Soon, I will be walking past you.
And through you.
Someone I met briefly in the city I fell in love with told me my new tattoo was in fact that city’s symbol.
I have been meaning to get a new one made. And my disinterest in shopping for high end brands led me to decide that the best souvenir to bring home of Italy was a new tattoo.
Failing to book an artist while in Milano, I searched the net for a tattoo shop near my hotel in Roma. I was ecstatic when I received the sms response saying it was possible to do it on the day I’m scheduled to fly out of Roma. I still had no idea what to put.
The next day, I was on the train to Firenze. And I instantly fell in love. This is my city in Italy. Walking around on cobblestones exploring the gigantic public art was truly memorable.
And then I found my new tattoo. Though I had this done in another city which I honestly felt was too tourist-y and too cold.
Imagine getting off the train from Firenze then having lunch and then taking the bus to the Colosseo and then a subway ride to the Vatican. I have been truly blessed to have managed to drop in that small and warm shop minutes away from my hotel. We were done in 30 minutes. I liked talking to my Italian artist. And we had cold beer right after.
And now I still remember her. I will always think about her whenever I see my new tattoo. She was like a rough cut gem. A bit big and rugged but brimming with sensuality nonetheless. I only caught glimpses of her femininity while she drove me to the entrance of the city. Her hair. Her lips. Her hands rubbing her chin in a very unwomanly way.
And yesterday she asked me to send her a photo of my new tattoo. Why do I find this such a turn on?
Will you come to me before I leave? You who taught me pleasure and joy? Remind me again. You selfish selfish man. Let me have a taste of real pleasure again.
So, yes. I’m back visiting your country and your city. Did not make much of an effort this time to try to see you. And everything looks much different now. Let’s say, I am seeing more of everything this time through my own eyes. And I have been seeing you. A lot. I saw your back and your hair at the plane. At the airport, I saw your hair again. Yesterday at the Cathedral, I saw your hands and I think I heard your voice. I felt your breath as I climbed up the stairs to the roof. And I felt the same excitement I felt 2 years ago anticipating our first kiss in that hidden corner. At the souvenir shop, I felt you behind me as I picked out a magnet. Will I see more of you today until before I leave to go home?
for a smart 31 year old woman, i can be slow.
i just thought this was different.
i have already bored you, yes you –
you 44 year old man.
thanks for the time you gave me when you were capable and you wanted to give it.
I’m now on a self-inflicted state of crazy.
Working an additional 1 hour per weekday to cover up for the 4 hours I cannot go to work on Saturdays because I am attending review classes to take the licensure board exam for which I also took up a sideline project to pay for these classes…
Exams are in 3 weeks and I am off to a 1 week business trip in 4 days. 5 more books to scan and highlight and try to understand with whatever memory I still have left on me. Cramming never works anymore at my age. I’m starting to believe the old wives’ tale that giving birth significantly takes away nutrients, calcium and memory from a woman. In the past 6 years, I have been lucky that my scoliosis is stable and the long forgotten root canal appointment seem irrelevant. But my memory, yes, it’s not as reliable as it was before.
I need to work double time on my classes. I am no match to these fresh graduates who still have enough energy to do all-nighters. My whole body shuts down as soon as I lie down beside my son to coach him with his bedtime prayer.
And I cannot will myself to start packing for this trip. I was looking forward to go back to Italy after 2 years. The clothes remain on my dresser chair.
After I clock out today, I will need to go to the job site in another city 40 kilometers away. Going home at 2 in the morning only to wake up in 3 hours to bring my son to school again…
But all of these, I am enduring in order to prepare for our big step out of our present (hell).
Really. What happened? I ask myself the same question. And I have avoided answering my own voice.
I am sorry.
I don’t know what happened between Hello and Good bye.
And there was not another Hello again. Not the same anymore. I am so sorry if you think I misled you. I may have made you fall in love with me but that is who I am. But I never wanted to not fall in love with you. I am so sorry.
The circumstances have led us to this. Strangers. More estranged than before we first met online. And then we hoped and planned to meet in person. To finally see each other and to feel each other so close. Indeed, you were real. I was real. My heart melted a hundred times when we were together. I wanted to stay in our dream forever.
But that was just it. A dream. Meant to be finished. To be stopped.
And it’s over. Now we’re back in opposite ends of the planet. Strangers. Loners looking for love. I found love in you. Once I felt love with you. Thank you for this. Sorry for this. I cannot give more love than what I have already given.
I still don’t know what to tell you. Please don’t ask me anymore. I’m sorry.