… 3:24?

Posted in Uncategorized on September 24, 2010 by moderngatsby

It used to be a favourite of ours. Saint-Saëns. We’d play it on a Sunday evening as we sat in the bath talking. Afterwards, we’d find ourselves in the flickering candle-light. Making the kind of shadows only one thing can make: love. Where in the darkness, whispers are secrets shared only by lovers. A night full of promises,  we have an eternity to keep.

3:24 – The Swan, Carnival of the Animals.

In the darkness of the room, only the smouldering cigarette in my hand lights my crinkled face. An empty bottle of cheap vodka tumbles to the floor next to a half-full vial of pills. There aren’t enough inside to numb the pain anymore. The water, warm. The blade of surgical steel, cold. I remember to start at the bottom and pull upwards. Pushing it down as hard as I can.

3:24 – the time it takes to look over at the man and realise he is the one.

The letter sits beside the bath. The words a reminder that I was just not good enough. For a brief second the pain is unbearable. But not as painful as knowing he loved me once. Then it recedes. The water a light pink becomes darker. Crimson becomes Blood red. Dark like a womb before I was born. Before I made so many mistakes.

3:24 – the time it takes to die alone


… phantom gates?

Posted in Uncategorized on September 24, 2010 by moderngatsby

As I sat in stunned silence, with the sun setting and the near full moon overhead, my heart went out to her as her voice echoed in my ears. Trying to be so strong, while her heart was breaking at the tragic news of her loss became a burden that seemed so unfair for someone so young. Young love, like old are the truest expressions binding the souls together eternally. And in that moment I came to realise my own loves, past and present and the almost fleeting natures of them all. No matter how sympathetic or supportive the words uttered are a crude response to something so shattering. In those awkward and difficult situations when your heart reaches out to the other, knowing that a friendship is deeper and more sustaining in offering some kind of comfort seems all you can do in that time and space.

It seemed a weekend for memories, and as I drove to the church almost a year to the day to remember another friend and mentor who was no longer with us I came to realise that in living for the moment you sometimes forget the past, and don’t plan for the future. He was the most wonderful man that I had ever met, and although I knew him for many years it seemed that there would always be another day, another time for us to ruminate the distilled wisdom that he had collected through the decades, the knowledge he wished to impart and the guidance he wanted to share. His humility was something extraordinaire despite a lifetime of excellence that would have tainted lesser men with arrogance and pride. Perhaps the most intelligent, he was able to impart the most complex of problems with the simplest solutions.

… mea culpa?

Posted in Uncategorized on September 24, 2010 by moderngatsby

Je ne dors plus. Je te desire. Prends moi. Je suis a toi. Mea culpa.

There is laughter at the table when we gather. Conversations cross over each other. There is food. Too much food. I am nervous. He can see that. He puts his hand on my leg as a way to show me it’s okay. Everyone sees. No explanation needed. I laugh, I join the conversation. I am comfortable. He is laughing too. His dark eyes glint in the candle light of the table. More food. More conversation. Hours seem like minutes. It’s over. People get ready to leave. So do I. He takes my hand and whispers in my ear in the kitchen: “don’t leave yet.” I say goodbye to the others. The nervousness is back. A different kind. A different reason.

Je veux aller au bout de me fantasmes. Je sais que c’est interdit. Je suis folle. Je m’abandonne. Mea culpa.

We are sitting outside watching the stars. I love to sit in silence. So does he. I am smoking. He has quite for the holy month. I put it out. He shivers. It’s cold outside on the balcony. I shiver. He puts his arm around me. I can feel the warmth of his body under the jersey he is wearing. The ridges of his muscles as he pulls me closer to him. Our tongues entwined, as our bodies nestle against each other. I feel weak. He is strong. He whispers something in my ear. Words I don’t understand. They will haunt my dreams. His hands wonder. So do mine. The night is a silent witness to our desires. We give in. It’s slow. Painful. Exquisitely gentle. It lasts for a lifetime. A different time.

Kyrie eleison. Christe eleison. Mea culpa.

I remember the words spoken that afternoon, “keep it light. No pressure”. I am reminded of a promise I made to myself with the last disappointment. I will break this man’s heart. Mea culpa.

… two roads?

Posted in Uncategorized on August 9, 2010 by moderngatsby

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveller, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth.

It had been one of those afternoons that, it seemed to me, that flowed naturally and without any expectation as coffee turned to lunch, lunch turned to movies and in between the witty conversation spoke volumes about the man that was my companion on this early spring afternoon. As I drove home from one of the most beautiful movies I have seen in years, I remember listening to his words, the empathy that I felt was real, realising that some of his truths were mine too and that got me thinking of the journey between the passing from one season to the next, and birthdays in between.

