The eyes are still black. Charcoal-like streaks cover his lower and upper eyelids. Mascara thickens the eye lashes that are no doubt already long and thick by themselves.
“Remind me. Why did I agree to keep this make-up on?” The first words of the young man. He must be somewhere in his early twenties. “I’m small, coloured, and now I look gay.”
My date pushes his fists deep into the pockets of his off-white jeans. A heavy buckle is pulled down a few centimetres. A bright blue shirt loosely covers the flat belly.
I make resolutions to go on a hunger fast as soon as I m home.
“If it bothers you we can take it off,” I look up to the Indian eyes again. “I like it though.”
He pulls up his shoulders and grants me a smile.
“Who minds a little more mockery? I walked around teenagers all day, with nothing but a cloth to cover my loins.”
We go for a drink in his favourite hang-out. Sunlit shiny skyscrapers mark the way.
“And nachos with melted cheese….” The waitress smacks our order on our table. Lucas barely manages to hold down his chuckle until she’s out of hearing distance.
“Personnel comes in two flavours here. Either unbelievably nice, or unbelievably rude,” he explains. “They’re both equally entertaining.”
He re-settles. The hard bench of the terrace is uncomfortable, but it allows us to sit very close to each other. Neither one of us touch the chairs.
“I have a question. Why are you called Lucas? Didn’t they give you an Indian name before you were adopted?”
He shifts his weight away from me.
“They did. But it’s a really weird name. It’s an animal in Dutch. Or something sexual. And no, it’s not Puss.”
“Ram,” I say. The r rolls superior over the nachos. The a an arrogant long vowel, “You were named Ra’am.”
He looks at me in disbelief. “No one has ever, ever guessed that!”
“Any yoga teacher would guess that.”
Ram squeezes a slice of lemon into the bottle of his Mexican beer. “My parents are Christians.”
I think of something comforting to say. “Mine went to nude beaches.”
The few hours we have fly by at staggering speed. He joins me on the train home, so that we can spend another half hour together.
“This was fun,” he thanks me, as the station approaches where he will leave me. “I didn’t tell you before, but this was my first date in two years.”
“Two years eh? Was she that great?” I guess.
He nods. “Yeah. And she wasn’t even mine,”
“Mine wasn’t mine either, and I still think about him every day.”
“Benjamin!” he refers to my blog. Ram knows my website that pretty much covers every bed I ever slept in. “At least you didn’t waste two years waiting,” he smiles.
“So is that was this is about?” Our eyes meet. “Ram, is this about sex?”
The charcoal eyes hesitate. The mouth looks for words that don’t want to be found. I kiss him.
“Wow,” he smiles. “And thank you.”
Christians versus nude-beaches.
But for once I keep my mouth shut.