The body is a matter of conviction, a cluster of immovable organs. The organ is the idea. The eye is a matter of seeing. Your hand signifies holding hands. The lips mean kissing, oh, the heart means carnage. There is no way out of this vicious circle. Our love must be ritual. We move around each other showing signs, symptoms. My lungs moving up and down mean to tell you that you take my breath away. When they no longer move in that way I need to say it. Language is no longer referential. We need to tell each other somehow that our bodies long for each other. You need to get ready before I kiss you with the intention of carrying on. I need to make it clear by saying it and making that language referential. I want more than kissing and holding hands, I’d say it, and you’d say all right, just give me a minute. Our love must be ritual. We need to convince ourselves that it must be ritual. We envy their easiness but we make love anyway. Otherwise we would vanish. What am I to do without you?
You live a sort of life, or this thing you call life. Others expect you to call it life. I believe that is why we have a word for it. Words become words out of necessity. The necessity of a human being. A writer’s necessity. You live a life in which you are never quite sure if you are going up or down until the very last moment, until your very last breath is spent on recovering all those moments from the past you call memories. While you do that you realize that every recovered memory is inherently an apology first to yourself, then to all those who have touched you, and then, finally, to all those who have seen you at one point. Yes, even to those. Until you become yourself a walking apology. Have you ever thought of how an apology looks like? Behold the very flesh and bones of a walking apology. The books that you write are themselves apologies. You apologize and ask for forgiveness to your characters, for giving birth to them and then leaving them to linger in a sort of fictitious limbo until you sort your things out. Problems with your girlfriend or boyfriend, your computer has a nervous breakdown, your neighbor’s kid will not shut up. All of these happen while your characters are waiting there, anxious for something to happen, anything. They are just characters, you think at one point, masks; they are supposed to do that. Yet, what if they are not supposed to do that after all? What if we are characters ourselves waiting for our author to figure things out? Then you apologize to yourself and to your own past. We all know that in books the past comes out distorted, changed, and broken. One memory comes out eyeless, faceless, earless, and with all limbs broken. Apologize to that, your sincerity shall be appreciated if you will ever be forgiven, that is. Then you apologize to everybody else because their story too came out in your book, in between the lines. Keep in mind though that you will never be forgiven. That character, still waiting in that airport for the love of his life, will never forgive you. Could you not give him what he wants? Just a few words, a few sentences and he would live happily ever after. Yet your stubbornness and the fact that you yourself lived a life tell you that this is how the story goes, and that his happiness needs to be sacrificed. How could he forgive you for that? For denying him that ending. Ultimately, it is just a matter of words is it not? How could you sacrifice that happiness for the sake of the story? Your duty ends there, you think, at the end of the story. You are the almighty author after all. Somehow, you know that asking for forgiveness is futile, but you do it anyway thinking, hoping that at least one third of the guilt will vanish, just like that, with those two words that you write at the end. You refer to it sometimes as signing a contract by which the internal mechanism of the book is set into motion. What you do not realize is that those two words are like a death sentence to your characters, their sorrows relived with every reader. How could you, dear author, ask for happiness yourself? When your own happiness will be, at one point, sacrificed for the sake of the story?
Thank you for your last letter. I didn’t get it yet, but thank you anyway. I wonder. Why does it have to be like this? There are some laws, internal to the universe, which I simply cannot comprehend, let alone work/ function according to them. They say, one day, you’ll reach a point when everything will be clear. Yet I fear that day may come too late, at a point when I won’t be able to enjoy it. I do not wish to grow old and, a few seconds before I die, realize that everything has been in vain, and that everything stops there, in that realization, and that there is nothing else to look forward too. I couldn’t imagine a world without love, as I couldn’t imagine a world without beauty. So, I need to say this to you, dear friend. If you are indeed reading this and if you do have a sudden revelation while reading, don’t let that feeling go. You are special to me, and I wish you all the happiness the world could offer you. These words are not in vain. I know we pride ourselves with having one of the most sophisticated means of communication, language, but you need to know that words remain, and they will go deep, as deep as they can, and they will stay there for as long as our organic life shall permit. Words can fall in love, and you could fall in love with words too. They can seduce you, caress you, make love to you at night and before dawn. That is why I’m telling you this, dear friend, ’cause if they can love, they can also hate, they can also hurt you. But you already know these things, there’s no need for me to tell you that. I’m actually telling you this because I’ve tried it on my own skin. I fell in love with your words, and every night I pull those words to my chest as if they are alive. Yet, maybe they are. I’m sure they are. I need them to be alive. Otherwise, I couldn’t feel you as I do, breathing between the sheets.
I didn’t get your last letter. You probably wrote a lot of interesting things in it, old things turned into new ones, marriages, deaths, lost friendships and found ones. All those things which make up a life. So, thank you, I needed all that. But, now, how could I tell you that I met nobody on the way, since our lives revolve around meeting people? And that I have no friends here, that I know nobody, and that I stay silent my entire life here. A sort of crust covers my lips in the morning, and sometimes my eyes. So this letter must sound joyful, it must have great things in it, discoveries, culture shocks, culinary adventures, and smiles, and sex with unknown boys in public bathrooms. So that life would sound grand over here, yes, you might think. It is, life is grand on the other side of the line ’cause it takes a lot of courage to cross the line and call things by their own name. Well, frankly, I can’t call things by their own names because I need to hide in order to be happy. So, yes, I do tell you I am happy, as much as a human being can be, and have lots of friends, and good-night-kisses, and a cute dog. That I have coffee at the coffee-shop in the singles’ area, and that I have a personal hairdresser who thinks I’m some sort of rock star. And that I go to read books in fancy, bohemian coffee shops with fake artists and poets, and walk the streets at night and go to obscure clubs with alternative guys who look good only when they are naked. So that you may feel jealous. That there are people who love me and because of that I feel secure. But, the truth is, I don’t. There are no such people. But you need to know that I am happy ’cause when I’m happy you’ll think that you can be happy too. That happiness is made for humans, and that it is not impossible to reach, that you can touch it. A possibility is better than nothing, don’t you think?
So I tell you that my life is great…
…except that from time to time I see saints and angels in other people, and in every smile the mysteriousness and beauty of nights spent together with love, and sweat.