Saudade. Chapter 7

I wish there was some actual cure for my anxiety even if at this point I understand that I should be the one challenging my feelings and thoughts. No medicine can cure thinking when I’m driving myself up the wall with my own thinking. It’s the way I do it that is bothersome.

I engaged in some brief talk, which I won’t recall now, about the weather, about how hot and nice Brazil is and maybe even mentioned how you and his partner were suffering under the snow, obviously, while we ended up in some slice of paradise, because even scorching heat is better than snow. Maybe the small talk would tire you? But it was really just that, as we slowly walked back to the hotel and even bumped into some drunk underage teenagers, but I don’t think they care much about ID here, at least that’s the impression I always get. It’s always the strict parents who try to get to them. I don’t particularly feel horny, I feel drained and the desire to sleep in David’s arms or him in my own is overwhelming and intoxicating, frankly. I remember how we started sleeping all wrapped up and then we would just cuddle, but in the beginning we would arrange our faces so that we wouldn’t end up touching the other’s breath. Sometimes that bothers me, it always bothers me that the love becomes domestic and it drives me crazy because I always want love to be on the forefront.

And there’s always the wrong memories, the ones which should be hidden now, but I remember how he would ignore me and not reply for days sometimes even when we were dating for no good reason. He would always make it sound like it was just too difficult and I couldn’t understand what was wrong with the times. Maybe all of this was a mistake, but then we’re not fully involved right now and how much do people really change? How many mistakes have we both committed? What about the main one?

We head back to his room again and start kissing. I don’t think it will escalate, no matter how hungry they feel. It makes my head dizzy, as then we just decide to flick through the channels which are all in Portuguese besides some news channels, which just show a kaleidoscope of how fucked up everything is according to the news, which never discuss anything properly. It’s odd to know that everything is fabricated these days. But then when has it not been? News always made sure to make people panic horrifically. Because only fear can make people move forwards into any regime and thinking.

I wonder about our silence, because we would be leaving soon. The only event was the wedding. It was never supposed to be some super long getaway. I feel awfully tired that I start falling asleep and when he turns off the mumbling Portuguese I am barely awake.

The problem about having anxiety is that it manages to seep through dreams and drip onto them, making the dream a bit long panic attack. Not only they don’t make sense, but it doesn’t help relax at all. I keep thinking about how it was to discover who I was somehow and how I slept around. I had told my parents that I was a gay man on top of being trans and the notion of them finding out that I was literally sleeping around with strangers because there was a thrill, scared me. I didn’t want to be judged further and frankly on bad days I still struggle with what I’ve done somehow. I just look at my own parents and everyone else who happens to be monogamous and puts sex and love on the shelf. I never wanted to be like that, I never understood why should one put that away. So it becomes a question whether I should be doing that too in order not to be judged? And now I was sleeping with my ex and frankly we didn’t even use protection because I just felt like it.

I didn’t know what else to say or how to calm me down, because I never could. I would just continue judging me through life for everything I’ve done. My desire to open up was something I was desperately ashamed of and I tried to do my best to remain monogamous because everyone else was. And writing all of this down should be helping, but I’m still doing it.

I was now awake.

I looked up to stare at a sleeping David with the harsh lulls from the TV. Maybe I should just leave? Sometimes I wonder if I should listen to my intrusive thoughts, and what else have I not heard now? And sometimes I would be the one to break relationships, was that going to be the case now as well? What future did we even hold with being in an actual engagement with someone else, someone who I loved deeply? What about David? I was shaking even if it was ridiculously hot. Would I leave? Should I leave?

I moved a bit too suddenly and David woke up.

He started stroking my trembling arms.

“I’m leaving.” He looks at me wide eyed and confused. I need to clarify. “I’m leaving the city, I’m moving. I always wanted to get out of there.”

I never even allowed myself to think much of it. I know that I’m a terrible mess. David seems a bit calmer, but still worried. He’s lost me before and I had declined him when he offered to get back together once. Maybe the things I’ll never ask will be enough for me to forget him entirely and for good.

“Why didn’t you say anything sooner?” I have issues. I just shrug, looking away before he puts his hand in my hair. Maybe we became each other. Maybe love makes a mutation of the other in me.

“I don’t want to lose you again.” He says.

“You already did.” I swallow. I shouldn’t have even put his hopes up. I lower my head. I’m a disgrace. I have no idea how is this supposed to be relaxing in any way. He didn’t do anything this time. I grab his hands. “You have a girlfriend and I’m engaged.”

He stares at me, lost. I’m sudden and harsh, just like he once was. Is this some deep rooted revenge? But then he gradually pushed every domino to fall before they all caught up in front of each other. And we barely talked over dinner. Is that all we had to say after all these years?

I wanted to leave the room and I did leave it eventually, I kept thinking of you. We ended our conversation there and just like always, he never pushed it, as if he ever respected my decision but I guess he did. My whole body was still shaking as I closed the door and slowly made my way back into my room, already knowing that I wouldn’t be able to talk to you in this state. My brain was silent with no pop music blasting, all I could hear was my own heavy breathing and stare at the done bed.

I grabbed my computer, opened my e-mail and proceeded to write this, as long as it was fresh in my mind.

This closing chapter ended up being shorter than the rest, but it closes everything and now I can finally talk freely.

I wanted the boyfriend to be left nameless, anonymous even, regardless that Allan spoke of him often and spoke of how they had met. I wanted him to just be there, a presence really and end it without knowing what the reply ever is.

It’s really bizarre to put everything to rest. Also, as I kept writing I kept asking myself well, this is what’s going to happen, won’t it? I get cold feet very often and this was just a version of myself which would do such a crucial mistake in his life. I had originally planned it differently, but as the story progressed the more I saw that Allan was getting cold feet.

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did and a new story will be published from next Friday as always.

Saudade. Chapter 6

I had wanted to ask you the same question once, how you felt about the world when I knew that you check the news daily, but you never let it affect you and you don’t talk much about it to me because you know that I can get emotional. I speak too much truth, I don’t make anything fiction. I eventually blow all the truth out so that my whole body aches from so much exhaustion and distortion from normality.

We stare at each other in silence, before looking away and knowing that the topic is really closed, I could always open it, but I don’t. On the background there’s a football game, but I don’t know the teams to root for either even if I can guess which team is supported since everyone is wearing matching stripy shirts and last time I had been here I had a guy flirt with me as he would tell me things about the team I had long forgotten. We had hooked up which looking back wasn’t the wisest idea but sometimes danger just slips past the fingers.

“Looks like we’re the unaware foreigners.” I laugh at him as people boo the other team. David nods and maybe we had always held the same silence we hold now.

“Did you think of me?” He asks, basking in some self aware question. The question stalls me for a while, because I did think of him, but not as often, since I started dating you. I tell him that and he just nods, wondering himself probably why had we decided to drag ourselves under some passionate seal to begin an affair.

“I know that you thought of me.” I take his hand, only wondering now if it’s really safe enough, but I’m under those nights and stars where you let anything slip by and risk it all. I’ve already risked it all with you for frankly no good reason besides igniting a long gone passion. My mind is going blank now and I should probably sleep, but the more time I take writing this letter the more things I will forget and start making up the holes I won’t recall. So I have to keep writing somehow, with everything I can recall, just to make my end of the bargain fair even if we never agreed.

Maybe there is really nothing to talk about and this is the morning after which comes with a crazy bitter taste. Where does one even start pouring their soul out? It’s worse because there is always a chance of leaving, just apologizing and that would be it. But maybe we should both hold onto it for the plain sake that it’s just a few days and then we would see what happens, but this is something which drags me with fear. I don’t want to go back, my whole body is destroyed with everything that has been happening and my own mind is not just my enemy, but my poison.

Maybe the hatred is slowly unravelling itself and I truly have all the answers now and I can turn around in my sleep, knowing that I’ve been enough. But I don’t leave and neither does he. I also feel like we’re both barely holding from connecting to the Wi-Fi and checking our phones while the rooted for team tries to score. Eventually he pulls his phone out and I just look around, in a fucking sea of stripy red. He does make me snap out of thinking, though.

“Do you want a photo? I mean, when are we going to meet up in Brazil again?” And as he says it I remember a bitter memory where he wouldn’t give me the photos of us together, but I smile regardless for the photo. I should ask him instantly to give me the photo for old time’s sake.

“Can I get it, as well?” He nods, probably not even recalling that. Then we have an awkward pause were we both feel very aware that we don’t have each other’s e-mail or any mean of communication, I had made sure that no one could find me besides from looking at my left over friend’s comments and even then, I tried to comment as less as possible for such reasons. We do a brief staring contest, before I take his phone and enter my e-mail with a bit of trembling fingers. Now, he’ll be able to contact me if all goes wrong and my mood changes rapidly each second even. Now, all the thrill has shifted to fear and some doomed love. I won’t deny that I still love him, but maybe it’s all because when I loved I was young and stupid? Who do I love now? Which memories do I even hold?

“Can I ever reach you through it?” David asks and I take a while to reply, as I stare at my own screen, as if the photo would somehow never arrive. I tend to remember things sometimes and once I do, I get bitter like a grandpa.

“Yeah, of course.” And I wait for him to ask for my Facebook now.

“What do you use even?” He asks me, taking a gulp from his own drink. “I mean, from the social media?”

I pretend to think for a brief while, simply because I always get scared before giving them out.

“Yeah.” I pause. “I have nearly everything actually, some of them I end up using, some of them are just… there.”

