On the 10th of January 2007 I went to pick up Javier at Tegel Airport. I was totally excited: finally I could meet the man who had stolen my heart. I was walking into the terminal, when I saw an Iberia Airplane landing. 20 minutes later, Javier came out from gate number 10. He kissed me and I realized that my heart had not been stolen after all. “Am I how you expected?” Javier asked. “Yes, of course!” I took time to find out if there was a chance. But there was no chance. That evening we went to a cinema in Potsdamer Platz and we were watching Babel, when he asked me if everything was ok. “I am not in love” I replied. Gael García Bernal was crossing the Mexican border when we left the cinema and we walked to my place under a rainy Berlin sky.
Javier stayed at my place for a week, the first two days were difficult, due to my unexpected confession, but eventually he realized that I could not be forced to love someone and that we could have been friends. He was a psychotherapist after all. We had brilliant conversations and he told me about his job in New York City back in 2001, when he gave psychotherapy to the relatives of some of the September 11th attack’s victims. “September 11th has touched me personally as well.” I added. Then my memories went back to that time.
Boston & New York City August-September 2001
After the nightmare with Gavin was over, I needed another holiday and I thought it was a good time to visit my friend Adriana in Connecticut. Flying to New York City from Heathrow at the end of August was pretty expensive, so I booked a Virgin Atlantic flight to Boston for the 23rd of August 2001. Except for some extreme turbulence over Wales, the journey was pleasant, I enjoyed 2 of the newest movies and I got free toothpaste. I landed at Logan International Airport in the morning, I had a cigarette and I took a taxi to Boston South Station. Once there, I paid 20 dollars to the taxi driver and I went inside the railway station to buy a ticket to New Haven. “May I have a return ticket to New Haven – Connecticut, please?” I asked. “Whaaaat?” The lady at the desk looked at me confused. “I have to go to New Haven and I have to come back to Boston in 10 days” I explained. “Ahhhh, a round trip! What you wanna get is a round trip ticket!” After my British English knowledge had got me a ticket to my wished destination, I placed my bag into a locker and I left the building. I walked down Atlantic Avenue, turned left on Essex Street up to the Boston Common, where I had one hour break eating a sandwich and looking at the squirrels around the Frog Pond. At 2pm I took my train to New Haven and in the early evening I reached the town of Yale University.
Adriana was waiting outside the station with her boyfriend Richard, we had not seen each other in one year and it was a great feeling to meet them again. Richard drove us to the Taft Apartments Building, where they had been living together for 6 months, in large one-bedroom flat at the 10th floor, with a spectacular view on the city.
New Haven had not changed: everything seemed to be exactly the way it was, as when I had left the year before. It was not London, where I could see constant changes in the skyline, the completion of 25th Canada Square, the construction site of 8th Canada Square and of the more central 30 St Mary Axe.
A couple of days later I called Rob, to let him know that I was in New Haven. We met for a coffee and we spent a couple of hours talking about my life in London. He had not changed at all, but he had a relationship with another guy and he seemed to be happy. The week in the States was very intense, I went shopping in Clinton with Adriana, I gambled in a redskin owned casino with Richard and lost 50 dollars and the three of us went to see monkeys, lions and tigers at the Bronx Zoo in New York. On the 1st of September 2001 Adriana and I took a train to New York City for a day trip. We went again on the 47th floor of the Marriott hotel in Times Square, we ate at TGI Fridays and we walked along the Fifth Avenue. I had been on the top of the Empire State Building already and I would have liked to go on the WTC, but we did not have enough time to go to Lower Manhattan as our train back to New Haven was due in less than 2 hours from Grand Central Station. “We’ll go on the Twin Towers next time you’ll visit” said Adriana while I was taking my very last movie of the World Trade Centre dominating the Skyline. That evening Adriana booked a flight to London for the 20th of September.