Then took the other, as just as fair, and having perhaps the better claim because it was grassy and wanted wear; though as for that, the passing there had worn them really about the same.

I got to thinking about the road most often not travelled, and as a friend always says to me “… it’s about the choices we make.” Sometimes in making them, in the moment they seem to be the wisest, but in reality our wants and needs are seldom the same. In this past year I have made a few mistakes, but have tried to learn from them. I have fallen in love, I’ve let go of friendships that had outgrown the value exchanged. I suffered the loss of a treasured soul, the birth of a Noble reason and in between I’ve managed to keep my faith in the promise of tomorrow. As the moon glistens in the dark, winter ink stained sky the ember of a dying cigarette clouds my eye, and I become sentimental for a moment.

And both that morning equally lay in leaves no feet had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.

Every morning, these past few weeks as I wake I slowly mull over the reasons that keep me taking the next step forward. Sometimes we forget that friends, our modern families are the reasons that keep us who we are. From a friend who took a leap of faith and met for coffee at the Library Gardens and become the mentor I never had to the one who never questioned why but only when as she rescued me in my greatest hour of need. From the man who changed how I viewed the world, as he instinctively bought me a jersey to keep warm at the worlds’ greatest sporting event to the woman who will always remain my beloved no matter as the years pass and the geographical distances become ever greater. To new friendships that already seem old, to old friendships that never tire and the million reasons that are often forgotten but always treasured.

I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference …

Today, I realised that I have already been given everything that a man could want: friends that truly love me. Nothing more can be asked for, and nothing given can compare.

Thank you!

… ke nako?

Posted in Uncategorized on August 9, 2010 by moderngatsby

They say that it is always darker just before the dawn, but in the reality of my own moment dawning, the icicles gathering in patterns both beautiful and inspiring around the air that we breathe together left me feeling cold and alone. As I left the club and headed back towards the highway I knew that I had made a terrible mistake. In denying one sincere request, I accept another as if it would lessen the hurt I felt inside at yet another rejection from him. I quietly unlocked the door and withdrew into my darkened sanctuary, the warmth of this rural stone mason cottage filled with a friend’s friends felt like a tomb trapping my dreams for a friendship that could never be whole and without blemish. This friendship, amorphous from one point to another, breaks the boundaries that hold the fragile state of where we are, and as they unravelled and I knew somewhere deep inside that my dreams dreamt as a young boy were over.

Perhaps it was the words that I wrote from my heart, or the way I penned the signature to them but in that moment the double edged knife that comes with my truth pierced the veil between our eunuch hearts and the passion bled onto the Persian carpet at our feet, crimson and staining like the tears that I silently cried into the pillows mourning the loss of a kindred soul. In a moment of honesty I cannot lie to myself when the daemons come that he is someone that I want in my life, but the forces that gather on the horizon forebode a storm coming that I will not survive unscathed. And as history repeats itself again, and again, the lessons learnt never lesson the pain of losing someone that has managed to scale the heights of the walls that you build to protect yourself despite the yearning to be loved by someone. This is my birthday weekend. A time meant to be spent amongst those you truly love and adore. And who love you in return.

The problem is that right now, the chrysalis that has enveloped me strangles the transition from boy to man. From lover to friend.

From who I am to who I am now forced to be.

… وارتفع الصحرا?

Posted in Uncategorized on July 25, 2010 by moderngatsby

With a pungent heady mix of earthy tones and wild jasmine, the hot dry air of the desert wind came through the open window and over my naked back, still moist from his physical desire to be as deep within me as nature would allow. Before the darkness of exhaustion overtook us, somewhere in the distance of this ancient city amongst the noises of the souq below, a wizen voice of the Mu’adhdhin calling the faithful to prayer from the one of the four intricately hand-carved granite minarets that frame this city. Having already worshiped at the feet of carnal pleasures for a few months now, we drifted off to the comfortable deep, satisfying sleep that comes with release, and left the prayers to the more devout, older men.

I dream of rain/I dream of gardens in the desert sand/I wake in vain/I dream of love as time runs through my hand/I dream of fire/those dreams are tied to a horse that will never tire/and in the flames the shadows play in the shape of a man’s desire/this desert rose/each of his veils, a secret promise/this desert flower/no sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this.

