Carving your name in graphite
He woke up before me.
We came back home from the concert, we undressed, we joined, we fell asleep.
Then he rose, and I just carried on sleeping.
The gravity and depth of implications hidden beyond these apparently simple statements of facts are enough to make me catch my breath.
I find that I can’t move.
No, rectify that.
I simply do not want to.
I examine briefly inside my mind and there is... nothing.
A flicker of self-annoyance at my imprecision momentarily distracts me.
It’s not emptiness, you fool, it’s... peacefulness.
Not a vacuum, nor stifling hot air, but cool breeze, weightless water flowing so calmly and elegantly that at first sight it seems to be not moving at all.
Not venomous whispers, but nursery rhymes vibrating under my skin, soothing my nerves instead of charging them with negativity.
No longer a black void; in its place, a prism working in reverse, gathering all the colours and good sensations, and projecting a pure beam of merciful light in return.
A novel combination; a perspective a thousand times offered and always scorned as self-indulgence, never explored before, and now laid before me in all its brightness.
A new angle. A vision.
Who is filling my head with all these foreign (comforting, familiar, welcome) images?
I open my eyes, turn around.
There is the culprit, sitting quietly in a chair near the foot of the bed. And he seems to be... drawing, of all things.
He hasn’t noticed me yet, focused as he is on the block of paper resting on his bent knee.
Wh... “...at are you doing?” I blurt out, before I can stop myself.
He shrugs, without missing a beat, while the pencil keeps moving swiftly. But I don’t miss the way his eyes dart briefly in my direction with an endearing mix of mischief and deflty concealed embarrassment.
“Nothing worth of your attention”, he murmurs, one corner of his mouth curling minutely upwards in a signal of self-deprecation that I know far too well; I strongly suspect he’s not even aware of doing it.
“Everything relating to you is worth of my attention” say I, rising and going to stand over him.
He hides the block against his chest.
I reach out, trace the sculpted line of his high cheekbones with my fingers, then I bend down and kiss him, deeply and languidly, until I can slip the papers away from his unlaxed fingers.
“Meretricious”, he huffs against my lips in mock disapproval.
“You have only yourself to blame” I reply, and finally take a look.
My heart skips a beat. Distantly I feel that the tips of my ears are beginning to burn unpleasantly.
It’s... It is me.
Or at least, I suppose so. I don’t believe I am able to recognize myself in this doppelgänger decadently resting in the curve of our sheets. He looks happy, after all, so at peace with himself.
A revelation, an explanation about why this should be, tugs insistenly at me, begging to be acknowledged.
But I’m afraid.
It’ll be glorious, and terrible, and it will change everything. It will be the final layer of my armour going down, or at least a near fatal stroke.
So I desperately attempt to detach myself, to focus on the technique instead, on the way he applied the sfumato to render the game of light and shadows on the planes of my body, the neat lines of my eyelashes, the soft, almost invisible arcs of my eyebrows... but there, on the hair, the trait becomes fuzzy -the point had blunted- then it’s clean again.
Absurdly, it is the mental projection of his strong, surgical hands sharpening the pencil that makes my resolve crumble like a fist of snow held too tight.
This is me, I think, as seen through his eyes.
Right now, I’m looking from inside his head, I am inside him.
This is him, taking possession of me, bit after bit, detail after detail.
After sodomy and cannibalism, this is, in all probability, the most suitable instrument at his disposal to assimilate me, to make me his.
“My dear chap, if you don’t like it, you merely have to say it”.
How can you think that?
Don’t you understand?
This is art at its purest, truest form, it’s philosophy and gnoseology, love and transcendence, all merged together in an indissoluble blend of grey and white, of skill and insight.
But I can’t make the words come. How, how, how can I ---
“I need my piano” I cry, and rush out of the room, go downstairs, still stark naked and maybe just a little possessed.
I don’t look back, but I know he has followed; I can sense the unobtrusive weight of his gaze resting comfortably against my nape.
My fingers find their position on the keys, and finally, finally, the words come, although not in the Queen’s English, but I am sure, so sure, that he will understand all the same.
A brief introduction, a sequence studied to titillate and lure, question and answer, what’s your name, sir, and then suddenly, without further delay, the theme explodes, from my head into the open world, filling the room with its brilliance, its wittiness, its strength, its innate sense of balance.
As quick as it came, so it fades. No time to spare for virtuosity, I have a point to demonstrate.
The piece grows gentler, quieter, ending on a small cluster of notes followed by a touch that does not disappear at once, but lingers in the air, like the smell of roses just put in a vase.
I inhale deeply, needing a moment to orientate myself, to re-accustom again to this plane of reality.
Then I grab a blank sheet and frenziedly write out what I just played.
Only when I see the title shining at the top of the page, I release my breath.
At last I turn, and find him staring at me, timeless and poignant like a Greek statue just found after millennia of laying underground.
“Do you understand, now?” I plead.
“Patrick...” he whispers, his voice hoarse and almost breaking on the final gutturals of my name. “Surely my poor daub is not even remotely comparable to - “
“Don’t you dare” I stop him with a growl.
I take the drawing, and position it beside my newly-written score, above the keyboard.
“Do you know what that title means?”
He swallows, more unguarded and closer to tears than I have ever seen him.
“I think I do.”
“You are such a great part of me”, I admit, so many years late.
“And you, of me.”
“You are so, so precious to me”, I breathe, against the damp side of his face, against his hair.
“Yes” he sobs, “Yes.”
And we kiss, again and again and again.