there is an indeterminable disquiet which surfaces when a lover turns into a friend, a compounded frustration; not at all like making an acquaintance which holds within it such unrealised potential. with my meagre grasp of economies it seems that it would be a far more rewarding endeavour than chasing lovers, which i suppose is what brought this poverty upon me.

lisbon; outside a bar in bairro alto, where the summer heat still radiates after sunset, i’m on the app but i’m with others so he doesn’t know where i am, i don’t know him but i see him standing there, replying to my delicious promises; so beautifully eager, he is the spirit of my will. the crowd moves to a different bar up the street, i leave with them, now 500m then 800m. i suddenly feel cheap.

at 8pm it was lights out in the dormitory, i couldn’t sleep. my bed was cold and thin, i kept on concentrating on the shadow of the tree moving on his, only finally feeling a smile form on my face as his rapid breathing quietened with the familiar sigh of release.

at the pool; i dry myself while watching him undress. his body is flawless and the more he uncovers it, the more i want to cover mine. my attention however moves to his shirt which he carefully hangs on the door of the locker, a crisp flash of white with no trace of tell tale sweat stains or under arm evidence of self consciousness; i can’t help wondering who irons those sleeves that all day long caress his perfect naked arms.

the disappointing realisation that all strangers are alike, those you know and those you don’t.

after the movie i sit down at a table recently abandoned, i look at what he has left behind in the hope of finding a clue which may reveal something of his life’s desires but the only evidence of his existence in my world is the imprint of his backside on the vinyl chair and the overly sweet scent of a popular cologne.

we met later for a lighthearted dinner, with the kind of talk that leaves you wondering if he’s serious or just naive; i found myself strangely comfortable with my insecurity, but perhaps it was the fact that he never took his hand off my thigh and even when i showed him the photo on my mobile he simply smiled, flattered by my attention.

it’s already past three when i leave the club, i wait for the taxi having a surprisingly civil conversation with the doorman about photography and shoe sizes. i see the lights spill onto the street and a couple of air kisses later i’m seated in the back of of a large black sedan.
it’s my third time with the same driver, although i doubt he noticed, i was wearing a lot of make-up the last time for that exact reason. he is silent and apart from a thin stream of music i can only hear the cars go by; floating safely through the familiar dangers of the streets.