Like Twitter.

He raises his eyebrows as an indication for me to continue, to reveal any other method he could contact me through. I ponder about it for a while, not too long though, not enough not to make it impolite. I skim through my phone, decide that Facebook could be impersonal enough but it has old photos and that’s it before I had discovered myself properly. I don’t even know what to do, I could give Instagram which has far too many selfies for its own good. I think about it too much, because frankly everyone is a block away by the end of the day.

“Facebook or Instagram?” I ask, possibly regretting that he would say something like throw both at me.

“Both is good.” I guessed it as he says it. I regret asking that for a bit, but I give him both of my usernames, since Facebook holds a fake name as well for the time being until I decide that I’m mature enough to reveal my real name online. I waited for him to add me back so that I could quickly skim through the photos and even caught a glimpse of his girlfriend’s hair and face. He could see you there as well, pissed drunk since we never changed. I noticed his face change once he saw you, how probably natural we looked and how I was happy there and about to break us apart. Then he most likely realized that we were still fucking as of now, so his face relaxed and shifted to Facebook, I’m guessing and browsed that for a bit and I did the same act. We stayed even more silent. I should be honest with you at this point, because then you know what’s been going on.

I’ve always spoken to him so much about what I had been reading, because then depression hadn’t darkened my soul to the extent that I can’t pick up a damn book and stay concentrated. I can only confess that to you, that it doesn’t bring me joy anymore and that’s why I read less and less, because my mind just catapults itself away. I always spoke to him about music and I get scared that our music tastes never changed and that there is everything alike all over again or he would know what I had been talking about.

But I don’t dare to raise it, instead he talks.

“Do you know that Maggie got married? She was the first from our class, actually. I don’t think that many followed after her.” I keep silent on our engagement. I get cold feet and you’re very well aware of it and I don’t want to spill my dirty laundry that we’ve talked about it and decided that I need to straighten my mind even more before I commit. I’m sure you’ve heard enough of me talking about it and crying about how I wish I were sane to commit.

Maybe I held my silence too long, because he looks at me very curiously. I open my mouth and I know that I have to follow with a sentence or some excuse, why I am so sudden with my reaction about someone else getting married early, someone I haven’t cared about in years actually.

“I’m engaged.” I utter nearly quietly and he just bites his lip, looking down and closing his eyes briefly. I don’t think I can look into his eyes, but I do.

“Well… Grooms very often cheat on their wives. Not that you’ll have a wife, of course, but like on the last night, at the stag party and whatnot. You’re having your stag party early.” He thinks for a while, drinking. Where even is the food? I wish I could stuff my face with some meat. “You already did it. You’ve… cheated and now it’s all irrelevant, because you’ve done it.”

I look at him.

“Might as well enjoy the sin fully since you’ll be wed.” He says the last part uncertain, as if he knows how bad cold feet I’m getting. I’ve even started crying because I was so scared in front of you, but I’m sure you remember that. I never understood your faith in me and how you say that you always have to be there for those who you love, because I’ve discarded so many. Sometimes I think that love means nothing to me.

I don’t really know what to reply to that, so he just stretches his hand and strokes my cheek. I check from the corner of my eye to make sure it’s okay, but then we’re not really tucked in too deep in the city and we are in a tourist area anyway. I ease into his touch, recalling how it had once felt and how we would spend whole days together. He gave me insight of how I wanted relationships to be further on and at the same time he destroyed me, shards which are very visible now and which you let pierce you because you don’t care about the pain in love. I wish I were like you.

What then? We sin and what next? But I don’t know how to live in the now. He leans over the table to kiss me and I kiss him back. My mind goes blank with fear, but it’s not something too frightful, it’s a fear of falling into some soft darkness, which I can be safe in, but away from everything I am. But then, I feel as the years go by that my memories fade, that I barely recall things and I don’t even know what I enjoy, I just pull the strings of my ghost. I just have fear of your reaction which I will not know until I send you the letter with all the truth, but I’m telling you everything I think of, to keep it fair and faithful as I can get. I lie so much, though.

My mind is a cobweb of fear and David is surely the spider which had spun it so many years ago, it’s as if he knew that we would meet again and reconcile somehow. But then he had thought that I would be waiting and was that actually the case? Sure, I wasn’t sitting idly like a princess, but I was galloping around like a prince to stumble onto another apparently. What even is forgiveness? Why would you give it to me? Maybe you’d give it to me because I had forgiven David. Is that how karma works?

They bring the food and I didn’t even notice that we had both chosen meat. I seemed to be spacing out enough for me not to notice the goal and once the celebrations are over, that’s when I jerk my head to see the score as if it would have changed greater than for a one. We both seem pretty hungry, so we don’t take our time and I know that I’m frankly always starving after sex, only now my mind had been clouded with all the thoughts of betrayal and whatnot. I’m done before David is and I wait for him to finish patiently, allowing my mind to drift into nothingness, some dullness as I watch the telly screen behind him, still not caring about the match even if I had times when I did. Football is fun to watch, but only when you root for a team, not when you crawl out post-coital with a former boyfriend.

What if the fact that I can never finish anything these days spills onto relationships? I can never finish something into a calm state for me to admire. I wasn’t even sure that I would ever crawl from your safe arms into someone else’s. I never saw myself as a cheater, because I’ve had the thoughts but I just assumed that I was going crazy, but then what is different from me going crazy now? It’s all the same bundle which I had given to you in a ribbon. I think too much.

It’s pretty late right now and I think the only wise option would be to go out drinking somewhere nearby and even then, going back to the hotel would be wiser. I suppress a yawn, but it’s pretty damn hard to hold. Maybe it’s fear putting me back to sleep since I can’t really die right now. It’s an odd thing to be suicidal but kind of very low in thinking of such things. It’s just a bit, never enough to lift the hand, but enough to think about it and wallow, wishing that a plane would crash and I would be okay with it. That’s where the suicidal thinking ends. And it’s not something I would ever share with a professional, knowing far too much what happens in the wrong cases and the stigma. We’ve all felt it, ask anyone. Everyone has ran a blade or scissors down their skin.

“Where’d you want to go?” And he snaps me out of my thinking. David’s done it, I think. Once we broke up, I questioned the validity of it all. Because if I get lied to once, I start thinking about everything I’ve been told.

I don’t think I had wished of anything more than falling in love when I was a child and I was shoved into that very early, which ruptured me. I would go to sleep thinking of all the guys I had crushes on and I would continue to remember them through life, I would always think of all the loves I had lost, no matter how small. I stopped crushing on people obviously as I had met you. My mind wandered only recently, when it was obvious that a wedding was on the horizon and all of a sudden I didn’t want anything to be stable. I don’t understand it, I don’t understand why and why am I even telling you this, because it’s just ripples while tracing the water’s surface.

“I frankly don’t care.” I don’t know. “Drinking is alright, but I think we will pour out our souls enough while sober.”

But would we?

“Sober it is then.” How would I act drunk when I’m completely sober? We finish our drinks and wait for the check in silence, as if there is some commotion to await. I wonder how would it even feel like, sleeping in his arms for the first time. I don’t even think we’ve napped together since I’ve only visited his place after we broke up and when he tried to kiss me. We were so young. Maybe one shouldn’t even date that young? Maybe my strict parents were right?

Why do I always want to jump relationships? Why do I go in circles?

I don’t like discussing politics much or any of the sort because it’s always far too painful with the current state of the world and being queer makes things even worse.

There’s not really much to say, I had an incident with photos which were taken and I never got them back when mine got lost. I really poured many memories into this story and let them develop into something which could’ve been if I had ever wanted it and if all my theories were true. I just made sugary fiction from a bitter reality and explored cheating and losing oneself.

Saudade. Chapter 5

“I honestly don’t know if you just want chitchat or if you want something deeper than that.”

“I think we’ve confessed our deepest sins.”

“But we didn’t touch everything we could’ve confessed about.” David pauses. “You’re not the first guy I cheated on my girlfriend with.”

He pretends to look at the street and I think briefly about bar fights and of the Argentinian guy who died in one.

“I can’t bring myself to date a guy.” He coughs lightly. “I’m sure you know from experience that parents with their post-Soviet mentality are not a good crowd to tell anything if it manages to run away from the norm that was forced into their minds.”

I just nod. I know that from more than first hand, I feel like I’ve lived every torturous and venomous remark there could ever be for a gay trans man, which somehow betrayed everything a human should be standing for.

“I had no choice.” I play with my fingers. I pause, sigh and continue. “I had to. If I could just snap my fingers and look female to my parents, I would. It’s not worth coming out and feeling comfortable in your shoes in front of such parents, but you gotta do what you gotta do. You can’t keep it hidden forever.”

Our drinks are here and I play with the straw before trying out the pineapple and mint for maybe the fifth time ever.

“That’s… the thing.” David pauses and gesticulates. “I can keep it hidden if I never get into anything serious.”

He glances at me, realizing his sudden choice of words and I bite my straw.

“But once I do, I’m screwed.” He blows the paper from the straw to my direction and it misses me. “Or I’m screwed now. I don’t work, I’m just studying currently, so it would be cutting myself off from a life I’m used to. I’m not sure I would want to risk throwing myself into working only, but… anyway.”

“I work.” I nod. I don’t want to get into details, but I rub my eyes. “Studying is expensive and just like every other aspect of my life, I started doubting whether I want it.”

Now it’s my turn to drink the juice and look at the street. I look back and smile at him.

