chapter 54 - dream of a joint (part V)

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chapter 53 - Dream of a joint (part IV)

I usually wait for her sms sitting by the window in my room. I get a better view of the city skyline. And I can always see the image of the weekend that always come at the end of the month. The one we always escape from this world. We do it since 3 months ago. Every last weekend we travel both to Tehran, where we meet. From there we take the car to the "dawn" refuge. The car was a gift from my brother. He got tired of seing us on my beautiful Patrol...
But this were my thoughts last week...
Today I'm driving to the "dawn". I just stopped in front of the large wooden door and I get out to open it. I kiss her in the face while making the movement of putting my leg out of the car. She kisses me back and I jump out to open the access to our place. When I get back to the car she follows my way with her face. When I get inside and ready to start the engine again, she's facing me. She gets her sunglasses out of her face. I can't prevent to put my arms around her and give her another kiss. And another. And another. Until she says, "give them to me after we park. I get back in position and start the car. I take a couple of seconds looking at the house. Some more seconds looking at her. And then I decide to drive in.
I park the car next and I get out... We decide to leave the bags for later. When we feel fresher. I go around the car in time to slowly stop her to open the door and get out. I lean on my knees so my face is right above the door. At the same level of hers. I give her a defying smile. She answers with a distrustful one. "We're already parked and I don't get out of here without my kisses...", I say not making the smile disappear from my face. She leans forward and then stops. "You have to beg on your knees for a kiss? tschh... tschh... tschh..." she shoots with a grin and a big laugh. I'm defeated, but I don't give up. I get up and open her door. When she's getting out and passing by me in a defying attitude I grab her arm and I get like answer a sarcastic look with the words "now I call the shots!" on her mouth.
I'm defeated for good. She's good in that and I love it! She shows me her open hand waiting for mine. A little indulgence from the winner. But I know she likes as much as me to walk holding hands. As I close the house door, she asks for a wine, but doesn't let my hand go, so I lead her to the refrigerator with me.
- How I see you made ice after last night...
- There will never be a shortage of ice here as long as there's electricity... hehehe!
- It's good to know I can always cool you don't if you get too hot...
She doesn't give up as I realize with the irony in her face. Good to know that she allows me another try. I open the bottle of white wine while she checks the fridge for some kind of chocolate. I'm addicted on the mix for so many years. And I got her into the addiction. She grabs a Cadbury's bar and gets closer to me. She puts her arms around my waist and observes me opening the bottle and getting to glasses.
We walk to the couch with an arm around each other and while sitting she says:
- We are some lucky bastards, aren't we?
- Why?, I ask in my usual "not getting your point" look.
She smiles and holds my hand, making her fingers slide trough my hand, forming a shell wrapping it. And pulling both hands until they're in front of our eyes. When she answers: "For this!"
And this is the time for me to let her know... I found a job in Copenhagen. And there's a two room apartment available for me if I need.

(end of part IV)


chapter 52 - Dream of a joint (part III)

