Thursday, July 05, 2007


In the coffee shop I saw the man I should have made love with 50 years ago. Every time he came into that college literature class, he looked at me with those immense dark eyes in that long head of his that suggested the head of some mythological horse creature – obviously Greek with a beauty that overwhelmed me – and his eyes drank me in every time, eyes that never blinked and whose blackness was bottomless. I was so repressed that I could only ignore his steady stares in my direction, but there was also the problem that I was with my straight friend who noticed the man’s look and teased me about it, forcing me to strongly deny any interest, and I had not begun to accept myself because I had yet to find someone who would let me know that I would still have friends if I took a male lover. With so many fears in those times, including imprisonment for being gay, I feared the boy whom I should have loved, could have loved so beautifully, beginning my gay life beautifully, instead of accidentally. And now he stood before me in the coffee shop, and now I was willing to be the lover I should have been, but now my young beautiful Greek boy looks through me as if I am a pane of ice held in front of a blue sky. Here’s that bitter lump in the throat: The ones that got away never swim back.

1 comment:

Junk Thief said...

A lovely tribute to the work and spirit of Cavafy, a reminder of the poet that lurks behind every accountant or bank clerk. I increasingly relate to his work and perspective of desires past and present, though mine might be more Spanish than Greek focused, but Greece isn't bad either.