I remember a hazy evening in someone's little apartment downtown, in the height of a summer that felt more like spring. We were young, most of us had just started drinking and some tried to smoke unfiltered Gauloises cigarettes in the hopes of looking a little like Sartre or Jean Luc Godard. Unsuccessfully of course.
Chloe had left me behind to go home with a hockey player, I sat on the floor zipping red wine from a tall beer glass when I saw him. Most people look attractive from behind, but when they turn around you can only wish that they hadn't. It ruins the enigma and those childish dreams of love at first sight.
He was standing by the book shelves across the room, talking to a girl in a dark green velvet dress and stiletto heels. She was laughing at something he said, he turned around and looked me straight in the eye from 20 feet away through a vibrating crowd of mumbling people. It was Carl.
This was years after those warm summer nights in the garden under the stars, I hadn't seen him since then and it felt like breathing under water. He could have destroyed me right there and then but didn't. I never dared ask him why.