I would listen to a plane leaving for somewhere, piercing the darkness, and a man’s voice gasping for air, fighting away the insecurity of the first word in a long conversational debut he’s never going to make, all aimed at love. Like so:

I would want this to not be written… I sometimes long for someone. Now I wish it were you. You, I wish you were here! Do you think I don’t know that I don’t know who you are? Open letter? Maybe… but I wish you’d answer to it, you beautiful stranger, I just wish you’d find a postcode within these words and skipped whatever you were doing and came here, wherever I may be, so we can be the both of us. Why? Who knows… we could watch the plane loop forever. We could make meaning of all of this. You trying to understand me, me trying to make myself understood, me digging at you, you dosing yourself to me. It wouldn’t be writing, movie watching, music listening, recordings, letters, photos. It’d be simple…

Why are you here?

You’ve invited me

What if more come?

We won’t let them in

Oh God, we have so much to tell each other

Like what?

Well, I don’t know anything about you. I won’t start with flattery, that’s for sure

Wanna make forts, reduce ourselves to cats seeking shelter within a shelter and just look at each other?

We could even build a tree house, weirdo! I bet you we’d be the only people on the planet building a tree house. The rest are busy with phones and technology.

You’re full of yourself, haha, but yeah, sounds about right. Maybe. I don’t think so.

This kinda feels like live tinder

You have Tinder? Ew

Nah, nah, it was cool shit. Some days I wrote a different bio every day. Do you know how hard it is to write 500 characters and be funny, descriptive, unoffensive and you?!

I never wrote a bio

So you have Tinder too!

A friend of mine installed it for me and then I went with it, but I never got the nerve to answer to anyone. They were all mega lame

Haha. Assies

Well?

Well what?

Tell me about those bios

I could show some to you:

Love

Bet you got all the junkies with this

Yeah, 420-ers galore. One girl said she’d been to Romania in lucid dreaming. I told her, ‘Can I take your order please? We’re fresh out of looney, though’

Wait a minute. This isn’t tinder. This is a sticky note or something

True that. Here you go. Another one:

Love

This one’s so you… black magic, dark humor

Love

What about the ones that didn’t work?

How do you mean?

You must have saved some that were bad

Oh, diggidy, no, I didn’t, but I do have some bios that I wrote for the sheer pleasure of criticising the vast number of women posting their ‘likes’

We’isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?

Nah nah nah, this was really cringy and oblique. Most descriptions were: ‘If you’re not into Netflix, dogs, staying outside and food we probably won’t get along’

What? Is being outdoors a virtue now? And who’s not into dogs?! They’re fluffy and lovely and everything!

They were clueless, sis, they couldn’t steer. Should I show you some?

Lay ’em on, we have all night, daddy-o

Love

You really spent your days on these apps…

Love

Man, this is bad. You can’t call people slow! Not everyone had the same upbringing as you. More haha

Love

This one’s actually neat, and it’s mine altogether except for the ‘Drink hemlock’ part, which is a small hijack of Daniil Kharms’ ‘Drink vinegar, ladies and gents!’

Some people like to work, all of us need to work

Well, yeah, but most of us do it too much

Maybe, baby

You never told me, what do you do?

Well, I





























I don’t exist




I stood on the banks of my intrusive acetylcholine and the thunder was trying to paint the picture of white noise on my walls, room illuminated briskly, Helloween’s ‘I Want Out’ roaring on repeat, when I realised I had to go downstairs and roll up the windows on the car; the smothering heat before a summer thunderstorm turned me into this woozy little cat that overslept its disco nap. Sheesh.

I darted downstairs like I was already in the rain and as I was pushing the button on the car door I noticed a sticky note on the floor. Meticulous hand writing:

Don’t expect much from this stranger, because I rarely know what I mean to say, but your appearance today struck me with an unforeseeable awe, the kind only a good song in a mystic afternoon could bring.

Whiskers improvising on the piano

I could have sworn, with due diligence, that their numbers, the ones with the imagination necessary to pull one of these tricks, is so low that I had a better chance finding love on Tinder than like this. The guts it takes to be romantic nowadays, with this generation, the ones that are turning 18 now, unbelievable. I couldn’t find words. I was sure it was authored by an 18 year old, because there was a small wooden foyer there, next to my parking lot, a few feet away from an athletics oriented high school.

Whiskers?! That’s a cat’s name. This looked like a joke, and I was putting too much thought into it. The hell am I thinking?! I remember one of these impromptu rendez-vous back in the day, I was 19 and I filmed a rock concert and put it on YouTube. Tenths of kids my age commented and liked it, because I was the only one who sacrificed his bouncing around to holding a professional camera steady, and among these commentators was a fourteen-year-old that had humor and melodic death metal in him. Actually, to be more precise, the band sung Celtic-Baltic melodic folk metal; loads of instruments; a hurdy-gurdy, a flute, bagpipes, violin. The kid liked good music, ‘s all I’m sayin’. Now as I was talking with him on Yahoo Messenger, one of his 8th grade school colleague happened to be in the same room and she asked him, ‘Who the spiel is this guy and what’s he selling?’. Kid told her I’m just an awesome dude(which I was) who plays the electric guitar(which I did) and who had(which I had) filmed a nifty rock concert. He’s also smart, he added. She got intrigued and asked him if he would introduce her to me, as – simply put – someone who’s into smart people.

