Friday, December 19, 2014

Episode 74 | Interlude 1.19

Fabrizio, however, was constantly drawing me closer to him, and embracing me tight, when we were distant from Carlo, at least outside the house that he seemed to respect like a sanctuary. Perhaps my father had used that term with him, and Fabrizio had misinterpreted it? Because his strong arms, his manly presence and astonishing beauty were my sanctuary. And a dedicated worshiper was I.

I don't know how many times we kissed during those twenty four hours. Especially after Fabrizio refused sex with me -- knowing he was a good kisser, unreservedly passionate and purposely shameless, he wanted to make sure I'd grow addicted to his kisses, I sensed. I gladly surrendered.

 And every kiss seemed like another signature in the contract that we were spiritually writing in our hearts -- a contract that was to be for a lifetime.


I wasn't in agony when Fabrizio left the farm without arranging our next meeting.

So much had been said in that brief period of our reunion in the Apennines. Deep and meaningful, if short. In a way, Fabrizio had come just to give a report about the significant changes in his life, which had brought us closer -- that, in fact, had placed us on the same margin, side by side.

From his conversations with Carlo, I had learned details about him -- like the fact that he read poetry every night before bed, and his passion for cooking -- which made him even more adorable to my eyes, more human and less of a determined businessman.

But there was also all that hadn't been said between us. I hadn't had the time to share about my own 'crossing', which had brought me back to my family's ancestral lands, and where we had reunited after our rough start in Vice City.

"Are you okay, Laurent? Are you sad about something? Or worried?" Fabrizio had asked me, between one kiss and another. But during that brief visit we were to concentrate on him, and not on my issues.

All those things left unsaid just signaled that we would certainly meet again to resume. Our evening of love that hadn't happened, too, was another promise of a new encounter. And we were now sure that we both wanted to share a life with each other.

However, with Patrizia, Fabrizio's sister, it had been slightly different. 

We had met for the first time in Vice City, where she was visiting her dearest brother. By the end of our date she had already arranged to meet me again -- at their cousin's wedding, which I should attend accompanying Fabrizio.

At first, Patrizia had been a little shocked that I was ten years older than her brother. If she had been capable of imagining Fabrizio falling for some of her hot gay friends, all in their early twenties, upon meeting me she had been genuinely surprised -- not only was I older, but I also looked older. Not exactly what she had imagined -- or wanted -- as boyfriend to her brother.

I did not go to their cousin's wedding after all. Not because I didn't want to meet Patrizia again.
I lied to Fabrizio, saying I had had my hair cut for the wedding. It had been actually an attempt to update my appearance, since I had been confronted with Patrizia's discomfort.

It was also an old habit acquired during my relationship with Angelo. I had changed my way of dressing to please him. I have already mentioned the contact lenses, despite using them bothered me more than glasses. And I had started training at a gym and taking supplements to make my body more attractive to him, since Angelo liked beefy guys. 

I was used to that look of consternation I got from Patrizia -- the disappointment about my appearance. Although hers had been very mild and hadn't lasted more than a few seconds. She was too polite, she loved Fabrizio too very much to be unkind to me. And she had tried to fix the discomfort she had caused by complimenting me the rest of the evening -- how I was up-to-date in terms of music and movies and so on. Though your clothes and hair..., she must have thought, but never said it. Patrizia was a lovely young woman, and we had ended the night as friends -- nevertheless, feeling old, too.

And I didn't attend the wedding.

It was a great event in the family. It had taken place ten days before our trip to Iceland, and Fabrizio and I hadn't yet spoken about it.

It had been ​​Fabrizio's idea and suggestion that we leave the comfortably warm house to watch the Icelandic starry sky. Grabbing an outrageously beautiful and soft sheep skin rug and some blankets, we headed to the rocks right by the sea, where we laid our improvised bed. Bellow us, waves crashed without violence, turning into clouds of mist, adding rhythm and populating the night, that otherwise was silent and deserted. Apart from our house in the back, there were no other lights to be seen, no signs of civilization other than planes passing by, in the distance. Like memories, or premonitions, for a moment they came to life by merrily blinking their lights, to again disappear, engulfed by the vast darkness. It was cold, and like a good boy born in the tropics, I had dressed warm like if I were to go touring the North Pole. Still, despite the rug and the blankets, I needed Fabrizio to tightly hold me in his arms, until his warmth had become mine.