The problem is that I can’t ask anyone how will the future unfold. And what real mistakes I’ve made. I don’t know what the fuck have I done and how far will the wound stretch and if you’ll ever be able to trust me again when I’m clearly back in some Stockholm Syndrome. I knew that I’ve done the greatest mistake and it’s just like when I get calmer and everything seems to be fine, I start a fight. My body is a constant state of fighting whatever I can lay my eyes on, even if with years I’m getting better, it’s really just baby steps.

I sip the drink.

“I don’t think I would risk anything, but I’ve done that already. But I had no choice at the time.” I start talking because once I open my mouth, I can’t really stop at all. I feel like I hide my shyness with the truth, but somehow I manage to hide so much of it either way.

“I know we both come from different backgrounds.” David states the obvious and I always felt uncomfortable with his wealth which happens to drag onto today, he’ll always be far more successful that I will ever be. I even felt uncomfortable besides you so often, it’s just something distilled in my blood, something I was told as a child, that I would never amount to anything somehow and that stayed with me. Maybe that’s why I focus on different things like love, where I want to be the protagonist at all times. Maybe because no one told me that one could lose at love. I could gain that and then gamble with it, apparently.

“Yeah.” I swallow harshly and my throat aches for a few seconds. “It’s odd how that drags you through life. I think wealth and where you’re born is the only things which affect what happens really rather than something else.”

David moves his head from side to side, I guess he agrees but doesn’t want to discuss something which isn’t our lives.

“But everyone has different problems. I can’t ever come out if I want to remain in the wealth. Then, I’d have to start like you did.” He pauses, realizing that he’s showing my situation in a negative light, which is more than obvious, but still he decides to apologize for it. “Sorry, you know what I mean.”

I look away, possibly motioning to change the subject of wealth, because it’s not something that can change overnight. He stretches his hand and strokes the back of my palm. I have to look back at him.

“In the end, it can all change and I think the best comparison is one’s deathbed, but I wouldn’t even advice you to compare. Money isn’t everything.” He says and I just sigh, feeling tired from working at such an early age. It’s something I can never get over with, because I was promised a different life and in the end I was dropped in the middle of the lake to learn how to swim and get back to the shore. “Richest is the man who knew love and how to be loved in return.”

I smirk, because that’s what I go by and here I am betting you away.

I wish, when you’re gone, that I would remember every memory we had. Because that’s what’s going to happen, isn’t it? I can barely recall how we met and I only reconstruct it slightly with my memory because you tell me little snippets which make you blush, when you’re drunk, as you tell and that’s that.

“I’m sure we score enough on that board.” And he strokes my hand again. I just grin at him, knowing into what rabbit hole I am actually falling into.

You knew where I grew up, where people would laugh about Bowie’s bisexuality and love him regardless, but would talk about how much of a shame it was that the greatest musician was queer. So of course, neither of us wanted to come out but you knew that as well. You’ve felt it and the more we see accepting families on television, the more I ask myself where actually are they? Are they all in America? What about everyone else and what makes a redneck America different from the other ignorant bastards who crawl the Earth?

My thoughts trail and I remember what I should’ve edited into the previous lines, but excuse me for the sudden thoughts, I’ve cried while writing this because I am terribly vain and this is all hope and some apology for making you get back with me, if you decide to leave me. This whole letter is a plea, because if I tell the truth, it’ll be your decision rather than mine to tell everything or not. I’ve chosen my path and the thing is will you join me again, knowing how screwed up I am?

Do you know that it took me over a year to listen to Bowie again. It was on the plane to Brazil, I had him stashed in my phone, I knew that the right time would come. I just wanted to hear storytelling, songs full of stories, to let me forget everything and live with someone else for a bit, hear Bowie sing it all into my ear.

I don’t think I spoke much of the loss he had given me, because I take loss really badly and with each death it gets worse, because I’m a firm believer in the fact that it never gets better. That one always mourns just as much, not even the loss of memories make the pain duller. So it never got better after Bowie’s death. Even if I wasn’t into him as much as you ever were, the songs still followed me through my teenage years and I would let them shape my life and now all of a sudden, they couldn’t because they all were filled, envelopes filled with death with my address on it. Maybe somewhere tucked in with the fact that I would accept the plane crashing on the way, I accepted Bowie’s death after so long, because I had accepted my own. I didn’t feel fear of death like so much of my family had. So many were petrified of death and I just seemed to be accepting it, one death at a time and I wanted my own as well.

Maybe I was drawn to Bowie as well, because he and David held the same name. But then it was David who showed me him, just one song and then I didn’t bite it until I had encountered him myself later and a different song as well.

It’s weird to think that there are still things I wouldn’t reveal to David. It’s weird to be so secretive, but it’s all because I’m too scared and I recall that when I would be honest, that would push him away and that fear just carried me throughout my whole life, giving me fear of you too. It’s also a lack of faith in myself. There are things I wouldn’t mention in the conversation now, like how much I mourned Bowie, like a grandparent who I care about a lot. My parents are alive, so I haven’t felt that loss yet. Instead I get confusion and wondering why do we value the bond of blood so much, because sometimes I feel like it’s just obligation to stay. I wish it was like that with lovers, no matter how you screw up.

What about friends, who had turned on me because I came out as trans? Why couldn’t I keep those instead of family, who just stands me somehow because they’re supposed to love what they get on the plate no matter what? But then those friends would hold the same useless value as family. Maybe it’s best that some leave, but what about David?

Did he have to leave too? Did he have to age to come back? Because we still change even if we claim that we don’t, that’s just the way the world happens to go, we age and we grow out of being angry stubborn teenagers. Instead in this day and age I think it’s more fear of the world than anything and seeing in perspective how much worse do some people have it or maybe how bad I have it. I don’t know anymore. I don’t like patting myself on the back at all. I don’t even know why I talk to myself in my head if I can’t stand myself so badly.

“Do you ever wonder…why is everything so screwed?” Now I stroke his hand, as I take a sip from the juice. Maybe I should’ve taken some alcohol but that would loosen me up even more. I get surprised at my own question, but I let it roll, just so I can see how well it will unfold.

“What do you mean by everything? The world?” He asks and I just nod, recalling how even with everything going on at the time, it feels like now it’s worse, it feels as if it was calm back there. Now everything feels like it’s tumbled and all the liquid is getting out, seeping through every single crack and distorting reality. “I don’t think about it. It used to drive me crazy and I would be checking what the hell is going on every day, but I can’t change it and neither can you. It’s just the setting we are given. And we need to survive with it.”

It seemed like something he would say at any age though, because we wouldn’t speak much of politics and the state the world was in or maybe I don’t recall it as much. It’s been long and I can’t even remember what I had for dinner last night.

I don’t know why but knowing that I can’t change anything rails me up even more. Everything just seems to be chains to me, because everything we do, every action is done to be safe and to avoid the most damage. That’s why we never follow our intrusive thoughts, because dropping the phone into the water has consequences, like slapping someone harshly. I’ve told you this, but I’ve kept myself safe for years because I knew that no one would react normally when I would come out, so I had to keep it secret and steal my dad’s shaving foam just to cut myself through the bad acne I used to have. I would do those small things to keep myself sane, but I don’t like speaking of it. I didn’t like the fact that weeks and up to a year I had hold before telling anyone, I couldn’t even speak of it properly to a friend, I couldn’t utter it until I left home. And I knew that soon enough this comfort would go away, but how was I supposed to rest with the fact that I had to hide who I was? I had to walk on my tiptoes tiredly.

You’ve told me repeatedly that I need a therapist, because there’s still things which gave me flashes of old times, things I never want to recall or even confront and if I could I would never move forwards, I would accept that what I’ve been through stopped me from life, but that’s not how you go at all. And I can’t convince you otherwise. You want a future, when I just want to settle. Just like I had settled until I could get out. I was on the brink of those two thoughts I just told. I liked knowing that nothing would change and I wanted out. My head is in turmoil and I would never confess that to a therapist, I don’t want to hear after the smoke settles, that I cheated on you. It’s my poison to bear rather than to tell and feel sorry for myself.

I don’t even know where I would start with the therapist if I would ever agree to bare my soul to a stranger. I’m insane, that’s all there is to it and if I could, if I truly hated myself instead of some twisted desire to never hurt myself, I would finally break everything and let you go as well. Maybe I would be left with David, just with the hope that he would treat me just as bad as he once did and I would wait at home, red eyed and drunk, hoping for him to chase less skirts, because I would be the faithful husband. I thought of writing wife, because that’s what I had always thought, or at least thought for such a long while. When I reach a really desperate time I just start calling myself names and misgendering is part of it. No matter who I am and how I pass now, how I look. You just don’t know how much I want to end everything, just like I waited to get out of the house and tell people who I was. I was never thankful. It was driving me up the wall, when I knew who I was and I would trace the walls every night with my fingertips, knowing.

Why did I feel comfortable with a man I barely knew now? I barely knew him and yet I was baring myself. It’s not like I haven’t done that before, but it was more of the fact that I was doing it again somehow. I would always fall down in desperation to hook up. I liked being used, but I would increase that desire with the more broken I would feel. Because the more I would play, the more I would mute out my thoughts and feelings. I was running away from you by causing more trouble. I wanted you to go away and stay at the same time.

I could stare at you forever. I could write this letter forever. I could never send it also.

This whole novel is a love letter to disaster.