Nearer to the magic hour, I watched him walk towards the shower. Dark buzzed hair, the velvety kind, fiery tattoos that crept up from his dark skin inked with black glyphs of his sexuality and religion entwined into a primal acclimation of his identity as a soldier. Watching him, watch me from the shower, his grin told me that we were going to have a particularly evocative late night, exploring his city dense with clouds of charcoal smoke which rise from the griddles of makeshift kitchens, set up here each evening to cook everything from kebabs of kefta or merguez sausages to the pastries eaten with strong coffee. Pulled into the crushing crowds amongst the narrow stalls of the market he would hold my hand in defiance of an arduous and lustful infatuation but under a masque of direction.

And as he turns/This way he moves in the logic of all my dreams/this fire burns/I realise that nothing’s as it seems/I dream of rain/I dream of gardens in the desert sand/I wake in vain/I dream of love as time runs through my hand/I dream of rain/I lift my gaze to empty skies above/I close my eyes/this rare perfume is the sweet intoxication of his love.

This is dangerous; I’m playing with fire. We should stop, go home. But he’s too cute and I can never say no to him. He’s got big hands. We turn around looking for a place to stop, he grabs my arm, pulls me inside. We’re in a bathroom. We’re making out. He’s on his knees. I’m going to hell. My head back, my face an impenetrable mask devoid of emotions as I look down at his thick fat cock in his left hand, mine in the other. I can hear the women outside talking about the specials in the market place, Cedarwood incense burning heavy in the room above us – one we can see through the cracked uncarpeted floorboards. He turns me around, grabs me by the neck and finishes pleasing himself with that grin.

I dream of rain/I dream of gardens in the desert sand/I wake in vain/I dream of love as time runs through my hand/sweet desert rose/each of his veils, a secret promise/this desert flower/no sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this/sweet desert rose/This memory of Eden haunts us all/this desert flower/this rare perfume, is the sweet intoxication of the fall.

I hear the knock, then the silent screaming of his mother as the words take a lifetime to reach her heart. Her son is dead and the years past between us are erased. Like a rusted scythe ready to strike out into the midnight air the crescent moon heralds a warm wind, heavy with wild jasmine and unfulfilled promises of a life half-lived. Overwhelmed, I fall to my knees as if struck to prayer, but in truth merely deaf and dumb in the realisation. And there, prostrating to no particular deity I cried out as my eunuch heart shattered once again and the memories of a failed love pierced my corporeal body like shrapnel. Wracking sobs lost in the vastness of the desert as my mouth fills with rivulets of arid loam that chokes the senses.

… letters to an ex-lover?

Posted in Uncategorized on July 18, 2010 by moderngatsby

As I watched the vanilla twilight turn from night to light blue I felt him stirring beside me as he started to wake too. Laying there nestled in the crook of his tattooed arm, our hands entwined in the spaces between our fingers where they fit perfectly and felt his heart beat just a little faster. It was one of those nights where nothing was more than what it should be. But then when you least expect it, a karmic moment that sets you straight, reminds you of your unpaid debt to the universe, your sin. These days, it seems karma is becoming more efficient, doesn’t take long before she smacks me upside the head, leaving me stunned.

But before that there is the exquisite physical pleasure that he brings – whether it’s a smile, or a long, lingering kiss where you can taste the last cigarette on his tongue mixed with whiskey, or the way that he has when he’s inside of you when we’re having sex. The way that I just can’t keep my hands off him. He manages to push all my buttons. And I get irritated, not by him, by me, for liking him still. I act all wrong around him. Nothing comes out right. Me, the king of words, speechless, awkward, dumbfounded. It’s life’s little reminder that things you hold in your heart of hearts to be true sometimes aren’t – he isn’t mine to love no matter how hard my eunuch heart has already fallen for him.

And then sitting there one night on his sofa, his adorable dog between us while watching TV I realise that this could be a perfect moment. When every moment in life is somehow connected to another. Each second inexplicably linked to a past episode or a future one, an intricate weave of events that make up the fabric of a lifetime. That in this moment I could stop going round-and-round on the carousel that we call life and that we could just stand still for a moment in our lives when though nothing is what it is … we could settle on the could be. Without fear.

After Mark shattered my heart into a million crystal shards that sparkled like a tray of one-carat diamonds I realised that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who’ve had their heart broken, and those who think they’ve had. Like veterans of war, people who’ve truly been there rarely speak of it, they have no desire to relive that hell. They don’t have to. It’s in their eyes, their body language, and their demeanour. A moment after which everything is different. Nothing is ever the same.

In those moments you close yourself off from the world – you’re afraid to open up … to want or need someone again. With him … for the first time in years … I want to be with someone who wants nothing from me except to be …