(to my friends)
Valentine is one fucked up guy. He can leave some people happy and some people nostalgic. Some days ago I got suddenly nostalgic because I didn’t have anyone to call to before scheduling my holidays. Don’t get me wrong, I love my freedom. But I must confess that I missed that compulsion, before asking my co-workers when would they take their holidays, of making a certain call to a certain someone to come up with plan A, B and C for scheduling trips, fun moments in an unknown destiny and sex in a hotel room.
Half of my friends around 30 try to understand if they would rather have spent yesterday’s night trying to show their love to that special someone, or trying to dose alcohol and charm in the singles party that we organized. Half of my friends doesn’t know if they would rather spend the weekends in a sweet and repetitive state of calm, or trying to sleep with half the city with whom they still haven’t slept. This globalization nonsense is very funny, but the concept of being connected all the time and to the whole world can be a little scary when we're talking about love. We’re surrounded by 1001 requests, 1001 possibilities and 1001 alternatives and that makes being single an admirable new world of funny opportunities, exotic parties and unprecedented sexual experiences. And it’s precisely the existence of all those opportunities that gives more value to the moment when we decide to choose someone to share our life with. Let’s face it, nowadays it’s rather strange when someone complains that he or she didn’t have the chance to know the world (and who lives in it) sufficiently to be able to make the right choice. The other day a friend was telling me about his new girlfriend and my first instinct was to ask him if she was in Facebook, whilst half of my brain yelled at the other half "You too, Brutus?". When he told me that she didn’t, I thought that was one of the best qualities a girlfriend should have. After all, that would avoid those situations when we make a fool of ourselves snooping around on their Facebook page trying to figure out how many people much more interesting than us (and by that I mean someone with a profile picture much more appealing than ours)a) has she added after breaking up with us.
Thirties seem to have their charm. The abdominal line is still comparable to that of the younger guys that we'll soon be able to see on the beach and the grey hairs that appear without warning seem to give us more charm. We live more and have more access to information but nothing ensures me – and I must confess that this thought is already starting to scare me – that in 10 years time we won’t be trying to sell the exactly same speech, while we admire the same abdominal line more expanded and we concentrate not on the grey hair, but on the lack of it. This is when I remember with concern the speech of an old co-worker, an eternal bachelor, that was able to disturb me with his gloomy pride about the number of married women he boasted having already “banged”. The same disturbance that I felt the other day in the Serralves buffet because of a beautiful woman in her forties that was sitting there. The look of such a distinguished woman made me feel distinguished too and I can imagine that having someone younger staring at her could only make her feel more alive. A female friend was telling me that this is all very normal and that the important thing, like everything in life, is to draw limits and find a balance. This is not that clear to me and I can imagine that Yin-Yang balance sliding unexpectedly to a balancing act adequate for the circus or, if you allow me the dirty moment, to a public toilette. I only know that moments later, when the husband and children arrived, and that man noticed what he was interrupting, I looked away more out of shame than from fear of getting a well-deserved punch. The same punch I would sustain myself from giving if I were to find a kid, with hair on his face but still with a childish spirit, busy revitalizing my wife’s sex appeal.
Miguel Esteves Cardoso once wrote that “Love is one fucked up act” and I can only assume he didn’t wrote it to sell copies to 15-year old girls like the one I was in love with when the book was published. I’m the first one to admit being guilty of plagiarism for using his words but that was not what I felt last week when I went to visit the friend that translated my texts for the English version of the blog. I had decided to use all the resources available to convince him to do it again but when I got there I was beaten by a toothless 15-month old baby running clumsily into his arms. And at that moment I felt ridiculous. Ridiculous for even thinking that he would be wasting the time he could spend with his child translating my silly texts. We went to school together, shared the same desk and did the same annoying pranks that tested the patience of our English teacher. When he went to live with this girlfriend I was still trying to figure out what it was to have a girlfriend and on the day of his marriage I mainly thought on all the freedom he was giving up on. But today my opinion has changed and to be completely honest, part of me envies him. At this point I remember another friend and of what he told me one day. One day, another day, when a girlfriend let her naked body fall next to his and whispered on his ear in such a sweet tone that he only knew on his mother:
- It was amazing Zé.
And at that time, much more than the orgasm, he thought she was thanking for everything else: the companionship, the tenderness, the protection, the times he smiled for her smile, the times he cried with her tears and for all the things he never had to do but that she knew he would be willing to. Of course there are a lot of “Zés” and also a lot of imaginary friends but we also know that in my life, in your life or in the life of my imaginary friend it's those moments that last. More than flirts, wild nights or crazy stories to brag about in guys dinners. Even more than the cut out scenes of a life that are not to be exposed in a blog. In the end it’s like I tell you, Valentine is one fucked up guy.