I finished writing this, but my mind drifts to things that I could’ve added and I know that it will stay like this forever. I often think of stories which are long gone. I kept thinking of the songs we liked which didn’t have gay subtext but were open about it. Looking back, it was very odd for what we thought it should be. But then it was really just two guys, albeit none knew of that.

The keeping it hidden from parents was from a conversation I had with someone else, who inspired a lot of my recent work. Because you can still hide bisexuality and whatnot form relatives if you can. I’ve been writing shorter back stories, to make the story more precise rather than me revealing everything.

Saudade. Chapter 4

I always take a while to fall in love and it took me a while with you as well. I remember we were walking, how loud the night was and you brushed against me in a narrow street, you told me that you don’t even remember but then I looked up at you and I knew, after all that talking and drinking which on some days you wouldn’t stand on your feet. We would go out so often as friends.

You would tell me to stop talking to David, when I wouldn’t be able to move, far too much booze in my system and I was tucked in my bed by you, as you would take the floor. We couldn’t even sleep in separate rooms because I couldn’t bear the thought of having you far when I could wake up from a nightmare, and you know that I’ve had plenty. Sleeping pills help, but the bare bone is psychological, something I should’ve dealt with so many years ago, but I never did.

And here I was-

Betraying your love, pushing you further, knowing that you would stretch like gum. It’s an odd feeling because I know how deep your love runs and now I don’t know how exactly shallow I am with my papercut feelings. I don’t know.

I don’t know.

I kiss David and he just looks at me lustfully, as if he would never betray me and the eyes are different now. They resemble a dog’s but even a dog can die or run away. Dogs run away, no matter how faithful and loyal, so why are they a symbol of trust?

“I love you. I love you.” He would say between kisses, both of us spent. I was watching him spiral down, I was watching all of his feelings collapse into my hands, when I didn’t know where to go.

I only knew love.

I didn’t know what this would lead to.

David had been my first kiss and it was a sloppy one to be honest. We both had no idea of what we were doing, as we had both held to make it special, because firsts are somehow considered to be treasured and I had taken it far too literally with him up to my mid twenties apparently.

I felt overwhelmed with his kissing that I started laughing when he would trail them all over my face, pleased to see me after all these years.

“All these years, Jesus Christ, all these years.” He strokes my hair, playing with the ends as he would observe me, see how scared I felt, my breath becoming so heavy and I even sat up to glance at the darkness outside the window. How long have we been fucking? He sits up with me. “What is it?”

“I have a boyfriend.” I say with my mouth all dry. “I’m supposed to be in love with him.”

“Do you love him?” He looks pale and looks at me all confused, lost and hoping for some catch for him to raise the stakes with me.

“Yeah.” I say even more quiet than I should. “I do.”

“I have a girlfriend.” He pauses. “But I don’t love her, like I always do.”

It’s no surprise again.

He takes my hand and kisses it.

“That didn’t stop me, neither should it you. We’re in Brazil.” I raise an eyebrow.

“What happens in Brazil, stays in Brazil?” David just shrugs, maybe he is more broken than I ever was. I grew to love again at least and accept who I was. A fuck up, but at least I knew it. I drag my nails on the bed sheets, thinking, weighing everything.

“Don’t you want to keep fucking?” He asks that a bit shyly, reminding me of how he was when he was young and he tilts his head. “Unless you want to discard everything, which is alright.”

He never changes, but I see through him. I’ve got him now after all these years.

“Blackmail.” I smirk.

“I want the whole package, David.” I confess. I lay back on the bed and I close my eyes. “You want a fucking affair, let’s have one.

Let’s have a fucking affair.”

He smiles widely. My whole body heats up, I’ve had thoughts of infidelity before, just standing at night in the balcony, wondering how much did I really miss fucking someone else, how much did I just miss hooking up and how much did I miss exploring other people? Did David count? I would think of him a bit more sometimes, just a brief thought throughout the day, something about my exes, because I would always think of love and he would be there. He would change as he got older, I would think of him how he is now, rather than how he was before with all his bad haircuts. I think we all get bad ones as we grow up. In my case it was worse, because I had the whole gender confusion. I didn’t know who I was and if I knew back then, it would have been hell for my relatives and myself, because it wasn’t the right place and time to be out.

David opens his mouth to speak, looks at me and holds, shaking his head with a small laugh from inside.

“I am terribly happy, honestly. I don’t even know what else to say. I’ve wanted this for so long.” I wonder why hadn’t I done a move, but then I was trying to stay female and I would play by all the rules, thinking that it was how it was always supposed to be and was envious that all the moves and thinking would be done by the men. I wanted in, so badly. “I’ve talked about you and asked of you.”

He puts a strand of my hair away from my eyes.

“But you stopped asking, you would be very cross at me for the confession. I don’t know what else could I have said. It was too many years and I knew that you wouldn’t come back.” He pauses. “I should have dumped the girl, but I didn’t know at all that you would even consider getting back with me. I just wanted to swim in my tears. I wanted salt on all my wounds, but I didn’t even consider that being in a confessional would make me lose you for so many years.”

“I would have never confessed.” I say. “I always thought all was done and I didn’t consider myself to even have the authority to make the moves. I just thought that I would wait and then I got tired, because you would always sense when I would get closer to someone else.”

I pause.

“The confession was done a few days before I got with my current boyfriend.” I speak out. “You sensed it.”

“Really?” He laughs and watches me, to make sure that I’m not puling a prank on him but I really am not. Even knowing David and how he would fuck up things to come back, it still makes me wonder how he is still here and how this was the ultimate dream for him somehow. He covers his face with his hands and then peeks out, smiling. “I never wanted to let you go.”

“Okay, I’ll stop being sappy.” He grins and sits up even more. David looks outside, just to reflect how he is also surprised at the sudden darkness of the night which reached us. “We need to eat.”

I guess neither of us would show up at the wedding events until tomorrow. And I could only imagine the gossip, but it was inevitable and I had no fun explaining things to people usually, unless I deeply cared about them which were usually lovers.

I would be lying if I said that I didn’t miss you now, as I was writing all of this. I happened to be as screwed up as David once was. I thought for so long that I had been taking so much from him because he was the first. Or maybe David is still screwed as badly as he had once been, I’m not sure which one would be considered his absolute worst and the fall of a man. I’m telling you this because I never want it to end even if I have my midnight thoughts and my doubts, I know that it’s all because I’m screwed but never for a second doubt that I love you, I just happen to love an old love as well. And I don’t know what to even do with myself about it.

Maybe that was the beauty of David, that I barely remembered so many things and only the striking ones would be in memory, so there was never a dull Wednesday which I seemed to be running away from with you. I would get terrified that love would be put as a secondary thing and I would do everything in my power to do something. I wanted to be a constant love protagonist instead of some sort of life story, I wanted love to keep writing itself to a ridiculous extent. And for that moment, I felt like I could be a protagonist again. That’s why I went with it.

“I thought sex counted as food.” Awful, I should have never said, but I did. David snorts at my bad joke and signals to get out of the bed. The following was clumsily trying to understand which pants belonged to whom, since we seemed to be suffice with the lights outside the window and we didn’t bother to turn on the lights until some tumbling. We get dressed and once we do, we stop to star at each other, to let everything sink in from the confessions to affair agreements to sex. David kisses me briefly, before saying come on.

We discuss for a brief while where to go, realizing that many places are still unknown to us or we can’t remember them and as we stand outside of the hotel watching all of unchanging Brazilian fashion, since the brands are mostly local. It’s odd to think that for foreign goods the tax is high and somehow it feels even more that Brazil is in a bubble with all of this. But once you sink your teeth deep into any country, you’ll feel terribly isolated. It’s quite possible to imagine and live like there’s no other countries out there.

David eventually points to a restaurant and I just follow him, wondering what the hell will I even order, juggling the Brazilian food I can remember in my mind, since the place seems to have Brazilian food mostly. I like to know what I’ll order beforehand because otherwise I take far too long.

I just watch everyone, as David makes sure that we’re going the right way. We don’t hold hands or anything, because it’s weird to be in a place which has anti-discrimination laws but the nation holding the opposite values. I can’t help but wonder everything like how does it feel to be here their entire lives with the fear of getting robbed or dying from a bullet, which people maybe don’t think about as often. I don’t really know. I feel that I am dragging myself a bit, as I happen to have sex which drained me and the lack of food isn’t helping. I didn’t even realize how hungry I was. We also seem to be in a sea of Portuguese noise.

We only look and open our mouths to start talking once we are seated at a crowded, overpriced place but I don’t think we could’ve held until anything cheaper and since we’re pretty much next to the beach this is the price we have to pay. Maybe the worst is that I still want him, we both just smile at each other, peeking over the menu. It’s weird to know that we can both be silences which don’t bore the other, I would think that age would have easily erased everything and all the comfort, but instead it gave a second life somehow. My mind was drifting, I couldn’t help but compare you two. But at the same time, I didn’t want to think of you while I was sitting at that table, I just wanted to be David’s, I wanted him back, I wanted him back inside me too, I wanted to fuck him, I wanted everything. I wanted to stretch every single cell of his skin, I wanted to trace my tongue all over him, I wanted to kiss him.

We were still terribly post-coital with the matching hair.

I remember once reading that the beauty of memories is not only that you could interpret them as you wish, but you could remember what you want and build the memories in a way that you want. Giving yourself false memories if you want to. I remember it from some pretty embarrassing thing, so I won’t tell you where it’s from. I just remember that it inspired me and awed me being pretty young at the time. It’s odd to look back and really hate yourself because life was dreadful being so young and being under so much control by parents. The problem is that indeed teenagers are awful, but not as bad as parents paint them to be and that’s the reason why everything is so fucked during the teenage years.

