There’s a red lipstick smear across my pillow. I think about the traces I left on the wine glass, the starched bleach-white napkin, his cheek. Maybe other places too. A monogram. Another passport stamp. I was here. This was mine, for a night, for a fleeting moment. For a fleeting moment we were lovers atop the Empire State, poets on Canal and Bowery, Hemingway in a dive bar, and rebels without a cause. Sunshine is pouring in now through the curtains, casting shards of light and lightness that dance across his back. New York beckons but the air in this hotel room on the fifth floor is thick with sleep, regret, and him. Him. The slow rise and fall of his chest, naked against the white sheets. I hear his breath, heavy and slow, I don’t turn over to look but I can picture his almost-black hair on the pillow, the sharp angles of a jaw line in stark contrast to the soft, down duvet and its rounded corners. If you know me like you think you do, you’d know his eyes are green. I’ve only ever had two vices, smoking and green-eyed men. I haven’t smoked since the new year but I refuse to renounce the second. The warmth of the bed is enveloping, tempting and teasing. I’m reminded of last night. The faintest headache, a sea of emerald green, the just-woken deepness in his voice and unshaven cheek tickling my shoulders, they all try to keep me here but I slip out and start the shower. It’s too late to tangle the sheets, to linger in languid kisses and questions, the day awaits. I rub what’s left of the red lipstick off my lips, smearing it across my face and on the back of my hand.
We walk hand in hand, his free hand wrapped around a paper coffee cup with those plastic lids you can't fully trust. He never drinks American coffee. The only time he does is in New York, as if this city changes things- me, you, him, here we don't exist. Here, he drinks coffee in a takeaway cup and holds my hand and lingers and laughs. We don't exist on these streets and if we don't exist, I suppose this never happened.
A note on this new category "Creative Writing". Writing has always been a love of mine and is one of the main reasons I started to blog in the first place, basically to have a reason to write. At times, I feel like I need to be able to indulge in some creative writing in addition to the informative content I provide about expat life and all things Italy and Italian. So every once in awhile for now on, you may see some short pieces pop up with the header of Creative Writing. Just know they are my little experiments and that they should be considered fiction unless otherwise stated, although as is the case for most writers, inspired in some ways by my own experiences. Thanks for reading.