Catalan Man and I must have sat on that damned couch for hours. Picture it: we’re all alone, Daniel the Roommate has gone to bed, we’re madly attracted to each other, we keep pouring drink after drink and are talking about something but who knows what the hell we’re actually talking about because all we’re really doing is filling in the silence while we’re doing what we’re really doing, which is making googily eyes at each other and acting like lovesick teenagers, except this time, we don’t have a curfew, zits, a calculus exam the next day, nor any sort of illusion that waiting to have sex is a virtue.
Why doesn’t he just suck it up and kiss me?, I think like a feral animal would think if it could think about such things. What is he waiting for?
Finally, after one too many sexy eye-flashes from his side of the camp, the tension becomes too much for me to bear. As he leans forward in a belly laugh, I execute a “sneak attack” from the side and plant my lips on his neck. It was apparently the signal his general was waiting for to end the standoff. Our Armies of Love immediately then lay down their guns, sprinted out of the trenches towards each other, and embraced madly, rolling around the battleground and professing undying love for each other in their respective languages.
My bra unhooked and my body splayed all over him on the tiny couch, he firmly yet tenderly caresses the side of my neck as his eyes blare into mine. “Let’s move to my bedroom,” he says with an air of finality in that sexy-ass Catalan accent.
So we do.
On the way, I purr into his ear that he should really call sick into work tomorrow. Ever true to his workhorse work ethic that I would later find out more about, he demurs, but then looks straight into my eyes, smiles a little evil smile, and says, “But you’ve got me all night long.”
<Fade to black>
<Oh c’mon; did you really expect me to kiss and tell everything? Perverts.>
Flash back to my second week in Spain---Yonina, Raquelle and I are spending a few days in Sevilla, and we find ourselves enjoying it and extending our trip an extra day, despite hearing a slew of groan-filled stories from various 30-something single women there that all the available men in Sevilla live with their mothers, never do their own dishes or laundry, and might as well be sporting a diaper while wielding a barbarian’s club overhead.
We go to a horrible, meat-locker-cold and totally empty restaurant called El Faro (“The Lighthouse”---as in, “Sailors, steer clear of THIS rock---the food sucks here!”) where we amuse ourselves and no doubt mortally offend the waitstaff by donning the black cloth napkins as Middle Eastern burqas and taking photos of each other as we wail with laughter. Afterwards, we decide to head to a club called La Antiqua, where the cheesy Euro techno music is thumping and the guys all look like they’re from Miami Beach with their copious amounts of hairgel and white pressed sportscoats.
We sidle up to the bar and order our usual vodka sodas. We scan the scene, light up a couple ciggies, and wait.
Faster than you can say “gato burrito”, two guys approach us.
Que tal?, they ask. One of them is extremely tall and athletic, with a very manly brow and chiseled jawline (actually, everything about this man is chiseled), and the other looks like a cute emo-rocker, with moppish blond curls and bright intelligent eyes.
The jock is into me; the emo-rocker is into Yonina. Raquelle goes off and flirts with the other Don Johnsons milling around the club.
Hablas ingles? I ask El Jocquo hopefully. He shakes his head no. Yonina and Emo-Rocker are chatting up a storm in fluent Spanish. I try not to feel deflated.
We make pathetic attempts at conversation---he speaks worse English than I speak Spanish, which is pretty damned hard to do, and we both feel frustrated as the conversation turns into a parody of charades right-quick.
Baillamos? I suggest, hoping that dancing will ease our, eh, “communication”.
He nods yes. The four of us cut a rug, laughing and swirling around the dance floor.
As I wiggle and twirl in front of El Jocquo like a harem girl on speed (he is a terrible dancer so I am trying to dance enough for the two of us), there is no denying that physically, he is something that Michaelangelo would be hard-pressed to dream up. His pecs bulge under his just-tight-enough T-shirt, his arms extend like tanned sinewy steel from his sleeves, his waist tapers into a perfect cartoon hero-esque V, and his 5 o’clock shadow, which I have to crane my neck upwards to see, encircles his plump and juicy lips like something out of a glossy page in GQ.
Yet something is missing. I just can’t get into it. Surely there must be something wrong with me, I think to myself, as there is no way that any woman in her right mind wouldn’t give her right arm to go home with this guy right away.
But we can’t speak to each other. There’s no connection beyond the physical. And even as he kisses me on the dance floor, my mind is somewhere else.
As he tries to lead me off the dance floor to his car, I stall, causing him to complain that one moment I’m “muy caliente” and the next, “muy friyo”. We have a long talk (how, I have no idea, but we do)---he is trying to convince me that our paths crossed for a reason, right here and right now, and why not live in the moment?---and I counter with the fact that I’m just not looking for that right now, end of story.
He drops me off at the hotel, gives me a pious kiss on the cheek, and we say buenos noches.
Flash back to Catalan Man’s bed, the next morning.
Now alone, I stretch out in the sea of covers, my hair thoroughly tousled and my mascara down to my chin. I smile happily and dreamily wrap myself up in his sheets, inhaling deeply to fully experience every last bit of last night that remains---the smell of his Armani “City Glam” cologne, his pheromones, our sweat.
He calls me from work to wish me a good day, and did I want to meet for a drink at the airport before I have to leave, as he works so closeby?
We do. It’s slightly awkward, as the harsh reality of day can never quite measure up to the sultry seduction of night, but we soon are back to our easy conversation and laughs, and next thing we know, we’ve made plans to see each other in his home town of Barcelona for a few days after Christmastime.
Back in Marbella with Raquelle and Yonina, I get back in the spirit of girliness and enjoy our adventures in the interim, but secretly I count the days off to Barcelona.
The time finally comes and it’s amazing. In three days, we accrue more private jokes than most people do in a whole lifetime, he is a perfect gentleman and takes me out for nice meals and treats me to the hotel, introduces me to his friends, and when it’s all over and we’re saying goodbye to each other on the train platform, my heart literally feels like it’s going to leap out of my chest. It was the strangest feeling; a feeling I don’t know if I’ve ever felt before. My body felt full to the brim with happiness and love and warmth and sheer gratitude for being alive to experience such a wonderful time with a wonderful person. And at the same time, my heart felt like it might break in two. I couldn’t imagine sleeping alone without him; spending my days without his company. If I was 14 again, it might have been enough to turn me Goth and make me shut myself in my room listening to nothing but Souxie and the Banshees and Depeche Mode.
“Three kisses,” I told Catalan Man as we huddled close together on the train platform.
Our first kiss was tender, soft. Our second kiss was impassioned, urgent. Our third kiss seemed to stretch on forever.
Our reverie was broken by the train conductor making a static-filled announcement over the loudspeaker in Spanish. Time to go.
We kept kissing. “Four, five, six…!” we said to each other, laughing sadly.
I finally hopped on the train. We blew each other a last kiss goodbye and I retreated to my sleeping car, not able to look at him again lest I be tempted to do something stupid and dramatic like jumping off the train at the last moment back on the platform with him as my suitcase makes the trip to Madrid solo.
Now I’m back in New York.
I still can’t stop thinking about him.
It’s dumb. It’s impractical. It’s a fantasy.