I hadn't attended the wedding because I didn't want to cause Fabrizio any more problems. With Patrizia, he had turned ​​rebellious and combative against the prejudice he had met in the family. Brother and sister felt that he should fabulously display his new 'gay condition' to its fullest. A big family event was the perfect occasion to present me as his boyfriend.

 "Dear... I don't think I should go. And I won't be hurt if I don't." I was sincere with Fabrizio. "Just imagine how your parents would feel about all thisA coming out in such proportions, and with them right there in the middle of it... The questioning glances, maybe the family jokes our presence as a couple would arise... Wouldn't you rather like to give them some respiteLet them enjoy your presence without reserve..."

Though at first shocked with what he thought was hypocrisy, Fabrizio had finally been able to understand my point of view, my own exercise of temperance, and had given in. Patrizia had then also dismissed her ​​boyfriend, to spend one whole night with her beloved brother, at his arm throughout the festivities.

During the wedding party, the five Caprice occupied a family table, something that hadn't occurred in a long time.

"My parents were formal with me, but at no time less than cordial." Fabrizio shared. "You are looking great, Fabrizio...",  my mother complimented, since she had always liked seeing me in a costume. "I hope all is well with you", I heard from my father -- and I realized they were both trying to continue with our family career the best way they could, signaling with peace. Even if it was a hypocritical peace, since they would prefer to pretend my coming out had never existed."

But upon seeing the happiness they manifested with his cousin's wedding, Fabrizio had finally understood the huge disappointment that his coming out had brought them. The depth and extent of mental and emotional adjustments they would have to make, now that he wouldn't give them a daughter-in-law and grandchildren. He also realized they preferred to remain silent than to fuel his truth, as if, by not confronting it, with time and their wholeheartedly hoping for it, Fabrizio could again manifest interest in marrying another woman, like they still hoped for.

"Now that our family is... defective... we'll have to wait long for the next wedding... until that one over there decides to get married!" Franco, the elder brother, had said this with disdain and indicated Patrizia, whom he now resented, once she had handed her money to Fabrizio. "This... other kind... of  beings..." Franco's show off at the family table was intended for his new girlfriend, a girl slightly older than Patrizia, who wasn't yet aware of the intricacies of the Caprice family, "...they only attend saunas and nightclubs... and celebrate orgies, not marriages, isn't it?"

The accusation had been addressed at Fabrizio, who nevertheless laughed loud and happily.

"So you've just declared that you have no intention of marrying this girl, right brother?" Patrizia mouthed at once. "She is also not going to last, is she?" Franco had already had two wives, and a good number of girlfriends, all very beautiful but not especially bright, and the current one hadn't yet understood Franco's rudeness stated against her, that Patrizia had made so explicit.

But Fabrizio didn't make any comments and just smiled at his elder brother, and touched Patrizia's arm to calm her down, and to indicate he didn't need her to defend him.

"Franco!", it was heard before the elder brother was able to retort Patrizia.

Mr. Caprice did not need more than hissing the name of his eldest son to impose silence at the family table. He had never beaten his children, but his words could sound like whiplashes. And whenever he stated the name of a child that way, it was like a death sentence. Mr. Caprice would never say "Shut up now!". With the child's name he declared the loser of his children's disputes, the one who should be silent in the first place -- although in fact all of them should shut up, once he had shown his annoyance.

"And Patrizia... Please treat this girl with kindness." He went on, indicating Franco's new girlfriend. "Today, at this table, she is part of our family..." And despite talking to Patrizia, it was Fabrizio whom Mr. Caprice had faced with a pervasive and very significant look.

