Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sunday morning knocks (by Manny López)

Sunday morning knocks
from the book " Room at the Top"


por Manuel A. López


Every Sunday morning at about nine o’clock or so I hear the same knock on my door. I hear their voices whispering among themselves. The first time it happened I thought who in the hell is knocking at my door so early. When I opened the door it happened to be a group of Jehovah’s Witness doing their rounds. I simply said not interested, and closed the door. The following week it was again the same thing. On the third weekend having gone to bed late, and in a foul mood I simply ignored the knocks…pounding at my door. Life went about its course when one weekend a man I was totally attracted to slept over, and we were enjoying a Sunday morning coffee.

The pounding on the door began as usual, and I was foaming at the mouth; cursing their God, and their Church, and everything they were involved with. The man sat back happily, not being bothered at all. He looked at me and asked me if I wanted him to handle it. Tired of the same litany, I replied yes. He went downstairs, and without thinking twice opened the door wide open totally naked. At the door there were two men, ready to launch into their programmed speeches. They were completely shocked at what was before them; a totally naked man stroking his penis.

Their faces turned red and excused themselves and turned away. My man stood at the doorway, not a single care in the world. One of the two men turned to look, and my man squinted wickedly back at him. He closed the door behind him with an uncontrollable laugh. I was in shock; yet relieved because I was sure they were not coming back, and they would tell the others not to either.

A few weeks later, I was making coffee all by my lonesome self. The exhibitionist and I lasted less than five days together. He called me one day and simply said love had not flourished between us; and that was the end of it all. I went back to my books, to the never ending saga with the Poet, which everyday seemed to last forever. But on that particular morning waiting for the coffee to brew, standing by the window looking out to the birds in the trees I heard a single knock in the door. I said to myself this is not a typical knock; let me put some clothes on.

As I opened the door; there he was… the guy who had turned back to look at my naked man.

He seemed extremely nervous, shaking like a leaf of lettuce. I was extremely direct asking him what he wanted. He extended his hand and said, “My name is Leonardo, nice to meet you”.

I did not give him my name; I simply shook his sweaty but strong hand, and motioned for him to come in; which he did. Once inside, he was shocked at his surroundings, and made small talk saying how pretty this, and how pretty that. I sat in the couch looking him over. I did offer to give him some coffee, but he replied that he didn’t drink coffee. Sitting quietly on one side of the sofa, waiting for him to make the next move, I stared at him persistently.

It must have been more than twenty minutes or so, but finally he sat next to me, and without saying a word he touched my face. Caressing me with his hands, touching my full lips, opening my mouth and inserting his fingers I was beyond myself. Who would believe me if I told this story?

He spoke, and when he did, it was a smooth voice which had lost a bit of the edge, a bit of the nervousness it had before. “I want to lie in bed with you, just lay there together, holding each other, nothing more. Can we do it?” he said. I got up and took his hand and went upstairs to my unmade bed. He took his shoes off, and got under the covers with me. We held each other without speaking a word. I fell asleep, and when I woke up he was gone. Next to me he had left a piece of paper, and scribbled on it in a messy handwriting it said, “Para el extraño que hoy me dio medicina para seguir viviendo. Gracias…”, it says, “ To the stranger who gave me medicine to keep on living. Thanks…”

I don’t think I was able to do anything else that day. I stayed in bed until late, just going down to take a shower and to eat something. I held that piece of crumpled paper all day long wishing that I could have told him that he in turn, gave me huge doses of HOPE.

Manuel A. Lopez

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