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Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman Read Online (FREE)

“I think that all this clementizing,” he said, “is quite charming, though I’ve no idea how your metaphor will help us see who we are, what we want, where we’re headed, any more than the wine we’ve been drinking. But if the job of poetry, like that of wine, is to help us see double, then I propose another toast until we’ve drunk enough to see the world with four eyes—and, if we’re not careful, with eight.”

“Evviva!” interrupted Amanda, toasting to the latecomer, in a desperate effort to shut him up.

“Evviva!” everyone else toasted.

“Better write another book of poems—and soon,” said Straordinario-fantastico.

Someone suggested an ice cream place not far from the restaurant. No, skip the ice cream, let’s go for coffee. We all massed into cars and headed along the Lungotevere, toward the Pantheon.

In the car, I was happy. But I kept thinking of the basilica and how similar to our evening, one thing leading to the next, to the next, to something totally unforeseen, and just when you thought the cycle had ended, something new cropped up and after it something else as well, until you realized you could easily be back where you started, in the center of old Rome. A day ago we had gone swimming by the light of the moon. Now we were here. In a few days he’d be gone. If only he’d be back exactly a year from now. I slipped my arm around Oliver’s and leaned against Ada. I fell asleep.

It was well past one in the morning when the party arrived at Caffè Sant’Eustachio. We ordered coffees for everyone. I thought I understood why everyone swears by Sant’Eustachio’s coffee; or perhaps I wanted to think I understood, but I wasn’t sure. I wasn’t even sure I liked it. Perhaps no one else did but felt obliged to fall in with the general opinion and claimed that they too couldn’t live without it. There was a large crowd of coffee drinkers standing and sitting around the famed Roman coffeehouse. I loved watching all these lightly dressed people standing so close to me, all of them sharing the same basic thing: love for the night, love for the city, love for its people, and an ardent desire to couple—with anyone. Love for anything that would prevent the tiny groups of people who had come together here from disbanding. After coffee, when the group considered separating, someone said, “No, we can’t say goodbye yet.” Someone suggested a pub nearby. Best beer in Rome. Why not? So we headed down a long and narrow side alley leading in the direction of Campo de’ Fiori. Lucia walked between me and the poet. Oliver, talking with two of the sisters, was behind us. The old man had made friends with Straordinario-fantastico and they were both confabulating about San Clemente. “What a metaphor for life!” said Straordinario-fantastico. “Please! No need to overdo things either with clementification this and clementization that. It was just a figure of speech, you know,” said Falstaff, who probably had had his fill of his godson’s glory for the night. Noticing that Ada was walking by herself, I walked back and held her by the hand. She was dressed in white and her tanned skin had a sheen that made me want to touch every pore in her body. We did not speak. I could hear her high heels tapping the slate pavement. In the dark she seemed an apparition.