For his project titled Ara Solís, Guatemalan photographer Luis González Palma created a series of images representing small models of 15th century sailing boats, symbolically ‘crossing the seas’ of different sleeping beds. Ideas of migration, intimacy and dreams of the future are brought about in this wonderful series.
We drank a bottle of wine, two. There were droplets splattered on the wall, because neither of us could operate a corkscrew without the white walls ending up looking like a crime scene.
Your face was as familiar to me as my mother’s, my brother’s; of you I said “I love you” just as freely, though never to you, or hardly ever. We kept drinking, and laughing, and talking about god-knows-what. Now I can hardly remember a single conversation we ever had, not even the awful ones, the ones I repeated again, and again, to basically anyone who would listen. We listened to music, and you swore you’d learn to play the banjo, and remembered how I am surprisingly good at the harmonica and unabashedly hopeless with a tambourine; we talked, again, of starting a band; I remembered singing the harmony to one of the songs you’d written years ago, we were sixteen, maybe seventeen. It was a good song. I don’t remember the words anymore, and by then you only mentioned it when mocking yourself.
I didn’t notice that night the peculiar way your teeth, stained with wine, seemed somehow translucent at the bottom, disappearing into the purple of your tongue; or the way your eyes made me want to name all the parts of my body and then send you there. Your lips were chapped and the wine was red; it stained them like parched creek beds, like ink under nail beds and dried the lacy crevices of fingerprints.
I said I wished I had some candlesticks for the empty bottles, and told you how I used to write with ink and quills on parchment, pages and pages, in made-up languages to or about made-up people, and you laughed and told me I was weird. That was one of those things which you might have meant fondly, but now I think it wasn’t a very nice thing to say. We took silly pictures. I deleted them all except for the one where you’re out of the frame, and I’m blurry-smiling in your direction. That one I keep as a warning: I never want my face to do that again.
I threw a pillow at your head and made you turn around while I put on my pajamas. I wore my retainer and spoke in sibilants just to prove that I didn’t give a shit what you thought. You fell asleep, and I fell asleep, and you woke with a crick in your neck and a headache, and I woke from dreaming of messages in bottles, the words only legible while I was dreaming.