I glanced back at David, who kept looking at the drinks page, I assume. Do we sacrifice things for love? For every couple there is something they had to sacrifice which goes from abandoning dreams, careers, places, children and so on. There’s always some sort of sacrifice. Did I sacrifice David just to be with you?

Was that my sacrifice? Was David something I had wanted all along? I knew that people loved multiple, but when I happened to be in a monogamous relationship for a while now, it wasn’t something I should’ve even thought about. I knew that you wouldn’t want to open it to someone who had shattered me for so many years and I am terrible at removing toxic people from my life. You knew how much he had dragged me around, how many manoeuvres he had done and nothing to even bring me much closer, he would stop at some point and that would be it. And we haven’t seen each other in so many years.

We ordered some food, which I’m sure we had eaten plenty times while being in Brazil, but since it’s not a weekend trip for us, it was something enough to savour. And that’s when the silence should be gone, but instead neither of us opens any topic, the post-coital salvation gone and replaced with awkward looks, like we’re back at some school reunion and we remember that we once used to date and love each other fearlessly. I don’t even know what to say. My mind is blank and I just stare at him nervously, I should’ve said something a minute ago. I should’ve been better in the recent past.

Usually I would base my own partner for the most beloved, but in this case I had a different character in mind, I wanted a different fiance and boyfriend for Allan. Which is a contrast to the fact that the two main characters had realistic bases.

Another thing which happened was that my partner did indeed tell me to stop talking to the guy, which resulted in us ceasing contact forever.

My first kiss was something bizarre, which never stirred any emotions in me and it still causes me confusion to this day, but then maybe I had put too much expectation in it. I honestly don’t know why the magic hadn’t happened, because all my other first kisses had feelings behind them.

I pretty much retell a lot and I wouldn’t want to blur the lines even further by saying what’s real and what isn’t in regards to David and Allan’s story and how things had gone in the past.

Saudade. Chapter 3

I had fucked my first boyfriend. The sex tinted glasses were gone, some panic and anxiety said hello but my whole body melted like butter. I-

I lied to you when you called and asked. I couldn’t tell you that we had fucked. Letters are always the easiest when you’re ashamed and know that no matter what a bad reaction is expected.

That was the guilt which filled me, but there was also some long lost love. I knew that I had clipped off your wings and given them to another.

And I had lied, because I just couldn’t tell you all of this over the phone. How do I tell you this, when he was laying besides me and I could only think of him, feeling that I would never get bored, that somehow a different routine would happen and that I would have some happy ending I had wished so badly when I was young? I feel so tired, but somehow this whole mess made me live. It made me live, which I haven’t in a while. At the same time I wanted to sleep, I was tired and drained, tracing my fingers against his skin. I kissed his forehead.

I want to feel safe and I haven’t been feeling that at all, just feeling myself go through life holding onto hour to hour. I felt like there was nothing else and I’ve had plenty mornings where I didn’t knew if I loved you because I couldn’t feel at all. I know I’m chasing after a long gone fallen star. I lower my head and kiss him again.

This time it’s far more slow, different from how you kiss. We keep holding against each other’s lips, some traces of how it was in the beginning so many years ago. My mind starts telling me exactly what I had done now. I had unwind with an old lover, who I had never touched this way. We both hadn’t touched each other in such a way. And laying here feels like a different closure, which you surely can’t achieve from just kissing.

I can’t help but wonder what the fuck have I entangled myself into. It’s never just sex, no matter what one wants to believe. It’s some reconciliation. We keep kissing and it fires up a bit, but we both pull back, far too drained to see where it could lead. My mind is scattered and peppered with guilt. We both don’t look into the other’s eyes, probably both recalling all the fights and all the weirdness that one has said once when they were so young. I position myself back so that I can kiss his forehead and we both listen to the other’s breathing.

I trace his skin in circles now, trying to recall how it had even felt before, but it was too long to remember. All I can remember now is all the falls and highs.

“Why did you leave me exactly?” I ask him out loud, a question which I thought I would never have an answer to, only things I could answer would be with a stupid guess. My heart rate gets faster. David finally decides to lean himself up and looks at me, but I’m not sure I want to see him no matter what the answer is.

“Do you really want to know?” And I get scared from looking at him. I feel myself so young and lost, because I had gotten the answer on the last time we had talked, a few years after dating, because I had decided that we ought to remain friends because now looking back, I was too queer to make friends and that’s why apparently we stuck together for so many years. But the answer was never enough.

“I… I was screwed in the head. I lost you too early, too much ahead of time.” He confesses and I don’t even know what to do with him. “I lost you so early. I thought you would wait, I thought you would come back.”

“I did.” I say. “I can’t say I waited, but I’m here. Now. By coincidence, which is true, but I’m here.”

He breathes out loudly, anxious, fidgeting with my hair now. It’s much shorter than what it used to be, but I could never cut it fully, I still enjoyed some length and I just fancied it because some men who I looked up to had it, so it was nothing that had a bad connotation with me.

I somehow couldn’t lie or tell the truth, but I was holding back things to say regardless, I guess I have that with everyone, you included. I can never get myself to confess the full thing sometimes, unless I think it through sometimes and even then I leave some details which I can’t really say. By the end of the day I feel like I can’t trust anyone at all. Maybe it started with David, who had cheated on me. I don’t really know. And we were too young to even properly consider or know an open relationship. Did he change now? People state that cheaters remain cheaters their entire lives. That you can’t just make another cloth out of the one you have.

Would that be the same for David? And now that we had thrown our sexual frustration out of the way, what does one do after such a thing? I had asked myself what would I have ever done if I had seen David. I always had it filled with anger, because he had changed me, just like any other partner or maybe school sweetheart had. I had everything from shoving him to showing you off, that I had managed to find true love elsewhere and that he was nothing and yet here I was, in his arms and running away from yours.

Maybe it’s not even up to David, maybe it’s just up to us. Maybe we’re the ones at fault, maybe it’s all my fault and David did nothing. I feel like it’s some ancient love triangle, where I don’t know where I lay. And how come I unearthed this long lost love, which I had thought I had gotten over so many years ago? I had spoken to you about David, a lot and you were there when I had discarded him, we were friends then and I saw a new beginning in you. I knew I was in love and that I could change. I never fell out of love with you, either. I just screwed up along the way. I somehow broke and decided to go alone to Brazil, which will haunt me until I die. I don’t know why I wanted to connect to a place I had been to so rarely before, maybe I had felt something, but it would be a lie. I slept all the way on the plane, nearly missing the food. I felt nothing other than the bare bones of guilt. That’s why I kept avoiding being awake. I didn’t want to think of the fight.

I’m probably the worst letter writer because my stories won’t match up, but this is all the truth I can afford. You always knew me and who you loved. You knew that I would always be scared and somehow my life had shaped me desperately in the way I am. But please consider to think, patch the missing pieces together and you’ll know everything. You’ll see that I never lied, I was just struggling to tell the truth what was going on in my head, because I always do. If one does sign a love contract, you knew the terms and conditions that I would always be like this and you somehow accepted me and I just went after David, regardless of what everything was said. But then we never discussed a scenario where I would see him and just go for him. We never knew that I had always loved him. Is it because love never really fades?

I would claw it all out if I could, if you had told me earlier but now-

I don’t even know.

I don’t even know myself apparently since I’m no longer knowing which feelings I have and what to do with them. And in all this thinking I kiss David again and he kisses me back, neither of us fully aware of what to say and somehow we still keep letting our bodies talk, entangled.

I want to tell him that I still love him, but that would send him running. I tend to judge men by the previous men I’ve encountered, by those which wanted nothing serious from a hook up and this happened to be a hook up. But what did David want? I can assure you that I hold the same fear I had held with you so often. I haven’t changed, I just got uglier as I became bare. Maybe there was just a layer which you hadn’t seen. I don’t know, or maybe I had loved him all these years and everything was leading up to this rather than some happy ending with you. I remember you told me the story of the man who left his wife for a high school sweetheart who he had met accidentally again or just different school sweethearts which would reunite, who realized that actually they would never find anything better.

Was that the same with me? Was I throwing the wrong thing away?

David wouldn’t tell me that he loved me first, after all this time and maybe it was best that we would keep our mouth shut, because desire had shown us all the colours we were missing and had held locked deep away in our heart.

“Why did you never try to get back with me?” I asked him, breaking the silence and the kiss.

“I thought the timing was off and you would never accept.” He pauses. “Didn’t I offer to get back together?”

“Yeah, when I started dating someone else. Talk about jealousy.” I chip in, remembering how weird I felt, because that was the first time we decided to stop talking to each other altogether, because I had found someone else after our break up and after he had dumped the girl he had cheated on me with. I didn’t even know the full story, I just heard a bit from him and how he had never loved her later. He had broken up with her on Valentine’s day as well, which remained a joke I would tell people, maybe all these years I struggled with losing David. I don’t even know. I barely remembered everything now and yet here I was, struggling with how things were going with you and running to him.

“I couldn’t stand seeing you with someone else, that’s when the fear would kick in.” He confesses. “I just thought that love was a game rather than long, vivid reflections of emotions because one is scared to admit what is really in their heart.”

