He, the one and only
the man without features, a former boyfriend
(I will use the present tense because he is still alive and, of course, still the same.)
When I met him the first time, I was surprised. After discovering him after, little by little, at the end of our journey, I was in total shock. It was hard to accept and find an explanation for reaching the final level of understanding: I knew he was alive, somewhere, but couldn’t believe at all I finally found him. And our encounter ended up in an overwhelming perplexity. Mine, of course, because in his case, I must confess that despite my efforts and availability I was not able to find the common vocabulary and easy to understand words.
But, what I am writing about? What it the kind of man I found? The wonderful charming unique and never-but-never –live-me Prince? Of course, not, be it because from my early and late childhood I was more interested about nature than of the uncertainty of the games between Princes and Princesses. The answer to the two last question, the very subject of my short story is him, the man without features, a former boyfriend. Any feature at all. Even I thought over and over again about this “story” lately and before and during, I cannot mention, despite my turbulent sometimes creativity and imagination any single feature of him. Any single word – simple or composed – to describe him exactly. And he is real not an evanescent, imaginary creature and not a humanoid robot from the last generation.
Let’s recap: Not smart, but not stupid at all, his opinions being expressed in basic words and with a minimum of imagination. In fact, he don’t like to talk too much, including on the phone, most part of our usual communication being made of short messages, in the teenager’s slang (when we met he was in the middle of his forties). He don’t like to read either, because never enough time to and some times, mostly nowadays books have an impressive number of pages and it is at least a one-year-project to succeed in reading a minimum of 200 pages. So, better to do not. After a normal and exhausting day of work, he is going home, answers e-mails – with “yes”, “not”, “maybe”, “thank you”; to do not expect him to write more than one paragraph with maximum four sentences per month; when I did it, at the beginning of our story, after the six long and good written, in my opinion, piece of e-mail, left unanswered, he told me, all smile, to stop doing this because it is too long and he’s too busy. He is having an amazing amount of “friends” made via various social networking sites. Once in a week, he is having an exchange with one of them, of the kind: how are you?/Good, thank you, plus, maybe some comments about last status updates. Appreciatively maximum five minutes of “conversation”. If asked what kind of people those “friends” are he would mention the country and some obvious physical appearances. For him, this is more than enough; he simply needs to have them all, abstracted under the unclear photos. He rarely succeed to meet some of them in person, as the list in itself is changing very often, some sunny faces being replaced by others. “Why”?, I asked him once? “Some of them are so so boring”, come the answer.
Musical choices? Not experimental rock, or jazz or classical, but the atmosphere, chill out sound, no authorship recognition necessary. Not exactly fitting the usual stereotype of “carrying and romantic” type, but it would be a lie to say he was indifferent or cold. Offering a minimum but consistent sentimental comfort – a “honey” word, a short trip out, a dinning out, a “happy birthday” in advance, the favourite flower etc. And he loves to travel, all across the world: tomorrow in Shanghai, yesterday in Bucharest, one week from now in Toronto or Guatemala. In each case, he followed scrupulously the recommendations from the guide, took pictures with the most famous places and…planning another destination. And another hobby of him is photography, with an impressive collection of his authorship’s photos. The topics: photos of empty streets, lonely trees from the forest, animals from the zoo, sea and the clouds plus the sky. He loves sports and football and is going almost monthly with his gang to watch live matches, but without any kind of reactions to be read on his face. Because, yes, for the first time in my life, I accepted to go several times on a stadium, not only by curiosity of watching the people around, but also as part of my tremendous efforts to understand him somehow. But nothing was to kill softly our relationship than his politeness. Never fighting, no arguments, answering my impatience with the “let’s take it easy” poetry.
I, I took the decision to say “good bye”. He listened – politely, of course – my exposé – limited at maximum three minutes, to do not bore too much the audience - nodded and added: “But we could still be friends, isn’t it?” It was the formula applied for other former wives and girlfriends. Probably, he is afraid of being completely alone.
And, it is how my story ends. He was not the first, not the last, and when we meet I haven’t been in any kind of existential – “change your taste in men” - dilemma. It is how the whole history went on. And nothing else happened.
And my question I am insisting I deserve an answer once in my lifetime is the following: Why I fall in love with him? Because at least for a while it was what happened with me. So, thinking about it is more or less my very personal problem.