second, I’m far from this performance. Still I cannot believe I had sex with Darren on Friday evening! And, obviously, I can’t stop thinking about it! Not to mention that it all started so innocently!
Thursday was an awful day in the office. Long and boring conference calls, the prospect of the weekend just around the corner… Not easy, trust me!
His call was unexpected and welcome; I hadn’t seen him in a long time. He knew Luca was gone, still he had never come to see how I was. Generally speaking. He suggested breakfast the next morning, at Paul’s. He offered to come and pick me up. I said yes.
I wasn’t necessarily elated, but for sure I wasn’t depressed anymore. Or, at least, I managed to smile and have a peaceful conversation about work, cars, the World Cup, more work – Darren likes to talk about work, and I like to listen to him talking about work.
He looks a little tired, and it’s not that I’ve almost forgotten how the wrinkle at the corner of his left eye looked. It’s still there, still the same length. Have I missed him? Where is this coming from?
We part after a few hours. He drops me home, I touch his hand resting on the gear stick, in the car, nothing unusual, I had done it before, it’s just a thing I do with him sometimes, touching him, nothing concupiscent.
‘Oh, you know, I need to change the password to my router.’
‘Oh, no, not again!’
‘Please, please, please…’
He agrees to call round in the evening.
And, if I remember correctly, the last time I was so anxious, excited and nervous was in second grade, when I was in love with Luke Skywalker and I was getting ready to go and see EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.
‘Listen to this!’
We sit on the high bar chairs, at the bar in the kitchen, drinking some wine and talking about Camus. There was a passage I wanted to read to him from LA CHUTE.
‘Le véritable amour est exceptionnel, deux ou trois fois par siècle à peu près. Le reste du temps, il y a la vanité ou l’ennui.’
He keeps sipping his wine and I’m trying to catch his eyes. No response. He didn’t get it, as simple as that. And it makes a lot of sense. If he had spoken to me in Japanese, which would be a familiar language for him, though I know it isn’t, but me and Japanese language these days, you know, we have something, so, if he had, he probably wouldn’t have cared too much if I got it or not. For him, Japanese would be a cognoscible and familiar language, and for me not. So I would have continued to sip my wine and have a blank look on my face. Like when you’re trying to think of nothing. Some say it’s a blessing. Thinking of nothing. Others… Oh, let me translate him Camus’s ideas about love.
‘Vanity? Boredom? Two or three times per century? I don’t know.’
For sure it’s hard to believe. Was I in love with Luca? Or the CF guy? Right, I wonder how the CF guy is! I haven’t heard anything about him in a long time.
I don’t get to say anything anymore, Darren is in front of me, putting his hands on my face and kissing me. Out of the blue. It must be boredom!
The next day, long after he’s gone, my hands still smell of him. I bury my face in my hands and inhale his smell until I feel it reaches my stomach. No flickering wings. What happened to my butterflies? Depression must have killed them. Is there a way to resuscitate them? Some CPR for the butterflies in the stomach? Anyone? No? Hm…
Did we really? Darren and I? Really? And his chest is pressing against mine and he is breathing quickly and he smells of Boss Night. My hands smell of Boss Night.
The phone rings. It’s Lara. She wants to go out for a beer. Sure. I need to get rid of the smell of Boss Night from my hands. Replace it with the smell of butter popcorn maybe. I chuckle and go for a shower. Best decision today!