Love outside the panel walls

ʻWe are like immigrants. We both have a place to live, but it feels great to flee. And to have sex here, in the entrance of some building…ʼ, Ben talks to me while panting for breath. He looks around to make sure nobody sees us. We are both shivering. Is it with happiness, is it with cold…? I’ve known him for a few months but still have no idea what his pillow smells like. Or what the colour of his toothbrush is. I know only for sure that sometimes, when he cuts his hair with a hair clipper (and he does it so he can focus), he involuntarily makes “holes” in his head and then hides them with black shoe polish. Ben is not a typically handsome man. He has a rather peculiar face, with pointy, elf-like ears despite my numerous attempts to “pin” them closer to his head with kisses. As if nature had been drunk with happiness and playing the slot machine while working on his face. As a matter of fact, he is one of those guys you are a little embarrassed to go out with and have coffee with your girlfriends. Strangely enough, all it takes is to look at you and you feel like as if you’ve been hit by a train.

Well, we went out for coffee with my girlfriends. The whole time they were flaring their nostrils, trying to catch the scent of Armani in the air but to no avail. It was as if they all were living in a bubble of industrial love based on domestic sex, shiny gifts, and mundane names like “babe”. Not a trace of love fanaticism. Not a sign of madness. At that time, of course, I still had no idea that our street love would get tired, too, and would enter the warm home, where, even more tired, it would drown in the soup. I was damn sure about one thing, though: that everything my acquaintances and their boyfriends or girlfriends were going through, was sheer ruins compared to our benign and raw love; love that had never been in the kitchen.

Late afternoon, at sunset. The city is moving around us, rocking like a gondola. And we are either beneath it – the dregs of society, or above it – gods of the filthy centre of Sofia. We are both walking, sucked into the afternoon vacuum, looking for the shabbiest and most inspiring place to shelter us. We are very thorough in our search and finally come across the perfect place – the Tsura Hotel next to Lions’ Bridge. In fact, Tsura is a parody of life – a cocktail of bad smells and international absurdity. But we are there now to make this dump our little heaven. We are also here to smoke one incredible joint (but we still don’t know that).

The yellow bulb hanging from the ceiling is flickering more and more often. I have been staring at it for ages and it is now almost a blur. Now it looks like resin, which promises a lot of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Ben and I are trying to hold our minds in an embrace. Reality is a blitz. Everything begins. Everything ends. You blink once and you are already dead. We are in bed, having sex. It is warm. The feeling increases thousandfold because of the weed. The excitement breaks, stuns us and then brings us back into the real world. Was that a dream or in the moments, spent in that room, our life was actually beginning to make any sense? We had all but one exit – our bodies. There, in the total misery of the neighbourhood and the hotel, our skins, our warmth, our blood cost ten times more than under normal circumstances. The fact that we loved each other was more than enough.

ʻI think I have to kill myself. I can’t live with the thought that you exist. I feel like I’ve got holes in me. I can’t help talking to you. I want to kill the whole world. It is meant to be ours. Besides, I am bloody jealous of everybody who looks at you. I want to have a baby with you, damn it!ʼ, at that moment he deliberately fell flat on his face and it started bleeding. ʻThis pain is nothing compared to the pain I feel because of you…!ʼ
That’s how we spent our time – talking, fist-fucking life; wasting our parents’ money on bullshit and it was magical; riding in taxis without direction and telling the cab drivers made-up stories; playing tennis with the stars, lying face up on the asphalt (moving our heads to the left and then to the right, meanwhile keeping one eye shut). These were the last carefree moments. These were the last kisses this life gave us before it brutally fucked us.

The beginning of the end was the day when his grandma kicked him out of their place and told him the sacred words, whose meaning, no matter how evasive it is, will someday come back to you like a boomerang and will hit you on the head.

ʻSon, it is time to grow up.ʼ And without even realising it, as if 5 inches taller, we were walking in the streets, carrying a heavy burden on our shoulders. We were buying newspapers and checking the ads for flats to rent. And we were still stoned in love. It didn’t matter what dump we would live in.

ʻIf you can’t get the computer from your place, we’ll buy you an old typewriter, we can find one in front of the St. Alexander Nevski cathedral,ʼ he looked at me. And I felt like as if I’d been hit by a train. We bought a typewriter. And we went on to see our first flat at the “Suhata reka” residential district.

I hate churches. It’s probably because of the dim light, enough to hint that life goes on. On our way, however, we saw a church and I was irresistibly attracted to it. We decided to enter. Anyway, we still had no place to stay. It was empty, there was only one nine-year-old boy who was on his knees silently praying, his head resting on the ground.

ʻI want to become a priest, because I still wet my bed,ʼ he smiled at us and gave us his blessing. That was our little priest. That was the first time when we had kissed in a church… together. And our last.

To Be Continued…