Paper Aeroplanes guided our love from there on, and Sinatra and Frankie Valli, and Bobby Vee, ‘Take Good Care of my Baby’, although I always preferred Smokie’s version, The Shireless, Paul Anka, all the 50′, and Jesus, were we – despite the age gap – a perfect platonic match: she read over 100 books by the age of 14 and I read 5 by the time I was 19; she knew Lucifer by heart, the world’s longest love poem, but wait, the plot thickens, she knew all 98 stanzas by heart in Romanian, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish and Portuguese; she played the piano; she was a vocal singer for a blues band; she translated ‘Die Leiden des jungen Werthers’ into her native tongue for kicks, and she had a humor that could roll Diogenes the Cynic in his barrel down the 575m slope that comprised Ancient Corinth. She was amazing, and if my belly wouldn’t have let me know it’s dinner time I would have delightfully languished some more in my memory of her. We never had sex and it took us a full month to get to that first kiss. We danced around those lips every night, as we were inseparable, and her smell was the only lullaby, but we postponed the kiss masterfully, like the world’s best procrastinators, like a pigeon that didn’t wanna go to war, like Cupid was on strike, so that when it finally happened, both accidentally locked in one of her cousin’s houses after we sneaked in to pet her disabled cat – I remember it was this gargantuan cat that couldn’t bend its rear legs due to some childhood ailment – the owner of the house and the cat’s momma remembered she didn’t lock the house so she returned from her night shift just to stick a key in our unforeseen shrilling happiness, seagulls atop the roof gently chirping a melody anaesthetic in its splendor, my love knew we had to part for the first time in her life – a month of studying for an exam I had to take in September – us magicians of our own device, she merely said ‘when’, no uplifting interrogation intonation, ‘when’, and I immediately replied ‘in a month’, ‘how did you know’, ‘I’m you’, and then she… ‘I’m you too’, and we kissed ever so violently, and that was us making love, two strangers in the night, exchanging glances, wondering in the night what were the chances… the cat startled us with her legendary mane, hopping about as it could not be feline in her walk, I think I had an orgasm just from kissing, but she did too, so fucks cared, we were entangled and height, weight, hair length and synchronised breathing all worked in our favor, how magnificent was that kiss that it came up now with the same intensity it ruined our lives then…

We were both knackered from the month-long suspense, so we fell asleep in each other’s arms, and I can only imagine what befell her cousin’s mind when in the morning she found us sleeping, completely embraced, her on her belly lying on my chest, seagulls on every windowpane and that kangaroo of a cat fallen in-between our legs, a furry friend charging its mythical batteries at the socket of an Olympian Androgyne.

We were happy.

Nobody scolded us for breaking in.

I used the cousin’s toothbrush, trying to be quiet about it because the bathroom had a weird echoing resonance, only to find out that was the cat’s toothbrush. Jokes on me, man. Jokes on me.

The cat-garoo.

Whiskers.

Whiskers improvising on the piano…

I would never waste an opportunity to love. I promised myself that. YouTube gave way to love in 2008, maybe YouTube had a clue as to who my anonymous mouse sticky post-it sticker writer was in 2019. Imagine if it were her…

as tragic as it ended, the thought scattered in the wind immediately

she was gone

and this was a video of a cat playing the piano. go figure. wait. there’s a comment. the first comment:

Don’t expect much from this stranger, because I rarely know what I mean to say, but your appearance today struck me with an unforeseeable awe, the kind only a good song in a mystic afternoon could bring.

her youtube channel was void of any clues as to who she was. breadcrumbs lead to another trail: her username, ‘Sour Cream Comes Home’, and it was also another YouTube video, and on it she commented again:

Wait for me at the little wooden foyer at 16:00 on The Beer.

cryptic, but not so much, as The Beer was a festivity our city had once a year. There was a circus coming to town and the municipality would erect various amusement rides, the kinds that all fairs have: Roller coasters, Ferris Wheels, The Zodiac, The Stampede.

It wasn’t a game anymore. this was a full grown date. and she picked a magical place, a kind of love marker that youngsters don’t practice anymore. people have forgotten to wish their love, to plan it, they went from fate playing a role in love to leaving it to fate completely, and their love stories stink of boredom and Instagram/Tinder chatter, cigarettes in a prepubescent lung and silly selfies on a bench. she had style. I was hooked.

I was going to see my mystery writer next Wednesday…

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