I feel like Smeagol. I am a bad, bad person.
I’m going to tell you a secret and it will just be between you and I. It is too weird and complicated and freaky.
So, here goes.
I am walking towards the entrance. There, standing, waiting is a vision of loveliness. He seems quite tall; he’s wearing black jeans, slightly faded, with smart, black shoes; he sports a black shirt which immediately brings to mind the song, Camice Nere or whatever it was (I probably spelt it wrong and there was a lot of controversy about it but the song itself was wonderful and I didn’t understand the words anyway – first off I didn’t even know it wasn’t Italian and secondly I thought it was talking about a black waitress – until I was told about it (so, go on, laugh – it is quite funny, really)); the shirt open till about halfway down the chest; the chest, smooth and a deep red-brown colour that was so perfect, as if he had stepped out of an advert for clothes or perfume or something; his beard was half-grown – designer stubble as we say; his hair, brown but not too dark, maybe lightened by the sun, straight and long, parted in the centre, flowing down to his shoulders, curling very slightly at the ends, outwards; he wore red-framed spectacles but, unusually for me, they weren’t a turn-off; he gave an air of being casual, yet sporty, yet intelligent – all in all, the perfect man for me.
He could, almost, be Johnny Depp! There, you have the picture.
As I approached, I recognised him. Of course, I couldn’t be 100% certain but I was 99% certain. Maybe it was the nose, which in any event was ‘there’ and prominent. He did look younger than his 41 years even if, later, I saw traces of grey at the edge of his beard.
I became 99.9% certain it was him as I rounded the corner and found the woman sitting there, on the small wall.
I go to the buzzer and ring the bell. I am let in but ask about the guy and have confirmation that it is, indeed him. I am, already, racked with guilt even for my thoughts.
I try my best (and it is a very poor best) to confirm that I know who he is and would they like to come up.
We introduce ourselves and go up.
F is there in his underpants, as usual when he is at home. He is gorgeous and I love him. But the man on his sofa, with his shirt almost undone, now, is like the perfect version of F. I wonder if he shaves his chest and decide that he probably does. Men are so vain these days, straight or gay. The black shirt against the exposed chest and stomach make them, well, perfect.
We talk. Well, I talk little. Everyone speaks in Italian but it is well-pronounced (they are all from Tuscany) and, it seems, not talking in dialect, which would be impossible for me anyway. I wonder if they are all talking slower because of me or they normally talk like this.
R takes off his glasses. I can’t believe how stunningly beautiful he is
I say that they look alike. Apparently, no one else thinks so. But, although they are not actually exactly the same, they are alike enough for me to know they are brothers although I would not have said twins. I think it is the nose that does it.
F gets dressed and off we go. R drives with A and F in the back seats – I am in the front cos I (sort of) know where to go.
I get into the passenger seat and imagine that I reach my hand across to place it on his leg. As I think that, I know that I am only thinking that because it is a bad, very bad, thought. I catch myself glimpsing his crotch and wondering if there are any other likenesses. Again, I only do this because I know that I should not.
But they are nice people, R & A. We chat (well, they chat) and I follow almost all – occasionally F chips in with some translation for me or helps me if they ask a direct question of me.
It’s easy – not difficult. They seem very relaxed in my presence; nothing is awkward nor strained. I don’t follow the conversation completely, but I think they asked why F had not been down and he explains about the babies and they say that we can stay with them and that there is a garden and, anyway, they have two dogs (female) and one cat so it will be fine. And it would be fine, of course. I know that nothing would ever happen but, still, he is stunningly good looking and I imagine things even if, at the same time, it would almost be like incest and is too icky to even contemplate.
But knowing that and knowing how bad it is, I still can’t stop looking at him as he drives!
F and A go to take our seats whilst R & I go for the beer. We are in Italy but neither of us think about it. I ask him what he does. The language is a barrier to real conversation and it seems we have an interminable silence but it is not really so. We are nearly at the front when R realises that everyone else has a receipt – i.e. we should pay first. R rushes to the queue to pay and get the receipt. He returns at the same moment as I need to order the beers.
A talks almost as much as F does. They talk about the pets, the houses, the family, etc. As one would. I sit furthest from R. I look at him from time to time, amazed at how perfect he is and being disgusted with myself at the same time. Even with his glasses on – I am shocked that I can find someone with glasses so attractive – take away the other problem that he is, more or less, the equivalent of my brother-in-law!
At one point, during the concert, I whisper to F that I love him. Which I do. R is not a possibility and anyway, even if he were, it would not happen for I do, truly, love F. R is simply a distraction and is not F, even if they are similar.
After the concert, we walk back to the car. We learn that A is 57. F says she doesn’t look it. I echo that. But she does really. I mean, she looks like a granny – a rather hip granny – but a granny, nonetheless.
She walks more slowly and, for the walk back, whilst the two brothers walk ahead, we lag behind. She talks to me, sometimes in English but mostly in Italian, telling me all about them, their age difference, her first (and only) daughter (with her first husband when she was about 20 years old), her wish not to have more kids but if it happened then it would be fine (but I don’t think it will happen now) and her daughters wish not to have kids and the problem with the world today.
We drive back. I don’t look at him so often – on purpose for I know how wrong it is. I ask, F if his brother’s hair is naturally straight or if he straightens it. It is naturally straight. They are, it seems, nothing alike and yet ……….
They park the car and we walk them back to F’s flat. They feel bad that they are taking F’s flat but F had already explained that we live so close and we either sleep in his flat or mine. There’s no surprise with that but neither is it expanded upon. There has been no talk or questions about us. Maybe that will come later? Later, next time, I mean. After all, they are also in an unusual situation and I don’t think they can or would criticise us.
At the entrance to the flat we say our goodbyes. They ask why I haven’t been down. F tells them in Italian that I always say that ‘I haven’t been invited’! They officially and formally invite me. We laugh. We kiss cheeks. Everything is normal AFU. OK, only AFU in my head not theirs nor F’s. Our first week of the holiday may be secured – see I am a really bad, bad person.
But I really like them. They have been so nice, they are seemingly open and friendly and have been very, very nice towards me.
I look forward to meeting them again. I think the whole issue of him being so perfect will be different next time. I hope so. For certain, he is not perfect.
I am shocked at myself. I am disgusted with myself. I hate myself. I am, mentally, beating myself – and I deserve it!
I hope you do not judge me too harshly but I have to tell someone. I am frightened I will say the wrong thing to F. My mouth must stay firmly shut on this. Sometimes, damn my brain!