The Chaste Lovers

Fresco on the House of the Chaste Lovers. Detail
There must have been a time when I wasn’t in love with you. In which I could pass next to you and not feel my blood getting warmer. There must have been. But I have no memory of it. I cannot imagine a world in which I don’t love you.
I think I know how it began. One day, some weeks after I started working in the office, I looked in your direction. I didn’t do it for any particular reason. It was just an accident. But when I looked at you, I caught your eyes on me. You immediately looked away, embarrassed. I smiled. That was the night I dreamt of you for the first time.

It was so intense that it was difficult, the day after, to be with you, in the same place. Nothing like that had never happened before in my life.
I dreamt of you again, after a few days. And again. And again. And in those dreams you were mine and I was yours.
From Dreams and not from Life, I learnt to recognise the sound of your walk when you enter a room. Through Dreams I became familiar with the curve of your neck and the taste of your skin. But do not think that I don’t enjoy seeing you everyday in Life. I love everything of you. Even the pain of being so close. I love how serious you look when you work. Like a child pretending to be a grown up. You are so composed, you would never interrupt someone, no matter how boring or useless they are. You wait until you’re sure they are done, and then you speak. You do not realise how seductive is your brightness. I like your spectacles; they look like round shell frames for your incredible eyes. 

I didn’t understand at the beginning what was going on. I thought I was dreaming of you because I liked you so much. And that was enough. It took me a while.
It happened one night, when we were together and I was caressing your hair. Then my finger followed your profile and landed on your shoulder. I started playing with your dress. A light green one, you know the one I’m talking about. “It’s a nice dress,” I told you as I started unbuttoning it. And you smiled. In a way you don’t do in Life. You have that smile only in Dreams.
But the day after, in the office, you were wearing that same dress. And I finally understood that they weren’t just my dreams. They were our dreams. 
It was almost impossible that day to pretend to be indifferent. Not to smile at you, not to grin. But it is our secret. And we are both so jealous of it. We never said a single word to each other in Life. Nothing, absolutely nothing of our Dreams has to be seen in Life. It may kill everything. I think I would die if I lost my nights with you.

I had thought, at the beginning, to talk to you. To enter your room one day, with my best smile and ask you out, like a regular date. But then I decided not to.
Nothing in Life can be compared to our Dreams.
I am not naive. I know that another woman, or even a man, will have you in Life. Maybe you already have someone who calls you “my love” when you are awake. I don’t care. They can have the Life. They can have the waking hours. The arguments, the tiredness, the boredom.
But in the heart of the heart of the night, I can walk from dream to dream until I find you. And when we are together the struggle is over and all the pain vanishes. 

All my days are a long wait until the nights come.

IX, xii, 6-8 House of the Chaste Lovers


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