Christmas candles on my hand

They left a while ago. This time it was two Brazilians. I can hear my mother’s laughter on the other side of my locked bedroom door. The kids outside can be heard showing off their Christmas presents from three days ago. It’s getting dark and the peace and quiet from the sunny afternoon I was having on my own is rather over. Then I was trying to recognize this place as my own, the way I did with my old childhood house, the home which seems to be more impossible to forget as years go by. I keep telling myself I shouldn’t attach to it and rather let go on account of the fact that I don’t wanna become a ghost haunting that place once I pass on, but I just can’t help it. I try to find in the silence of this sunlight from my window onto my tired flesh and bones a distinctive sensation that might successfully reproduce the silent merriment of a house that, come to think of it, is not a house but a wounded feeling of an idea on a reality long gone. They left a while ago. This time it was two Brazilians. One tall, one short. One particularly good-looking and hard to follow because of his manliness continually trying to escape his religious attire in such a wild way my eyes could hardly look away. I can still hear that old soap opera across from my room, but she’s no longer talking; she’s silent. It kinda hurt. Even though she was obviously trying to be true to her convictions, it fucking hurt. The Brazilians talked to me about this otherworldly place humans are supposed to come from, all this from a book they themselves don’t know who wrote, who came across or how made its way to the Americas — or rather, the way they like to put it, America. All in all, I think my being there, my attempt to spend some time with the only constant person in my life, kinda pissed them off. They visibly wanted to leave after a while. I could see the sun soothingly setting from a distance and warming my countenance some minutes more before extinguishing behind the buildings. They were done, but before they left she offered some empanadas. No one says no to that.

– So you have a girlfriend or any special gal?

– I had a boyfriend.

– A boyfriend? I don’t follow. Are you saying you are a… [gestures with hand]

– What does that mean in Brazil?

– What I mean is…

– A fag? Yes, I’m a fag. A homosexual. However you wanna call it. Remember I told you about this guy who got mugged on his way home? Well, he was my beloved boyfriend. And my mother knew him well.

– My dad’s also gay.

– Say what? B… B… But how? [gestures with my hand] Isn’t he bi?

– No. Thanks for the evening. We should love and understand each other.

– You’re the first missionaries my son ever comes out to – interruped she. – Sometimes I prefer to keep that to myself at the church because members might not be as understanding. There was this woman on a closeby street once who started criticizing a couple of feminine hairdressers who were coming our way. “You should keep your words for yourself. You have children and grandchildren. We should never mock people.” I told her. My point, elders, is that we’re also taught at church to respect people regardless of their… how to put it… condition? Because they’re special people who need our love the most, because they probably lived without a fatherly figure or they were never given love.

– So no homosexual lives with a fatherly figure and grows up with love?

I can’t tell if she didn’t really listen to that last comment of mine or if she just plainly chose to ignore it. It had long been since my feelings about the whole thing had last reverberated through my chest. The air of uncomfortableness spread across the apartment. I guess that’s why in the end they quickly left. Shortly after my coming out. Shortly after his talking about his father. Did he want to be a bit empathetic? Was that the truth? Why did he choose to say it right then? I blanked. She’s knocked on my door and turned the TV off. She’s calling my name and I guess she doesn’t get why I’m not particularly OK. Was she fucking right? This shit hurts. I miss him so bad.

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