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117# A beauty without labels

Updated: Dec 10, 2020

“A woman’s guess is much more accurate than a man’s certainty”

Rudyard Kipling

I have not found a respectful word to describe ‘fuck buddy’. Whenever Chefi or the old couple in the park asked me if I were married, I’d say “tengo novia” - I have a girlfriend. That word caused smiles of relief and nods of approval. The novia I had been talking about had finished her transformation, after three weeks in a silent cocoon.

I walked in the Café, excited and anxious. We hugged and started, slowly, to catch up on the past three weeks. Karleen was a trained psychologist. She liked to go deep into one’s personality, never afraid of what’s been swept under the rug. I reserved those topics to a select few friends. Even then, they were coated with dark humor and cynicism.

Karleen paused a lot between words, as if relearning to speak. I lost myself in her eyes, emerald glittering with the sun. In a fortnight, she would be moving in a new flat. Until then, she had a room in the Yoga school. “Come stay with me!” the words came out of their own accord. I wanted to get lost in her eyes every day.

Beauty products and flowery smells invaded my bathroom. Our first week of cohabitation was overloaded. We spent early morning and late nights together. Karleen would come home at sunset, have a quick bite and work from the balcony until bedtime. When she worked late, I cracked a joint and watched comedy on Youtube. If sex was a great way to start the day, laughing to tears was the best way to end it.

On the weekend we went on a surf trip to Barra de la Cruz. Surfers in Barra gathered in the only restaurant by the beach. Sitting side by side, they had a pretty view on the waves, and on the people passing. I knew those bastards too well. They would fuck their boards if it had a hole. They followed Karleen with their heads like the crowd in a Wimbledon rally. When a guy asked her if we were together, she denied in an awkward babble. It hurt like a punch in the gut. I looked away and pretended not to hear.

On a quiet evening back home, we were watching the ocean when I addressed the elephant in the room.

- There is something I need to ask you

- Yes?

- In Barra, David asked you if we were together, remember?

- Sort of… why?

- Cause you denied it so quicky you sounded ashamed

- It is not like that

- Good. At least that’s out of the window. How it is like then?

- You said I’m your girl, but we never talked about it

- Well…You share my plans, my boards, and my bed. I don’t do that with strangers.

- We never had that conversation…

A silence ensued. I laid back and took a deep breath, uneasy with impatience.

- So… what are we then?

- I don’t know

- I don’t like to waste my time so if you’re not in I’d rather know sooner than later.

- … it’s NOT that simple!

- It is. I think of you as my partner. You don’t. It’s THAT simple.

- I don’t want to put labels on us

- Why not?

- Because labels create expectations. If you are my partner, I’d expect certain things.

- Hahahah am I so hopeless that there is nothing you can expect?

- You’re being an idiot

- Alright alright haha, at least we’re making progress. What kind of expectations? Give me an example

- Certain things bother me. Things that I wouldn’t brush off if we were in a relationship

- Like what?

- …

- Come on I asked, I can handle it

- I don’t like when you smoke

- Okaaaaay… so you want me to stop smoking?

- I did not say that…but it would be a start

FUCK OFF !!! was my first reaction. But I had no right to be angry, not at her at least. I was the one to ask. Karleen did not like when I smoked because weed made me zone out. She was right. That’s EXACTLY why I liked it. Weed alone toned-down anxiety like a mother’s hug. Couple with laughter and you get a cocktail of joy that makes you sleep happy and well. And she wanted me to give it up…

- I’ll think about it...


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