Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman Read Online (FREE)
But sitting here I knew I was experiencing the mitigated bliss of those who are too superstitious to claim they may get all they’ve ever dreamed of but are far too grateful not to know it could easily be taken away.
After tennis, and just before heading to the beach, I took her upstairs by way of the balcony into my bedroom. No one passed there in the afternoon. I closed the shutters but left the windows open, so that the subdued afternoon light drew slatted patterns on the bed, on the wall, on Marzia. We made love in utter silence, neither of us closing our eyes.
Part of me hoped we’d bang against the wall, or that she’d be unable to smother a cry, and that all this might alert Oliver to what was happening on the other side of his wall. I imagined him napping and hearing my bedsprings and being upset.
On our way to the cove below I was once again pleased to feel I didn’t care if he found out about us, just as I didn’t care if he never showed up tonight. I didn’t even care for him or his shoulders or the white of his arms. The bottom of his feet, the flat of his palms, the underside of his body—didn’t care. I would much rather spend the night with her than wait up for him and hear him declaim bland pieties at the stroke of midnight. What had I been thinking this morning when I’d slipped him my note?
And yet another part of me knew that if he showed up tonight and I disliked the start of whatever was in store for me, I’d still go through with it, go with it all the way, because better to find out once and for all than to spend the rest of the summer, or my life perhaps, arguing with my body.
I’d make a decision in cold blood. And if he asked, I’d tell him. I’m not sure I want to go ahead with this, but I need to know, and better with you than anyone else. I want to know your body, I want to know how you feel, I want to know you, and through you, me.
Marzia left just before dinnertime. She had promised to go to the movies. There’d be friends, she said. Why didn’t I come? I made a face when I heard their names. I’d stay home and practice, I said. I thought you practiced every morning. This morning I started late, remember? She intercepted my meaning and smiled.
Three hours to go.
There’d been a mournful silence between us all afternoon. If I hadn’t had his word that we were going to talk later, I don’t know how I’d have survived another day like this.
At dinner, our guests were a semi-employed adjunct professor of music and a gay couple from Chicago who insisted on speaking terrible Italian. The two men sat next to each other, facing my mother and me. One of them decided to recite some verses by Pascoli, to which Mafalda, catching my look, made her usual smorfia meant to elicit a giggle from me. My father had warned me not to misbehave in the presence of the scholars from Chicago. I said I would wear the purple shirt given me by a distant cousin from Uruguay. My father laughed it off, saying I was too old not to accept people as they were. But there was a glint in his eyes when both showed up wearing purple shirts. They had both stepped out from either side of the cab at the same time and each carried a bunch of white flowers in his hand. They looked, as my father must have realized, like a flowery, gussied-up version of Tintin’s Thomson and Thompson twins.