Cine Doré, Calle Santa Isabel 3
He opened the door for me and I stepped out of the heat on the Calle de Santa Isabel into the art nouveau lobby of the cinema, where lunch was served. Quiet and uncrowded, the restaurant would have been the perfect prelude to a casual encounter, but the gaudy blue velvet upholstery and bleach-white miniature columns made me feel like I was playing a part in an old black and white silent movie.
Over the first course, he confessed that he was convalescing from illness. I forgave the desperate hands that constantly wandered under the table or caressed my face, the fingers I had to push away so that I could finish my meal. His gestures and my rejection – the comical and pathetic replaying of an old scene.
Then I understood his desire to be love freely, to keep our acquaintance in the realm of dreams, fiction and sex, and not the mundane world of illness, work and death … but I couldn’t give him that.