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

That morning he went into town alone. Post office, Signora Milani, the usual rounds. I saw him pedal down the cypress lane, still wearing my trunks. No one had ever worn my clothes. Perhaps the physical and the metaphorical meanings are clumsy ways of understanding what happens when two beings need, not just to be close together, but to become so totally ductile that each becomes the other. To be who I am because of you. To be who he was because of me. To be in his mouth while he was in mine and no longer know whose it was, his cock or mine, that was in my mouth. He was my secret conduit to myself—like a catalyst that allows us to become who we are, the foreign body, the pacer, the graft, the patch that sends all the right impulses, the steel pin that keeps a soldier’s bone together, the other man’s heart that makes us more us than we were before the transplant.

The very thought of this suddenly made me want to drop everything I would do today and run to him. I waited about ten minutes, then took out my bike and, despite my promise not to go biking that day, headed out by way of Marzia’s home and scaled the steep hillside road as fast as I could. When I reached the piazzetta I realized I had arrived minutes after him. He was parking his bike, had already purchased the Herald Tribune, and was heading for the post office—his first errand. “I had to see you,” I said as I rushed to him. “Why, something wrong?” “I just had to see you.” “Aren’t you sick of me?” I thought I was—I was about to say—and I wanted to be—“I just wanted to be with you,” I said. Then it hit me: “If you want, I’ll go back now,” I said. He stood still, dropped his hand with the bundle of unsent letters still in it, and simply stood there staring at me, shaking his head. “Do you have any idea how glad I am we slept together?”

I shrugged my shoulders as though to put away another compliment. I was unworthy of compliments, most of all coming from him. “I don’t know.”

“It would be just like you not to know. I just don’t want to regret any of it—including what you wouldn’t let me talk about this morning. I just dread the thought of having messed you up. I don’t want either of us to have to pay one way or another.”

I knew exactly what he was referring to but pretended otherwise. “I’m not telling anyone. There won’t be any trouble.”

“I didn’t mean that. I’m sure I’ll pay for it somehow, though.” And for the first time in daylight I caught a glimpse of a different Oliver. “For you, however you think of it, it’s still fun and games, which it should be. For me it’s something else which I haven’t figured out, and the fact that I can’t scares me.”