Love & Lust

The summer sun streams through the windows, illuminating the parts of our bodies that are uncovered. I can’t take my eyes off of Thiago who is fast asleep after a night of drinking and dancing. It’s how we’ve spent most of our nights in the four weeks that we’ve been together. If we aren’t partying then we’re fucking or sleeping.

I lean over and watch as his chest rises and falls, tracing his smooth, tanned skin with my fingertips, outlining every muscle and crevice. I shift my body close enough to him that I can feel his warm sleeping breath on my neck. His brown curls are matted to his forehead with sweat from the heat that fills his small bedroom. The floor is littered with the clothes we stripped from each others bodies last night, my jeans and tank top are crumpled into a ball that peaks out from underneath the bed.

Naked, I stumble over to the small desk and light a Dunhill cigarette from the pack that sits there, inhaling deeply as I wait for the ancient computer to turn on. My mom has written to update me on news back in Rhode Island. She tells me that everyone is doing well, they’ve been inundated with snow again, and that the O.J. Simpson trial started today.

Remnants of a life I no longer recognize.

We met on a crowded street in Lapa, a boho club district in downtown Rio. The thick humidity caused sweat to pool on my back and chest and the scent of weed and cigarette smoke was everywhere as bachata music from the surrounding clubs boomed in the streets where people stood and sat with beers. His shirt was off and his chest gleamed with sweat as he smiled at me and handed me a lighter as I put a cigarette in my mouth. I wanted to giggle as he brought the lighter to my face. We danced all night the first time we met and never parted ways. The silence between us is comfortable and we speak through the motions of our bodies instead of through words; partly because of his broken English and my broken Portuguese.

I stub out the cigarette and reach for the joint in the ashtray. I scroll through more emails and see the confirmation for my airplane ticket home in two weeks. I don’t want to leave but the semester ended weeks ago and there aren’t any options for me to stay. I open up the window to try to let some air into the sweltering room. I sit on the chair naked and smoke the joint while I stare at Thiago. My stomach flutters whenever I look at him but today it feels like it is filled with lead. I have to figure out how to tell him that I’m leaving in two weeks. Or I don’t.

Thick smoke hangs in the still air as I climb back into the bed and wrap my arms around his thick warm body. I want him to hold me and kiss me and to continue exploring each other bodies. My eyes move from his chest – smooth and warm pressed partly against my breasts – and up to his face. His eyelashes are longer than mine almost touching his cheeks which rest high upon his face like tiny figs. I move my arms from out beneath the sheets and begin tracing his full lips. I want to run my fingers through his curls but stop myself anxious not to wake him up just yet.

The room is almost silent except for the chirping of the birds and the yawn of the ceiling fan fluttering above our heads. Nothing is helping me to escape from the revolving flow of thoughts that pervade my mind as I lie in bed. I want to get out of this bed, pack my bags, and slip away. I want to freeze time so that we never have to leave this momentary bliss. I want everything to work out so that no one is hurt. Each potential solution I’ve thought of has fallen apart moments later when reality struck.

His eyes begin to open “Bom Dia, Bonita”. We smile at each other and embrace; our bodies becoming one. His mouth opens in pleasure as my legs open to his touch. We move through the bed and tangled sheets and I look into his eyes full of lust and love. Today isn’t the day. Not yet, not right now.


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