The Mind Wobbles

So many things to absorb, think about, deal with and put up with - it simply makes the mind wobble...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Ivan

Looking at old pictures and going through old papers can bring back all kinds of memories long dormant. People, places and feelings of which you hadn't thought in years suddenly they’re right there, front and center. The other day I came across a museum program from the late 80s…a lifetime, no at least two lifetimes ago.

Misty water colored memories indeed...

He made his entrance into the museum with his usual flashy style. Ivan wouldn’t just walk into a room, he exploded into it. His long, dark hair, streaked with gray, flowed behind him, as if blown by a wind machine. The white outfit hung on is long, lean body, making him appear taller and thinner and brighter.

As he walked further into the room, his long arms would reach out to everyone, hugging, caressing, shaking hands. Everyone knew he had arrived, especially me. My eyes snapped to him the moment he appeared and I couldn’t stop looking at him after that. But, I didn’t move from my spot by the beautiful gray and taupe colored painting, I waited for him to come to me. And, of course, he did.

Our flirtation had begun in his studio a few weeks prior when I discovered the Bakery Center Art Complex. The Bakery Center housed new artists, providing them with inexpensive studio and display space. I visited every studio, reveling in so much beauty. I walked into Ivan’s studio and instantly fell in love…not with Ivan, but with his work. When I entered the small, cluttered area, it stood empty, except for the canvases. One in particular entranced me as I walked in. It was huge, taking up the entire wall it leaned against, with broad strokes of bright tropical colors depicting a woman overlooking the beach. I stood there, transfixed, gaping at the painting, when I heard a deep, resounding laugh. When I turned I saw a magnificent man, his bare chest tan, sinewy, covered with dark, curly hair and paint. “I love how you look at my work” he said, smilingly widely.

After talking about his work for a while we went to lunch at a nearby Haitian restaurant and talked for a long time, nothing too intense, just introductory banter. Although we exchanged numbers, I wrote it off as another one of those wonderful chance encounters you can enjoy when you’re single, but of little importance. So, his invitation that evening to an opening at a funky little gallery on the Beach caught me by surprise…but thrilled me nonetheless.

That night turned out to be the first of several gallery jaunts and avant-garde adventures, where Ivan exposed me to a side of Miami I didn’t know, but loved. Each time we got together I felt a buzz of excitement and attraction, and he seemed prone to touching me, holding my hand, leaning in to me. Yet, something kept nagging at me about him and that something kept me from taking the physical aspect of our relationship a step further. It was something indefinable, yet there. Maybe it was a cadence in his voice, or his approach to art and aesthetics in general. Or the fact that that he looked at many of the good looking men that crossed our path the same way he looked me.

Now, back at the Museum, as he walked towards me I felt that same attraction, and when he touched my back, the goose bumps erupted instantly. We spent the entire evening together surrounded by friends, admiring the beautiful art, and enjoying the opening party. Our bodies were touching, in some fashion, the entire time. Afterwards, as I got into his old, rusty little car he leaned over and kissed my neck, and I let him. During dinner we barely spoke, but it felt comfortable and intimate nonetheless. His deep, chocolate-brown eyes looking at me made me breathless, and it appeared that same look made our handsome, blond waiter nervous. Afterwards when I returned from the restroom, I saw Ivan gently brush the waiter’s pale face with his strong, dark hand as he smiled at him tenderly, tucking a folded piece of paper into his pocket as I approached. I surprised myself at not being surprised.

After dinner, rather than driving me home, Ivan drove towards the airport. As we drove along Perimeter Road I knew what he had in mind, and I wondered how I should handle it. It had been a while since I had made-out in a car parked on the road running alongside the Miami Airport runway, and I smiled in the darkness as he maneuvered the car so that it would face the runway.

I definitely couldn’t let things get too carried away with a man I suspected of being bisexual - it was dangerous both physically and emotionally. He turned off the motor and got out of the car, quickly coming around to my side and opening the door. I stepped out, still wondering how to handle this. I stepped into the back seat and leaned back closing my eyes as he slid into the seat next to me. I felt his arm pull me close to him as my breath got shallow, my heart beating quickly. I opened my eyes and looked into his beautiful smiling face, “Ivan”, I asked, “are you bisexual?”

He caressed my face and laughed a wonderful, throaty laugh, his eyes sparkling as he looked at me. Just then I made my decision, as I pulled his face towards mine. I really wanted to kiss him, that’s all…just kiss him. And that’s exactly what I did, as a plane roared into the darkness, causing the earth to shake…at least…I think it was the plane.

We saw each other for a while and then drifted away as so often happens. I don't know where he is, but I hope wherever he is, he's happy and being his fabulous self. And I hope if he remembers me, that the memory makes him smile that dazzling smile.


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