During a couple of days we kept sending short e-mails to each other. She got into the university website where she saw some photos of me in some of the academic activities. And next day I had an e-mail of her sarcastically joking with the fact. I answered that that was my way to "keep in touch with my admirers". After all the ego of a man needs some attention too, right?
We started chatting and the long nights next to the keyboard were getting too frequents for me not to accept an invitation to see Copenhagen with a private guide. She had a couch in the living room enough for a man that can sleep fine everywhere. And I couldn't stop thinking about her. During my days at school I would find myself looking into the empty air and thinking about her. I accepted her invitation, but without even given me the chance to blow it off because of my anxiety I decided to book a flight for saturday morning with return on the next morning. Asking her to make a "non-stop" plan for us not to go to sleep would prevent me to give in to temptation.
I knew what was coming in me. And I knew this was a time to enjoy every step. Slowly. The day in the danish capital was gone very fast and we are now at Copenhagen's airport for me to board on the plane home. We are holding hands and I can feel she's a bit nervous. She keeps staring at me but looking a bit lost. Like little girls in front of a stranger. I can hear the second warning for late passengers and I delay the goodbye. My urge to kiss her is killing me. I can't stop thinking that maybe I shouldn't do it. But I can't stop feeling like I need to feel her lips in mine, either. My head starts slowing leaning in her direction slowly. I need to see her reaction and have the time to make a turn if I need. She keeps her face straight facing mine but doesn't make a move. In her eyes I still see the bit frightened girl. But my head acts beyond my control. My eyes close and for some seconds I just feel my lips touching hers for three short times. Finally I gain control over myself again and I open my eyes and put my head back. In her face there's a gentle smile. I whisper a long "bye!" and I run the opposite direction to get my flight. While the stewardess is checking my ticket I look back to her and she keeps peacefully smiling. I smile back and go over the tunnel. I asked sorry to the stewardess for three times but even so she kept her silent serious face. Nordic airlines...
While going on the tunnel I still had time to sms her thanking god for such a present.
As soon as I got home I went on msn and we kept talking the rest of sunday. I order food by phone and I didn't abandoned msn for more than a minute at the time.
The visits became more frequent and we call each other boyfriend and girlfriend. She still lives in Copenhagen. And I still live in Malmö. It's not that far. And I do it with my Aprilia Capnord every two weeks I start the week going to visit her after work. And after three years I still get marveled with the Øresund Bridge. A beautiful work above the water for about 21 km that link the two countries...
The 534 km between us are enjoyed on the way to Copenhagen with great pleasure. But on the way back, still today I feel a punch in the stomach all the way. Until I park the motorbike at my door, I feel like turning around and go back to her place. I did it a couple of times, but I still have a job to keep. Or had... but that's just details for now.
Every two weeks I go to Denmark to get back on after two nights. Driving back by night it's better to ease the the sad feeling. Not seeing the scenery always makes me feel that no matter how far I already am from her place, I'm still close enough to go back. Driving by night feels like not moving. And I really prefer that to the tears of the surroundings passing by like a blur...
She told me once, that she feels exactly the same punch when she does it the following week. The same punch. The hands holding stronger to the wheel. To delay the inevitable crying. That I always feel when she stops on the way to have a coffee and call back to me. Just a short phone call...
- I stopped now at Shell... I'm having a coffee and cigarette... Stretching a bit my legs... and feeling like hearing your voice...
- Sure you have to get back?... You still have time to turn around... And my arms open...
- C'mon! Don't make it more difficult!! You know I can't be as irresponsible as you about work...
- Sorry... You're right...
- Why we still didn't got used to this, after all this time?! We should already be used to it!
- We still didn't had enough time to get used to it...
- Ok, I'm going to the car again... I'll sms you when I get home...

(end of part III)


chapter 51 - Dream of a joint (part II)

Before opening the book, I decided that I would have dinner at the indian restaurant in the city center. I have a card somewhere. It's called "Indian Haweli". I don't even have to call there to make a reservation. Because it's close by my place, I just have a 5 minutes walk until the Södra Förstadsgatan. It's never full, but they have the best Makhan Wala Chicken I know. A shower, a cigarette and half-hour later I was on my way out with the book on my back pocket. The summer time forced a person to walk around in t-shirt this days. So either with book in hand or on the back pocket of my jeans. With some effort from my butt-chick the book fits there perfectly. I like to eat out alone once in a while. Just for the pleasure of not cooking and washing dishes, but still doing the same as I do at home. Hold habits are hard to drop, so I still read while eating alone.
With the mango juice already in front of me I decided to open the book and lighten up a cigarette. Ten pages and two check-ups to the surrounding tables later my dish was in front of me. At the end of the meal, I closed the book. With coffee I only like to enjoy a cigarette and the behavior of people around. Four girls talking loud in an arabic language in one table. None of them blonde, so I assumed they were foreigners. A young couple in another table, but just having the usual silent dinner of someone that has no more to say to each but none says "enough". My look goes back to the four girls. I can just see the face of two of them and I remember the girl in the book-shop. I can't prevent to call myself an "asshole" again for not being able to say anything to her. But as the people say "what's done, it's done". And I haven't done it. I lighten up another cigarette as my coffee cup gets to the table by the hand of the young indian boy. When I look again two the girls, I see four pairs of eyes facing me. And one of them belongs to the girl I was just thinking about. She smiles again and despite keeping silent again I give her a big and dumb smile. As not seeing a friend for long time, I can't stop smiling at her. She gets up and turns to come in my direction.
She sees the book I bought that same afternoon in my table and I nod a "yes" when she asks me about if I'm liking it. "Until now it's keeping my attention so much that I realized just know you were sitting at that table", I add. This sounded a bit dumb to say, but it's said. After all I didn't even knew her, so even if I had seen her before, I wouldn't go talk to her. But she did came to talk to me and now she's in front of me. Leaning a bit on my table and putting her hands on top of it.
- Listen... we're going to a club but we need at least one male company to get in. Do you want to come with us?
-Why not?... Wait! Why me?
- Why not you?...
The way she grinned her smile on that last question just makes me take the offer right away - Ok, then!...
She waited for me to call for the waiter and pay my bill before joining again to her table, introducing me to the rest of the girls. I forgot all the names. Except hers that floats in my mouth each time I repeat it. While all of them are busy with the bill I take the chance of looking at them. It's the best chance. While girls are busy with themselves they forget about the boys around. It's always the best time to observe them. The way she talks and moves her hands I can't prevent to feel the same shriver again. She's beautiful and she knows it. And she's proud of that. There's a full blast of self-confidence, but with the discretion that only few know. Not a "girl-trying-to-be-diva" but a princess since birth kind of behavior. And the shriver again...
They suddenly get up getting me almost by surprise. Of course... Men shouldn't be astonished by them. Only be there to "be a gentleman". And the dumb ass here drooling.
The all night with them I was fascinated by her but I tried my best to be the confident look-a-like I always am. This new hip-hop/R&B is not my kind of music. But I find myself dancing to the sound of Justin Timberlake, Usher, Pink and all the look-a-likes that the dj finds to keep the bodies swinging in a sexy way. At four they all decided to get a cab and go home. She asked for my msn address to "keep in touch". She had told me during the night that she was living in Copenhagen and was just visiting friends. So we exchanged e-mails.
I get out with them and after seeing the cab leaving with the four girls I hit my way home. The closest I found to the music we danced on my iPod is Alicia Keys, so I put it on and go home swinging to the sounds of "Butterflyz".

