Tuesday, April 5, 2011


13. Decision, decision. Headphones on for yet another hour of Chopin, or headphones off for some free graph theory lessons, broadcast live and loud along the corridor? As I theatrically feign annoyance to myself, it occurs to me that I am going to miss this when I'll be on the other side of the world, at a place with modern glass-walled offices, all of which are completely see-through yet each fish closes his own tank, swimming in isolation.

14. I can't help it; I am a sucker for smiles, and he is smiling at me sweetly, with his dark hair thick and curvy, his cheeks slightly chubby and pink. He's holding my fingers tightly, not ready to let them go. Looking at him dreamily, I reluctantly say my goodbye. Looking back at me, also dreamily, he slightly parts his lips, dripping milk down to the chin, slowly along the neck and finally all over his bib, and there goes the image of my Prince Charming. 

15. 5 pm and the phone is ringing. I glance at the Caller ID and wonder whether I should answer it at all. Given the amount of time we are around each other in person, Gaston almost never calls me, unless it's because the internet no longer works, or because I have, as usual, misplaced some important document that he needs. As I dread the potential news about a flooded bathroom or maybe even a reckless daytime robbery, I almost miss what Gaston is asking me, "Do you want me to cook dinner tonight?". It's Tuesday, I suddenly remember. Most weeks, we cook dinner together on this day, but Tintin is away making some serious stuff up in Strasbourg, so somehow I must have assumed that the tradition was temporarily discontinued for tonight. Looking at the piles of paper on my office desk, I said, "Yes," as fast as I could.

Fast forward a few hours. It's post-Carbonnade-à-la-Leffe and post-Bordeaux. The table is now pushed against the fake fireplace, the chairs arranged clumsily around the table, the carpet wedged underneath the radiator, all to create a makeshift dance floor in the middle of the living room. As Assassin's Tango plays on Gaston's Mac, we dance together, counting the steps as we glide on the wooden floor, "One, two, three, four...". It's been half an hour and we are still not getting this whole tango thing right. "One, two, three, four...". Completely focused on his feet and not aware of the surroundings, Gaston banged his left leg against the table. "Damn!", he jumped. "We need a bigger apartment!". Looking at him all frustrated, I laughed, nodding my head in agreement, even if I don't agree with him. I don't need a bigger apartment; at its current size, this apartment is already the best place I have lived in Brussels. 

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