He came to visit. He travelled from lands afar to meet and greet, indicated my family with a ceramic bowl, stroked the welcoming, yet sometimes glaring, head of my dog. He made a good impression on them and on me. We explored the city, some parts of which I hadn’t seen for so long and all of which he hadn’t ever seen or would have imagined he was going to see. He entered my safe haven, which wasn’t made any less safe by his arrival. He fitted in, he washed his dishes, he hung out with me and my sister as we watched on in pride as our family friend, sometimes referred to as our baby sis, sang shakily in a local, trendy bar to a receptive and generous crowd. We moved from action to action smoothly, naturally, at ease, as if we had known each other for years, as if this wasn’t the first time we had met in the flesh. He tried the “exotic” food of my mother, who fed him like he was her own. “Eat. Eat more.” Typical Indian hospitality. We walked the dog around my leafy neighbourhood and watched the route of my bus journey, strolled up and down Oxford Road and skated on some ice. He seemed impressed by my ability. He watched me as he took little strides, watched me as I went from holding on like a scared child to sprinting as fast as I could, absorbing the moment, allowing the fresh icy air to cool down my exerted efforts. We shared a bed, although unlike a new bout of passionate lust, we took it steady, making sure that we continued to follow suit, to not rush…. as per our journey so far. It had taken me over a year to let him in for fear of pain and even as I write this I do wonder, in a reflective manner, how I came to be so guarded. Shouldn’t an experience like this, and my life in general, make me feel content? If I’m questioning him still, should I be pursuing this? Why do I have to ask so many questions?
We slept easily after my volcanic eruption, like a felled tree lying heavy on the moss. Laughter happened – and that is most definitely the way to my heart.