(end of part II)


chapter 50 - Dream of a joint (part I)

(or the house of the Dawn)

(I would like to thank my brother - in the photo - for the inspiration)

There's nothing special about the place. A simple house in the middle of nowhere in the iranian desert. Two rooms a living/dinning area with an open small kitchen and a bathroom on the ground floor. A room and small office with a terrace on the first floor. And a small parking area outside where for now lies my brother's WR 400. Whenever he comes here, he likes to ride around in two wheels. He says that four in such a terrain are too much. We love so much each other and we're so different. I always prefer the motorbike on the chaos of the city.
The house has still parking space next to it for two cars. Everything surrounded by a two feet tall white wall full of small holes for the strong winds in the area to pass trough and refresh the house. The set forms a withe rectangle, surrounded by miles and miles of sand. Not even the mobile network reaches here. The closes city is Abadan - 100 km far away. Abadan is a oil refinery surrounded by houses,hotels and commerce, in some way related to the black gold industry. Whoever is occupying the house just goes to the city to buy the essentials.
The car rolls midway in the desert towards the house. I call it "Sahar", that means "Dawn" in persian. It's worth the long night waiting to see a dawn from the terrace in the first floor of the house. Some of my pacifying moments occur when admiring the sun starting drawing the line in the horizon and in a question of few minutes starting to burn at full blast the nothing of sand that surround "Sahar".
And I'm driving in its direction... But for now is just a tinny dot in front of me. I take the chance to look right and watch the sun going in direction of the mountains.
I hear the roar of the engine in front of me... I look in front and I see the dark blue of the car in contrast with the sand around me... I fell the wind hitting my half--naked arms and my face... I'm feeling the vibration of the rough road on my hands that grab the wheel of my long dreamed AC Cobra... I shift gear and reach for the radio to turn it off and I look at her, sited beside me... The dark blue silk veil dances along with her dark hair... She's looking in front and her profile gets in contrast with the round of the sun disappearing in the horizon... I don't see her eyes 'cause of the sunglasses but I can see peace in her attitude.
She feels something and looks at me. As long as I can keep the wheel straight, I don't have to face the road for more than 10 km. So I keep looking at her. The smiles starts to draw in her face as she takes of the sunglasses. Nothing more I need to see those big dark eyes outlined by a two large black lines of eyelashes smiling to me, to remember what I feel since I meet her. Life has been good on me after all. Very good. Maybe to good.
She puts her left hand over my right hand that hadn't abandoned the shift gear. I looked at her fingers looking to fit mine so her hand can form a shell around my hand.
The image brings back to memory the day we meet.
I was at a book-shop in Malmö. I live there for ten years as a teacher of portuguese in the linguistic department of the university. That day I was buying a book a friend had told me to read. I wasn't specially attracted by the writer's name, but the friend told me that was very beautiful. So there I was in line to pay for a english version of "Veronika decides to die", by Paulo Coelho. She was next to me on the balcony naturally with one employee that wasn't expecting two clients at the same time. I saw her looking at the cover of my book and then looking at me. I looked at her book - "Eleven minutes" by the same writer. She smiled when I looked back to her and something shacked inside me. I could just smile back. Not a word came out. I tried not to make foolish of myself staring at her. I kept looking at the work the book-shopper was having to wrap my book. I don't get this thing of some shops wrapping books even when they're not to offer as a present. But I have to admit I quite like the feeling of getting home and unwrap it. It feels like a present to myself. So I never mind when it's habit of a shop to do it. Usually small shops still do it. But my urge to look at her again was making me nervous and all the attention that the poor man was putting in my book seemed a bit to much to me. If the process was going to take two more minutes I wouldn't resist to look at her again.
I got quite happy when I realized that the ATM connection just took two or three seconds and I could get the little receipt from the old man's hand. I mumbled a "thank you" and a "bye" and I rushed to the door.
Right before passing the glass door I looked again to the balcony and I could see her profile gently smiling while enjoying the same labour the man was having with her book.
I insulted myself on the way home. Two blocks from there, but when I got open and could unwrap the book I forgot all about it. I was a kid with a new present! A new book full of pages to read.

