It was a strange afternoon. It had been raining for days in Jerusalem (i know rain is a cliche, but it is an important part of the story) and I was bored in that tightly-wound way that makes you think that maybe you want to do something self-destructive - anything for a feeling with colour.
I got a call from my Ecuadorian friend to come by and I accepted the invitation, even though I knew that maybe I was leading him on. OK, I was leading him on, but I was 21 and callous and did I mention I was bored?
I had never seen his paintings before. I am not even sure I knew he painted. But they were charming. Big fat men in suits with little pinheads, floating through space.
We spent the afternoon drinking tea with mint leaves and lying on his bed. His room was in an old house that had a high ceiling with widows at the top of the walls, and the afternoon-rain-light that came in made me feel like we were underwater.
We talked some more, and then he leaned over to kiss me. And because I was bored, and maybe I thought a kiss would change my indifference, I kissed back. It was not a good kiss. He could tell I was thinking about other things, like the rain, and whether it would be uncomfortable to have a bloated body and a pinhead. He got up, frustrated, and left the room.