“And what is it in your heart?” I ask, my lip trembles once. I even look away, not ready to hear anything at all, so I look away, missing his eyes instantly and he kisses my forehead.

“My feelings never went away. I never loved anyone else.” He says softly, nearly a velvet whisper.

“Do you still love me, after all this time?” I ask, as he kisses my face all over. What a sudden shift from sex to love confessions. It always amazed me how those two contrasted and I never understood how could sex be tender, when I always wanted to get pounded or be just as harsh with my partner at the time.

“I could never love anyone else. You had stolen my heart.” My blood goes cold for a moment before I master the courage to kiss him again, feeling the fire run in my blood. Could I say the same? I had loved you. I had loved him apparently.

I still feel lost and terribly unsure of what to say and I feel like I am in an interrogation room where he is smoking a cigarette, blowing smoke rings and watching the air dissolve them softly, as you are behind the one-way mirror. You would watch all of this unfold and I would never get to see your reaction as you heard it all. I won’t be in the same room as you read it. I don’t even need to be besides you. My comfort will only bring you a heavier blow, because of how will I act. Would you even be able to look at me in the eye? I had lied to you all this time. I had loved another man, for once it was the second which I loved more. I didn’t even know my feelings ran so deep and I didn’t want to confess them either.
When it came to you, I always knew the whole time that I would hurt you. I could never understand how come you clung so tightly to such a fuck up. I didn’t know what to expect from this though, because you had loved someone else, you never loved a cheater, you never loved this me which I thought was long gone.

I fuck up.

I have this long desire to destroy myself, because I deserve nothing, nothing at all. If everything would go my way, you would be gone because I don’t deserve you and if I could even properly function I would have been gone so long ago. The problem is when one can’t find the right blade they result in self destruction, torture until one collapses dead.

I don’t know why suicide is so hard. I don’t know how I happen to be so disgusting that I don’t free the world from myself, when the stress becomes so high. It happens at all times, nowhere to escape and you want it all. Watching you never made sense, how you always go forward and you drag me with my face in the ground because that is how I enjoy it.

I knew it, though, I knew laying at bed at night that somehow I had captured his heart and the other girls meant nothing and guys apparently as well. But I had only known the girls part.

He’s waiting for me to reply and I just stare at those lust filled eyes. He loves me. You love me.

“I would tell myself for so long that I had never loved you.” I pause. “For so long. And look where I ended up. I lied myself just to wake up from life in your arms again.”
I’m not lying.

How long have I loved him for then? I don’t even know when I had even started properly thinking about love, it was so long ago that I can barely remember anything before we started dating. I just remember it being so long ago, a bunch of bitter memories and old discarded thoughts were he was tangled into.

I didn’t even want to think of you. My mind was going places, driving on two busy roads where nobody else could cross. I couldn’t function, but life goes on to kick one in the groin. I don’t know why you feel distant recently, I didn’t understand where did the split ends appear. I always thought it was all artificial until looking now at all the cracks we are waltzing by and you’re holding onto tightly. I think it’s because you think you’ll never love anyone again, because I was your first proper love. You told me you never loved anyone before, that you would try other men and that they weren’t your cup of tea and they all turned into anecdotes, I could never even retell it as well as you would, with your voice impersonations which I would watch as of they were a show of themselves and you would speak of them.

Having low self-esteem and being on the verge of a breakdown was really food for the whole story. It was all writing what if I would fuck up this badly, knowing at the same time I would never would, I don’t have the feelings left. So it was really just fuelling that all up.

I’m also polyamorous, so this was putting my mind is a mindset where I would feel trapped by my relationship and not act accordingly, when clearly Allan has feelings for two. Cheating is a theme I enjoyed exploring because I frankly enjoy love drama and a good story about it and I’ve written about it numerously, but I’ve always only been on one side, because I’m open to my partners. Your friends would know, so why wouldn’t your lover?

I gathered inspiration from a recent relationship I had where it was just supposed to be sex and it escalated, so I took all the thoughts from there. I struggle with speaking out and it’s a quality I amplified, making Allan a terribly unreliable narrator.

Saudade. Chapter 2

I tried hard not to think of the break up, I didn’t want to think of it at all. I didn’t want to think of his girlfriends until we stopped talking. Then, I really didn’t know much and it was odd to see him age and I couldn’t help but wonder how much had he aged when it came to me. How was his thinking about me now? He looks down and just nods, probably thinking even more where would his next moves go and what did my reply even mean when it came to the game board. I looked around, seeing all the vendors and people coming from the beach.

I always talk gibberish on the way if something is about to happen. I always found it fascinating how guys would really be far more anxious than I would show, talking would calm my nerves and I would just continue talking about how it was to get to theirs before we would hook up. I wondered if I could even attempt to use the same tactic on David. Was it a hook up? Where do we go from here-

The eternal question which struck me once things went awful. When I would lay in bed, curled up and my boyfriend would try to get some sense into me. I couldn’t listen. I couldn’t focus anymore, I would have my eyes open at night for them to rest from the day which would make me psychotic. Night would ease my nerves, as soon as I would see the sky going darker but when it came to winter, it would just make me depressed. I needed to change everything from the bed covers to my own being. I felt like I was losing myself. I wanted to connect myself, like when I thought of my childhood when I realized that I had been a man all along. David was connecting with some innocence I was missing. I was different and timid and I wanted to give the young me a happy ending to all the turmoil. I used to believe that in some parallel universe we were somehow together.

What if-

I was getting ahead of myself, like when one arranges a second meeting and the first hookup is downright shit. I don’t even know what my feelings are from day to day, so how could I predict something like that. Eternity scared me and I didn’t want to settle now. I didn’t want to look at people who had no more love stories to tell. I wanted to be an eternal lover of many somehow.

We would talk how we didn’t tolerate gay people back in the day. Had that changed or was he seeing me as a girl just because I was clean shaved for the wedding?

How much of a hint is it if I ask of his sexuality? Is that even something to ask? What about how he viewed me now even if he had called me Allan?

We hold our silence for a while, as we cross the street and then we both fake to be interested in the streets as we walk back to the hotel. We pretend to be looking at each other only briefly, even if he never escapes my vision and it reminds me of us sitting opposite and barely blinking not to miss a breath of the other. Even writing we feels odd and off, because I know how paranoid you would get, reading all of this. You never wanted me to even consider him again, because he had destroyed my soul, but somehow my love lived on and the worse is that I had really loved him at the time and that seemed to seep onto my fingers all over again.

He offers to go his room instead and frankly that’s better, because mine has clothes and toiletries all over. We avoid looking at each other in the elevator, both standing at different ends. I can even hear the footsteps when we walk down the corridor, as I keep looking at our feet. I want to grab him and somehow make me believe in the eternity of today’s night, even if I know that I’ve got some serious intimacy issues and commitment ones as well. There’s something going on in my head and I would never stop talking to a therapist if I could.

He opens the door for me, pushing his hair to his side. I walk in and as soon as he closes the door I turn to him.

Last time we were in a closed space he nearly kissed me because we ended up staring at each other. But neither of us made a move and I just stood up, not wanting to entangle myself into him once more because he had hurt me.

“I don’t think I could change. It was as if I had frozen in time. Something wasn’t letting me go.” And David is very close to me. I had changed drastically and I don’t even know if he realizes that he could love another me. I had changed so drastically. He doesn’t touch me.

“I changed.” I shrug. “I had to. I knew that you left me for something wrong in me-”

“I didn’t. I was always me.”

“I was the one left. I just thought of it and I ended up getting broken, just regaining some new me after every single time I wasn’t satisfied with myself.” I want something new every day. I straighten up. I’m scared as well. I don’t want him to love someone who I’m no longer. “I changed. I found out who I was.”

“Yeah, but it’s one thing digging out who you are and another is changing.” His eyes are too blue. “I knew who you were.”

“You knew I were a guy?” I smirk. “Even I didn’t know that back then.”

“Well… maybe somewhere deep down.” He looks away and shrugs, closing his eyes, tilting his head. “I freaked when I heard about it, frankly. It was quite a few years ago. But it made me think… if I was with a guy… maybe there was something to that.”

My heart runs a marathon without stopping, probably ahead of all my other organs, dousing them with blood.

“I had thoughts before that. I hooked up with a guy, before I even knew about you. I just didn’t want to think of it much. I kept having girlfriends in a row, just discarding them and wondering where the fuck were you. It was hard to find you beyond a few acquaintances and they wouldn’t speak much of you because they didn’t know.” My whole body goes cold and then hot again. I really tried to burn all bridges. “But it still screwed with my head. I didn’t know who I was either.”

“It was different dating you. Now, I know why. Well, I’ve known for a while.” He says quietly and looks away.

I want to touch him. I want to tell him that it’s going to be alright even if it is. Is it?

I wanted to ask him everything. Who exactly had told him and how did he really react, the full story. I wanted rain to start falling, so that we would be in a more concrete bubble where we couldn’t go outside the hotel, I missed tropical rain, where it wouldn’t stop for a while but this time Rio was fully dry unfortunately. But the heat felt good after running away from winter. My mind trails and we just keep darting towards each other’s eyes, confused. Where do we go from here?

I hate that question because it applies to so many things. Before I was impatient with the way life was headed for many years and now, when there’s some power to change things the question is asked. And looking around everyone has it pretty bad, but the desire to make it better somehow remains. Is that really such a bad thing?

I’m not even sure where I would go.

