The first time you invited me into your apartment I couldn’t say no. I didn’t even stop to think what that would have made you think of me, I was just too curious. I had already learnt so much from being with you for a few hours that maybe I was expecting some sort of revelation when you finally let me into your world.
Maybe you don’t remember much, everything and everyone has changed so much since then. You’ve probably replaced it with some recent memory, a happier memory that I am not part of. But I still have that capacity to remember things to the smallest detail, something I learned from you and that I treasure, even if it’s just a distraction to avoid thinking about myself and the present.
That’s why I remember how your enormous rusty key turned in the lock, the squeaky little noise the door made welcoming us, and the smell. Your place had such a powerful scent that it was hard to believe it was all just a part of you and not something that belonged to all the people who’d lived there since the building was there. Still, it felt inviting, like wood and red apples and cigarettes all mixed into one.
Three steps into the living room and you asked me to take off my shoes please, to keep the carpet clean. I thought it was odd since there was a big stain that looked like the shadow of a cat napping on the smooth hairy surface of the carpet. But it didn’t move and I decided to take off my boots quickly and not say anything for the moment.
An arm stretch to the right was the couch or the bed, or both. It was the same broken down piece of furniture and it served every purpose but you gave it different names depending on the time of day and what we were doing. Maybe it was a way in your mind to make the tiny place seem bigger, as if there was enough space for both a three seater sofa and a king-size bed.
We would sit on it close to each other towards the middle where it sank slightly, facing the stereo. We drank your favourite white wine, the dry one that smelt like summer afternoons and tasted like rain, while you played me your record collection. It was your treasure; you’d describe the music you knew by heart like poetry, while you caressed the vinyl surfaces with the tips of your fingers. You said that was the most sensitive part of your body.
I’ll admit that sometimes I’ll wonder whether you do hold memories of those times. Maybe you can still map out every piece of furniture in that place too. And maybe you can still see me in your mind, remember how I smelt, my voice and the shape of me that you outlined with your hands so many times on that bed.