I made it to Venice early on New Year’s Eve. It was still dark when I arrived, and even though it was tricky (my phone died) I made my way into a crisply-sheeted bed.
And then we had a day, and at that day’s close we celebrated the year’s end with Champagne and too many cigarettes and Cake. And not just any Cake: fucking tiramisu.
I’m here with Lisa; the last time I saw her was at our hotel in Kyoto where we parted ways not knowing what was about to happen. I heard she was coming to Italy in the wee hours after my last birthday, and we pretty immediately made a plan to meet up. Before we hung up the phone, she asked me, “have you had any Cake today?”
But early in 2021, when I was still getting my Balkan legs, I found myself in Albania’s colorful capital where I met an Italian who bought me Cake for breakfast. And within 24 hours of my arrival in Italy, with Lisa and I reunited, I heard from him for the first time since March.
“Estas en Italia???” he asked me, having seen my stories touting my Venetian New Year’s celebrations. The very ones that were replete with Cake.
I mused, way back then, how he was not that type yet was somehow indistinguishable from the Cake that I should believe that I deserve. And though I just recently related, after receiving my new passport, how that period I spent filling it was spent reinventing myself into someone who knew oh-so decidedly what they deserve, I find myself reading and re-reading his messages very aware that I seem to have forgotten why I had resolved to not see him anymore.
“I am absolutely sure that the other cake in this story isn’t even the one I want,” I wrote the day after Valentine’s Day last year, “but it feels so much like it, and all of my love-starved skin is drinking it in like a drug.”
And see, the latter part of that sentence is all I can really remember, as in remember how it felt. And now that he’s opened this line of communication I feel like the former has completely dissipated from my mind, and all that is left is the faux-care that he has for me that I have reinvented into some form love to convince myself of… several things.
Chief among them is that I can show up in Milan and let him fuck me with no consequences, which, logically, I’m pretty sure cannot occur.
November is usually when my inbox feels like a minefield, when, in actions that I annually attribute to Scorpio season, all of my exes seem to come out of the woodwork to say hello. But this year it just feels like it never ended, and my exes from Paris and Tirana and Seattle and Miami and now Bergamo have become an ever-present fixture across the multiple platforms that I maintain.
But this one feels immediate, and, quite frankly, I feel a little out of control.
And I feel like this may turn into something that I let happen to me rather than take an active hand, yet I have no will nor the know-how to prevent it. Like watching a raw egg roll from your counter when your hands are full.
And all I can do is watch it fall.