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She was packing her bags. Or trying to look like doing exactly that, I couldn't see the difference right there and then. It happened so fast: T minus 30 seconds, we were making sweet sounds underneath the sheets, then there was a call she answered on her phone while still ebbing from her last induced peak, and here we are, t+30 secs, she, kneeling near her temporary autonomous zone consisting of a beige sports bag and her camera, me, behind her, leaning on my table and feeling the sharp corners sticking into my legs, watching her trying to look busy. Tracking her movements when she takes off her slightly sweaty shirt to put on a new one. Remembering the metallic smell on her, I stretch to my bedside table for my roll-on and walk slowly towards her with a purpose. Near her, when reached the perfect vantage point to see her 40 kg body and notice her hands are shaking a little while folding her cream colored cardigan, I say "arms up."

That makes her jump a little, stand and turn around facing me, not comprehending what I said. From the look in her eyes I’m almost sure she was expecting something in the nature of a questioning, inquiring about the reason why she was doing the thing she pretended to do. If not for the things she confided in me last night at the place with bad coffee and worse cakes where we took refuge from the rain, I’d do exactly that. Out of patience, I slowly raise her arms to reach under her armpits and apply the sticky substance that will mask the obvious exertion musk she disperses. Returning the extremities to state I’ve found them, with a vague hand gesture towards the bathroom I add "I’ll be in there, if you need me". She doesn't need me. I'm acutely aware of this unsaid statement between us. What she needs is a new city, some new best friends, a new lover, a new shrink, if possible: a new life. Not strictly in that order. She knows that I know this.

I turn and enter the place where water flows for our needs. I put some quite whitening fluoride toothpaste on my brush and steel myself for the salty metallic taste of it. It feels like I employ some kind of blood ritual to make the pearly whites more unnaturally white. The resulting bleeding following the gentle scrubbing solidifies my belief that magic can be at least implied. She follows after me with her brush, which she uses to untangle the knots in her morning hair. For a moment we watch each other through the mirror and share the soothing feelings of mutual synchronicity. As if the people on the mirror -a different realm- always did these things this way, every time since y'know, ages ago. I break the harmony by spitting the blood, toothpaste and saliva into sink and leave the whipped cream colored room.

 

T+50 mins and we are standing beneath some lame excuse for a bus stop and I deliver her to the motored vehicle full of people passing gas while trying to hide the fact they did. Our farewells are dry, with good reason. I feel an almost imperceptible blunt sadness creeping under my day. She migrates to west, like so many others at this time of year.

 

T+120 mins -and due to my luck; under a suddenly stormy sky- I take a punch from a high wave and drift some length to shore. While wiping the seaweed off my face the repeating thought in my head is "how can so many different problems fit into that tiny body of the girl who left the city and where did I fucked up, exactly?

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