(end of part I)


chapter 50 - Dream of a joint



chapter 49 - Buda & Peste (parte VII)

(continuação do chapter 48)

Eu é que tinha que agradecer não ter passado mais uma noite sozinho. O "talento" eu já o sabia natural, mas a vontade era genuína. Gostei e esperava repetir.
Aproveitei a oferta de Veronika e saborei o leite e o pão junto à varanda. Lá fora chovia, mas eu podia apreciar os telhados de Budapeste, já que o estúdio estava localizado no décimo andar de um edifício moderno, na parte nova da cidade. Com o café acendi um cigarro e abri a porta da varanda para respirar o ar fresco da tarde. Duchei-me e sai depois de lhe deixar uma resposta em que tentei mostrar o quanto tinha apreciado a noite e que gostaria de ser o próximo a convidar. Deixei o meu número de telemóvel e um beijo.
Só fiquei a saber na segunda-feira seguinte. Durante todo o resto do fim-de-semana foi o silêncio. Mas se estava de partida, certamente teria muitas despedidas e coisas a tratar. Deixei-me também na certeza de reencontro nos corredores diplomáticos no começar da semana de trabalho.
Quando marquei a extensão dela atendeu-me outra voz feminina. Estranhei e perguntei por Verónika e fiquei a saber que Isabel era o nome da nova secretária do "sr. embaixador". Praguejei para dentro e agradeci e de repente, o pânico.
"Na sexta-feira diz-me que todos os assuntos do embaixador têm que passar por ela e hoje já cá não está... Escondeu bem o jogo! Porque razão foi tão longe é que...", pensava eu quando senti o pânico invadir-me. Voltei a marcar o número da extensão e pedi o número de casa de Veronika. A resposta gelou-me.

- Ela não vai atender...
- Como pode estar tão segura? Mantem uma agenda privada da ex-secretária do embaixador?
- Sei porque fui informada que ela tinha um vôo no sábado de manhã.
- E quem a informou disso?
- A própria.
- E não a informou também para onde era esse vôo, não?

Deixou-me em silêncio o tempo suficiente para me fazer pensar que tanto azedume da minha parte não mereceriam uma resposta minha. Acabou por me responder com um sincero e curto "não".
Que marcou toda a minha ignorância sobre Veronika. Escondera bem o seu jogo. Ninguém sabia para onde nem fazer o quê. O que mostrava preocupação com "pontas de fora" para evitar "repetições". Acredito que não quisesse mais que despedir-se de Budapeste. Porquê eu? Apenas o seu primeiro contacto com o mundo que a espera fora da Hungria, seja lá onde isso fôr.
O meu comité de boas-vindas a Budapeste tinha-se despedido de mim sem dizer adeus.


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