Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman Read Online (FREE)
Better break down now, I thought, than live another day juggling all of my implausible resolutions to try again later.
No, better he should never know. I could live with that. I could always, always live with that. It didn’t even surprise me to see how easy it was to accept.
And yet, out of the blue, a tender moment would erupt so suddenly between us that the words I longed to tell him would almost slip out of my mouth. Green bathing suit moments, I called them—even after my color theory was entirely disproved and gave me no confidence to expect kindness on “blue” days or to watch out for “red” days.
Music was an easy subject for us to discuss, especially when I was at the piano. Or when he’d want me to play something in the manner of so-and-so. He liked my combinations of two, three, even four composers chiming in on the same piece, and then transcribed by me. One day Chiara started to hum a hit-parade tune and suddenly, because it was a windy day and no one was heading for the beach or even staying outdoors, our friends gathered around the piano in the living room as I improvised a Brahms variation on a Mozart rendition of that very same song. “How do you do this?” he asked me one morning while he lay in heaven.
“Sometimes the only way to understand an artist is to wear his shoes, to get inside him. Then everything else flows naturally.”
We talked about books again. I had seldom spoken to anyone about books except my father.
Or we talked about music, about the pre-Socratic philosophers, about college in the U.S.
Or there was Vimini.
The first time she intruded on our mornings was precisely when I’d been playing a variation on Brahms’s last variations on Handel.
Her voice broke up the intense midmorning heat.
“What are you doing?”
“Working,” I replied.
Oliver, who was lying flat on his stomach on the edge of the pool, looked up with the sweat pouring down between his shoulder blades.
“Me too,” he said when she turned and asked him the same question.
“You were talking, not working.”
“I wish I could work. But no one gives me any work.”
Oliver, who had never seen Vimini before, looked up to me, totally helpless, as though he didn’t know the rules of this conversation.
“Oliver, meet Vimini, literally our next-door neighbor.”
She offered him her hand and he shook it.
“Vimini and I have the same birthday, but she is ten years old. Vimini is also a genius. Isn’t it true you’re a genius, Vimini?”
“So they say. But it seems to me that I may not be.”
“Why is that?” Oliver inquired, trying not to sound too patronizing.
“It would be in rather bad taste for nature to have made me a genius.”
Oliver looked more startled than ever: “Come again?”
“He doesn’t know, does he?” she was asking me in front of him.