I’m lost and somehow his eyes hold a past where I had seen myself. I was different and lost then, but he’s giving me plenty illusions and we just stand by the door, David thinking far too much on what to say and he’s very hesitant to make any moves like always.

It would take him alcohol I believe or the night when truth unravels-

I breathe so heavily. David, I had loved him so. How is it to love someone when you’re not sure about yourself? Could I have gotten a chance to find out how is it to love him again even for a few brief lines, how it could have all tasted?

I look away and that’s when he puts his hand on my cheek. I close my eyes, he’s still a bit taller than I am. I didn’t get much of a growth spurt later even if I had been tall for my age when I was young. I don’t even know why I’m being so honest with you. I just want to atone for sins, because by the end of the day God forgives us all for those who acknowledge what we have done. I’m an confession box and you’re the priest, silent for now and probably judging me later once the confession and I am out of your sight.

He stops once he reaches my stubble, not being used to it, since his memory plays a different song. He trails back up and gets closer. Maybe we would discuss this best post coital and those are the glasses we need, just to give ourselves some hope and desires in a bleak reality.

“Where do we go from here?” I nearly whisper, opening my eyes and his lips hovering above mine. I look at his lips and then back up.

“Anywhere.” He says and kisses me.

I nearly jump from the surprise, as if burnt. I gasp into his mouth, pulling him closer by his collar. It gets passionate desperately quick, as we both put our arms around each other, not knowing every shade the over has changed to, but there’s too much of nostalgia and the kissing is already not as innocent as before, as we both rub our tongues against each other, sucking on lips and biting. My hands start trailing to the front of his shirt. I start undoing the buttons in haste, feeling myself far too excited-

Last time he saw me I dyed my hair blonde for the first time.

Last time we just sat close and talked, not aware that it would be it. We spoke of our plans and they didn’t include hooking up so many years later for sure.

He tilts his head lower to bite my neck. We’re both not aware of the future, frankly we’re just fucking, just like any other hookup only this one comes with tears and complications of the nostalgia we long for. It’s all under a different sauce which makes me wonder, what the fuck are we even thinking, but no matter how much I doubted it, I would undress him further and then he would just undo my pants. David traces the skin above my boxers first before sticking his hand inside.

“I always wanted to make you feel good.” And he strokes me, teasing me, getting his fingers wet with me. He kisses my neck, moving up to my ear. “What do you feel like?”

I realize that this isn’t a conversation I would have with you on the couch, discussing what we both feel or me pinning you down. In this case, he doesn’t even have the faintest clue of my tastes and how I feel. He’s about to unwrap me and fuck me.

I grab him by the chin, so that our eyes are locked.

“Fuck me hard.” My mind goes places where I wouldn’t go if I wasn’t so ridiculously horny and broken, the thrill excites me of fucking my first boyfriend. I hadn’t taken anything with me, so I’ll be the bottom for tonight. It’s not like this wasn’t what I thought of often. I do have to specify that I’d prefer front today. “Fuck me raw.”

He kisses me roughly and strokes me in circular motions, making me moan before pushing me onto the bed. David takes my pants fully off and goes down on me. I entangle my fingers in his hair, ruining how neat it looked a while ago. I spread my legs even wider, moaning, digging my nails into him. He gets me pretty near before he stops and goes up.

“Be a good boy and go on fours.” He says stroking my cheek again. We kiss as we remove the rest of our clothing. I do go on fours, digging my head into the pillow as I feel him slowly go painfully in. I’ve always felt pain in this certain position, but that’s what drove me wild. I liked pain, I liked pleasure, I loved sex with the all the feelings that came with it. Maybe that’s why I liked trying different people, seeing how they could please me and use me. I loved being used. I loved knowing that someone was receiving pleasure from me.

David kisses my back, waiting for me to adjust to him and his size.

“Fuck me.” I say, giving him the signal and he starts thrusting slowly, making me used to it before he picks up the pace to a much faster and rougher speed. I keep moaning, clutching the bed covers or the pillow, whatever my hand falls on and I hear him moan from behind. I am terribly near, but I keep trying to steady and not come yet.

He’s far too deep within me and I know this will all be a regret.

David puts his hands on my hips, thrusting even rougher.

“Fuck, this is so good.” He moans out and I can only imagine how he looks like, hair all destroyed and sweaty, flushed and sexy.

“Please… so good.” I breathe out, barely even knowing how to breathe. He puts one hand between my legs to stroke me once more. I moan louder. “Please… don’t, I’ll come then.”

David stops.

“I want to see you come.” He continues stroking me with his fingers, as I nearly bite the pillow from being so near and turned on. “Turn around.”

I do that and lay on my back, spreading my legs wide and he takes in the view with his eyes stopping a while on my chest with the scars, I guess. He leans down to kiss my nipples, lick them.

“Back to fucking.” He says and kisses me with haste. David sits up and positions himself, holding my legs as he sits up and thrusts without any introduction.

“Fuck!” I scream, feeling the pleasure hit me and he’s watching me. I breathe heavier with each thrust and he’s no different. It feels amazing.

It feels so good.

“You feel so… good!” And he leans his head back, closing his eyes, unravelling. That tips me over and I scream my orgasm out, shaking, thrusting harder against him, as I feel him fill me up. We thrust a few more times, riding the orgasms out until we stop.

David slides out of me and I feel a fair amount leaking out, which feels like the desert to it all. He looks down, grinning tiredly and then laying besides me. I put an arm around him, both of us barely breathing.

I had fucked my ex.

I like writing lengthy sex scenes and overall I’m a very sexual person, so I see no point in hiding it at all through my fiction. There’s no sex scenes with gay trans men written that are outside of erotica if you really look for it. Accepting my body was troublesome and my main problem was sex for many years, so now writing such things without the fear and crippling dysphoria is a triumph and I wanted to show that Allan is desperately wanted sexually. It’s a fucked up story and frankly writing it I really had to distance myself from the fact that I was basing on a very long gone love which I had moved on from. The whole story and writing it was an experience.

I haven’t spoken and I can’t claim anything and this is a work of fiction, where I just based off my experiences and my first heartbreak which lasted years from a friendship we should’ve never maintained. I just go through guys I’ve been with and all had gay rumours so that only fuelled the story.

Saudade

We sketch our memories and sometimes we rub them out too hard and it ends up leaving a hole, even if you can’t see what was there any more-

So when you rub it off…

Do you still know what was there?

It’s like we don’t speak of loneliness enough, because we do and eventually somehow that mercilessly tumbles onto suicide. Then next time I’m at a doctor the question of suicide rises up, because it is somehow assumed that everything goes hand in hand. It’s asked with a smile, an assumption that of course the thoughts never cross my head.

It’s always a lie and it gets rubbed harder.

“Have you ever loved anyone” is another question which gets asked, but I rarely have the guts to tear all the petals away and reveal that I had loved when I hadn’t known myself at all. So was it really love?

What about all the rest? They just came and went with the post coital talking, where neither confesses how lonely the other feels.

It feels as if life was divided in two parts, where I knew myself and when others thought they did. If I was a smoker I would be probably smoking, but the problem is that it stopped becoming cool and it’s just something parents do among themselves, splitting a cigarette, promising to quit tomorrow.

Everything seemed like waiting for a ghost. Or maybe seeing one up close, not drug fuelled either on both ends. It’s never a confession that I’ve seen him on Facebook, so I knew how he’d look like if it were so happen to meet.

I remember that way back when I would wear dresses, before I knew who I was, I saw one of my exes while wearing a red dress and in heels and I walked past him. I remember my whole body shaking and thinking how metaphorically pretty I looked. That the last time we saw each other would be me in a red dress.

Today wasn’t a metaphor of any sorts, but a cocktail of a mental breakdown which caused me to scream at my boyfriend that I was going to said wedding alone, that I needed time to clear my head and the thoughts don’t even go well on paper, as I retell this all. I get the same rush and it’s not a good thing. It’s not a good thing when you’re asking for an apology and some sort of alibi, but it’s easier to get denied by the truth than some mediocre lie, because I know that there was nothing I could hide myself from. I didn’t know.

My thoughts are all jumbled and I apologize, but it’s really the whole fact that I would see him on a wedding of a friend, who I had no idea he was in touch with or even knew on the first place and who didn’t warn me either. There was no winking and saying ‘your first ex will be there’ because no one knows much about those times when I was different. People just assume just like the gender therapists that I’ve always been desperately macho. I never tell them that I wore dresses and even then it becomes in a whisper. Maybe for some Halloween to reconnect when I was still trying to understand myself, but the idea was bad. It’s even worse that I see him at the party and he’s surely no waiter.

He couldn’t have stalked me like I stalked him on Facebook. I changed names. He’s not friends with the people I’m friends with. Rumors don’t travel of names and surgeries, maybe that I’m trans. So I look around, there’s plenty of drinking and I can’t even focus on the sand underneath my feet to ground all my emotions.

I saw him at a wedding.

I see him at a wedding and he’s making eye contact with me because I’ve stared long enough. So he makes his way up from sitting on the sand alone and why not congratulate a friend instead of the bride and groom? He’s wearing grey pants and a white button up shirt. We’re both probably far too sweaty and we would’ve all benefited from having a swim suit wedding, but the bride didn’t want that and the weather is so hot that it just goes into being in a toaster where you can’t sweat more than you would sweat ten degrees ago.

It’s a long forgotten desire of what the fuck would have happened.

He broke it off. I wasn’t the one saying quits, but after years of waltzing and him telling our friends he loved me, I stopped. I didn’t visit him when he was desperately ill and I just made a face, that I would never visit him again no matter how much people thought I needed a boyfriend.

