we met julian in dublin, one night. he was wet the same way stray dogs are wet when they’re lost in the rain. we took him home and he stayed with us for three days. we never left the house during those days. when I say ‘we’ I mean myself and tina. I guess we never went out because all we needed was there. we fell in love with julian. instant love. no-need-to-explain love. we spent most of the time looking at julian and trying to communicate with him in alternative ways. words didn’t work because he spoke no english. julian is (was?) from france. he was confused by the way we kept staring at him but at the same time he seemed to understand that something was going on. in other moments we danced and performed for him, something that he didn’t seem to enjoy rather than being surprised by. as if suddenly he discovered the way a person can be free. we didn’t know what happened to him before but life must have been rough with him. I think that’s why we always felt the urge to tell him that we were his friends. those with julian where strange and happy days. one night something happened, though. it was obvious that we where both sexually attracted to him, but engaging in a three-sum with tina is something I’d never be able to do. that night, julian slept with her and I slept in my room which was next to hers. that was the first and last time I felt jealousy for tina, because she was getting something I wanted. I couldn’t fall asleep because my body kept shaking at the thought of being left out. it was obvious that julian was moving his first steps into his gayness but it was still early for him to sleep with a guy. and my fear of rejection prevented me from making the first move. that’s what it was. it was just for a moment, that night, but it was intense. the strange thing is that above anything else I felt alive and I felt that I was leading the life I wanted to live. even if I couldn’t have him at least I knew what i wanted and I think, in the end, that’s what we were trying to pass on to him those days: that freedom only comes with courage, and even when you have it, you have to fight to keep it. every day of your life. since then, there have been so many times where I felt my ownness was slipping away and had to get it back, whether it took leaving the country, going out for a walk or saying fuck off. he was seeing that, through us, and he was making a decision. he seemed to be saying to us: that’s how I want to live, I understand, there is no other way. if the days with julian come up during a conversation we are always struck by how important it was meeting him, even for such a short time. mirroring us, he reinforced our decisions and made our encounter the most unforgettable exchange. when we talk about him, we always hope it’s the same for him. the thought that he removed us from his memory is saddening but also unlikely.
it’s the last morning, julian really has to go. we put him on a cab headed for I don’t remember where. I can see his long dark hair and his perfect lips behind the glass, his shy hand waving goodbye. we close the door behind us. we both have our robes on. we don’t talk about him much. we make coffee. I can’t remember what we did that day. we never saw him again.