Whenever I try to erase a memory from my head, it does not go away, but rather reinvents itself into something bolder, yet ever-changing. Efforts of deleting that memory turn into efforts of reframing it to match to current mood; the memory is highly malleable. However, the first draft of that memory has become unrecognizable with all of its elaborate edits and fabrication. Due to this constant revision of a memory, it has become an immortal creature that lingers around in my head like a parasite varying in its form. That being said, here’s my current recollection of this particular memory:
It was one of those early springs night when the temperature goes below the level of which it is comfortable to stand at the corner of a street without a coat, despite the warmth that filled up the air a few hours earlier. I was embraced in the arms of this man whom I knew so little of, but I could see his motherland and its history when I looked into his eyes. Oddly enough, I saw more of me and less of him in those dark pupils. I could easily get lost for days in that sea of darkness. I’m not sure if it was the few glasses of wine I had at dinner, but I felt my heart racing and my flesh getting warm.
We finally hailed a taxi and handed back to campus. I thought we had talked about everything the rules of a second date allow us to talk about, but I was proven wrong. I couldn’t help but to get the impression of that this person is both a boy trapped in a man’s body and a man trapped in a boy’s body. His stories of his origin were full of frankness, honesty and pain, and somehow I felt like through his stories I could be understood.
I’ve escaped New York, life as I knew it, when I was listening to his stories, yet I’ve never felt so connected with life until now. Although our paths had never crossed until now, there were a plethora of parallels, and it felt strange feeling so connected with a person who grew up eight thousand miles away from me.
Once we got out of the cab, he offered to walk me back to my room. But this was much more of an invitation than an offering. An invitation from him, for him to enter my vulnerability. I’m not sure whether I was the inviter or invitee, but I accepted it and I allowed it. We rode the elevator up to my floor in complete silence, but in silence we communicated as we were looking into each other’s souls, and I was miles deep into him. I don’t remember unlocking my door, but before I knew it, we were in bed and his body seemed like a mountain compared to my petite frame.
As I heard and felt the zipper running down the line on my back, I was preparing myself for what was about to come. He was different from any other man I’ve been with, and this all seemed natural rather than forced. I was surprised that my post-traumatic stress disorder didn’t fare up, but this comfortability seemed so foreign to me, yet so welcoming. Each stroke of his touch felt so gentle, yet passionately heated. I allowed him to come into me, and I came, as well, all through the peaks of the night and dawn of the morning. We traveled to the moon and back all in one night.
From that night on, we’d make love as if it was the end of time. The desire to love came over me, and I let my guards completely down and hushed away the demons in my head, the demons that had paralyzed me for countless years. For the first time ever, my past didn’t affect my current emotions or my ability to love. I lost the notion of time whenever I was with him, as if the bond between us was stronger than the principle of time that governs human beings. His love made up for every bad thing that had happened to me. I thought I could hold onto this element for years to come. This stranger was becoming a big part of me and I let it happen; I didn’t attempt to fight love because, after all, love conquers all.
Today, I touch the phantom that lies next to me in bed and wondered what it could have been. I had never thought loneliness feels like a razor-sharp blade as well as a wave that crashes through my whole body. Even though I’ve erased every trace of him from all aspects of my physical life, his ghost haunts me during the darkest hours of the night. He appears when I’m making love to another man, or about to fall in with someone else. As much as I wish my mind could be spotless of recollections of him, I find the beauty in this excruciating suffering.