And as you know, this was way before I had lost my virginity. This was all child’s play and some story which would be rated well by Disney. That was all it was. I just entered teenage years and I was too young to consider actually wanting sex. I didn’t know who I was, so how could I want?

“Hey.” His voice is deeper and my hair length changed, dyed blonde. Hair length was something I didn’t give up, I still wanted it to cover my ears and look like I had escaped from some rock band or maybe some movie, book, I just didn’t want an undercut and facial hair made me look like Kurt Cobain in a way, so I kept clean shaved just to look different and with shorter than Kurt hair. Now he’s looking at me full force.

He knows that I’m trans

And there it goes.

Maybe he did stalk my Facebook.

He opens his mouth to say something, but what does one say? He can’t possible dead name me-

But he does.

I squint, because I wish there was sun and this is pathetic, that I’m shaking and I’m not in a red dress, instead I’m also in a button up and pants, sitting on the sand and I don’t feel as glamorous knowing that I have pills I take a few times a day to calm down and I still haven’t gotten the courage to even connect to the internet or call you besides telling you that I arrived.

I take a sip of my beer.

“I meant…” He sits down. He’s really staring.

“I mean.” He stops. “It’s… Allan now, yeah?”

I just nod. He’s terribly changed but even if I’ve seen plenty photos and how his life is going from bits I’ve heard here and there, it’s hard to imagine someone change so much when you’ve seen them before. I still look down and dig my feet deeper into the sand, feeling a bit like a seasick sailor. I shouldn’t even be talking to him, yet here I am, trying to even get on board somehow. Somehow the loud Portuguese seems to ease me as well. It becomes awkward when I don’t understand or don’t try, since learning languages en masse is a thing now. It’s nice to find solace somewhere even for a brief while.

My heart still keeps racing and my hands are as sweaty as the ocean.

What else does one say?

And it’s gonna get worse.

How the hell do I say that my whole world is going under? That I’ve considered even a mental hospital, just because it seemed like the place they would take someone who had completely gotten sick of the big city, of how everything had started running its course and getting out just seemed crazy. Maybe a plot of a farming simulator, but it would never escalate to anything more. I wanted out and I knew I was crazy. My mood couldn’t be stabilized and everything seemed flashing and now he was here. He wasn’t even a mirage, he was a disaster waiting to happen again. We just drink beer quietly, making both aware that this how we would react at a school reunion anyway. We have nothing to talk about besides me asking why the hell had you gone for the other girl?

Why had you dumped her so soon afterwards?

Why did I sabotage every relationship I had afterwards even my most recent which had been with you? He was solely the reason, the fingerprint I couldn’t change. He had been choking me all this time and using his hands instead of allowing my own and I would just watch.

The love had evaporated and I no longer knew how it had tasted. I just remember choking. I remember the kissing which was confusing.

Please, if you’re angry at anyone be angry at him. Accuse the one who steals, not the one who runs away.

I knew I would sleep with someone in Brazil, that I would let someone chat me up. And then the possibility shined brightly in my eyes like a flashlight and I could only turn away. But I’m getting ahead of myself. But that’s how you do it, you tell the bad news, who the murderer is and then you find out how he had killed. Or rather that someone had died.

“It’s funny…” He gulps the beer and then nods at the bride and groom. “That we both know them at the other side of the world.”

“I don’t really talk about you.” It sounds like a snap. “So I doubt they would’ve made the connection.”

“Neither.” He replies just as coldly. I did masturbate to him though. We obviously never had sex, even if some girls and boys our age already gave themselves in. And he looks at me with a bit of iciness in his eyes, he has to play ball with the same technique I am playing with. He wants to mirror it all.

“David.” I pause and he looks stung by me saying the name. Feeling an old poison run through the body. They say you never forget your first love, but mine was getting grown over by thorns in my mind which only confirmed that I didn’t want to touch. David stares at me, his hair all tidy and kept, unlike mine which is getting a bit too long for my liking, I need a trim and stop my fear of hairdressers back from the days when I didn’t use to pass or let alone be on testosterone. I don’t even know why I uttered his name. How does one skip the awkwardness?

“I wanted to see you again.” He taps on the beer can with his fingers, tapping some old song I can’t exactly recall. “But you never wrote back and I just gave up, knowing that I had pushed it too hard on you.”

“I don’t even know what you meant by it.” I laugh darkly. “You didn’t want me back, yet you wanted to apologize for everything and told me that you would tell someone who you didn’t love that you loved her.

You were so odd.”

“Who says I changed?” He chips in, still looking at me. I feel bizarre. I keep looking away from his glance, just to avoid him. But I still remain in the conversation, not even moving an inch away, maybe just fiddling with the beer can.

“I’m pretty positive that we already were built by the time we were dating.” I sigh. “I think we all try to think we’ve changed, because no one wants to be stagnant in anything, so we lie to ourselves that we change, that everything is getting better, but is it really?”

“It’s not.” David sounds like a fatalist now, like on our last conversation which made no sense and ended up being the reason I just cut him off with no explanation. I always wondered what the hell would I have said to him, if I had gotten the chance and the fact that I had no idea what could I even say, just proves the bizarre twists and turns this conversation is achieving. He rubs his eyes, digging the can into the sand. “Do you want to go elsewhere or… you alright with the whole wedding around? I feel like we’ve got a whole night of catching up to do.”

I look at him, I feel like confusion is plastered all over my face rather than curiosity or any other emotion.

“If you want to that is. I wasn’t the best boyfriend. But… you know that.” He chooses his words carefully, as if this is still a complicated manoeuvre of game pieces and you’ve got to think which cards to reveal and the goal of one’s player is not said. What did the cards say he had to do to win? What even was victory to him?

Why are we even discussing this when we haven’t even properly said hello or how are you, just to kiss each other on the cheek and complain on how we can’t really take much with us to the beach? But instead we’re really rolling around in old thoughts and feelings which should’ve really been gone by now.

I drink the beer, pretending to think over his offer but somehow I feel a bit too frustrated on both ends of the problem, I want to hear what he has to say and it does sound like an invitation, but I don’t dare to ask. Who would really sleep with their first love if they could?

I look at him again.

I slowly nod, probably regretting everything which will unfold, but my heart is rushing.

He won’t really invite me upstairs now, I think about it, but we both stand up. I glance at the bride, who is the said close friend and she’s far too entertained by the groom to the point of laughter. I rub my eyes, as we walk through the sand silently. I recall how we would hold hands in the summer and how sweaty the hands would get, but somehow we wouldn’t break the touch at all. I look around, how people are still playing volleyball and some surfers seem to be lying with their surfboards and smoking. Others are blasting music which clashes against the wedding tunes. It’s been dark for a while now and I wonder how long have we not noticed each other or if he had-

“Did you notice me before?” I ask and he just dunks the beer, holding his answer back, giving a small nod as we get out of the beach area and into the street with the crowded buses screaming out locations and where they would go next, as well some taxis here and there.

“Didn’t have the guts to talk and then…” David makes sure that I’m looking at him. “You looked. So, that tipped me over.”

What even is his sexuality? He didn’t slip anything much about me, is that how sudden does one accept that an ex is transgender? How much should one flirt with a blade? My neck is probably red and I feel myself get redder and surely not from the heat that I’ve been desperately enjoying after being so cold during all of winter and escaping it.

Dreaming of him sexually didn’t help through teenage years and he was a constant fantasy and looking at him now, where sex is frankly frequent of an outcome, it becomes a desire. I just want the conversations to reach a lull, but even if my body takes hold of me, even if all this nostalgia is through rose tinted glasses, I must still maintain the conversation, allow it to come naturally and then straddle whatever I get.

How come we can feel lonely even when we’re in love? How can some love fade and other still be so vivid after years or does it become coloured glass nourished by the ocean, smoothing the edges and giving it an illusion of what it once was?

“Do you want to drink more or just…” He’s arranging his card deck in his mind. We’re adults now and we unwind in ways we would never dream of. Mistakes are made far more fatal. David barely lets go of my gaze. “Head upstairs for somewhere far more private? But then crowds can be private, because no one can ever hear anything and everyone having their own conversation lulls out any words one says to someone else who isn’t listening.”

“I think I’ve drank enough.” You’re the one making me drunk. I look around and throw away the beer, as I wait for the light to go green. David is still drinking his. I try to flatter myself thinking that he was too entangled in his thoughts to properly drink.

Well, here’s to a change and welcome to the new! I used to be an obsessive fanfiction writer, but as time went on and I had lots of time to think due to my mental health and assess where things were going. I’ve decided to go back to being a fiction writer, which I was many years ago. I’m very happy to share my new project with you, regardless if you’re an old or a new reader.

I knew that I wanted to write some fiction, but I frankly had no idea. I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep and my mind kept going everywhere, until I was given the question, what would’ve happened if I met my first boyfriend now, knowing who I am. Of course it’s no wishful thinking and we left on rather bizarre terms and I have avoided contact since and have no intention of changing that, but I let my mind wander for a few days. I then started writing it, letting it take form and putting all my bias away and basing the characters very heavily on both of us. It’s like a last ode even if I know that eventually I’ll think of things that happened because I always dwell on the past, but I’ve never set anything so heavily on it.

Saudade (Portuguese)  a feeling of longing, melancholy, or nostalgia that is characteristic of the Portuguese or Brazilian temperament.