"I confess that I did not get that look from my father." Fabrizio confided, that night under the Icelandic starry sky. "I don't know if he meant that I again belonged to the family by simply sitting at that table, or if, actually sitting at the family table was another proof of that." Fabrizio sighed. "Does it make any difference? My father's insincerity always made ​​our living harder. I mean, constantly interpreting his silences and trying to guess his will  from his signals is very tiring! And that night, the Carpice table had been a bit empty, with four vacancies. Franco's two sons hadn't come, nor had Patrizia's boyfriend... And neither my boyfriend." Fabrizio looked at me with intensity. "I wonder if my father didn't also imply that... if you, Laurent..." tears welled up in Fabrizio's eyes, "... if you had been there, sitting at that table with us, you would also be considered part of our family..."

 "Maybe next time we go to Italy, we can visit your father... and also mine..." Fabrizio whispered when I hugged and kissed him, welcoming his sincerity and sorrow, the pain that the rejection from his family still caused him. 

Sometimes I thought how big Fabrizio's pain might be, for someone who had always tried to be perfect at other's eyes, hungry to get their compliments, confirmation and affection.

Fabrizio recalled our parting in the Apennines, when Carlo had called him 'son', in another demonstration of his true loving nature and generosity.

"You can come to this house whenever you want, son. Even when Laurent is not here. Whenever you are in Italy, remember that you have this house to shelter you!" Carlo had said, without knowing anything about Fabrizio's rejection, but sensing he was an orphan.

Once we again fell silent, we gave ourselves to the spectacle of the Icelandic night. The sky was of an absolute and thick blackness, providing a dramatic contrast to the brightness of the stars. The sea was also pitch black, and in turn dotted by the brightness of the crests of small far flung waves rippling in the wind. We just lay there listening to the sounds of the sea, which corresponded to the noise of the stars moving in the skies, and everything was a silent vastness and the harmonious wilderness. Our hearts, pacified with each other's proximity, seemed to adjust and beat accordingly to that majestic rhythm.

Wrapping ourselves in the blankets we had brought, we fell asleep hugging each other -- until this tropical boy, who writes this, woke up shivering, and together we returned home, just before dawn broke onto our last full day in Iceland.

next episode

Author's note: having been imported from a former version of the story, some of the comments below are dated previous to this post. Once the plot has not been altered, just the pagination, I am keeping them since they are very dear and precious to me.


  1. Another great chapter, and your photos are always beautiful. I love the shots in Iceland (especially the closeups) and, of course, all the photos of the gorgeous Fabrizio! There were so many wonderful moments during Laurent's trip to Italy. He had a chance to reconnect with Fabio, gain some perspective on his relationship with his father and begin a romance with Fabrizio.

    I was surprised at Andara's reaction when Fabrizio came out. I assumed she'd be angry with Fabrizio, not want him to continue carrying on a charade and just be "discreet" about it. I'm glad Patrizia was on Fabrizio's side, especially when the rest of his family turned against him. After having just gone through that painful time, visiting with Carlo and being treated with dignity and respect must've been such a welcome change. I can see why Fabrizio decided to honor Carlo by not sleeping with Laurent in his home, even though Carlo had told Laurent in his own way that they had his blessing. Still, I can't imagine how difficult that must've been for Laurent after seeing Fabrizio come out of the shower. He is one handsome man! o.O

    1. thank for reading and for commenting, Lily, on the text and the photos!

      Fabrizio has his fan club, and I'm happy you like his looks. He also seems to be a good guy, and after a difficult start and an even harder transition, it's nice to see Laurent and Fabrizio getting along well, with the disposition to build a common life in harmony.

      Having been comfortably living his lies for a long time, Fabrizio has shown great courage in coming out to his fianceƩ Andara and the Caprice family. He is hurt, and I'm sure it's very difficult for him to face what he considers to be his own imperfection -- but Laurent's love, and Carlo's warm welcome might help him recognize his new persona as a "new perfection", or like Grace Jones sings "I'm not perfect, but I'm perfect for you".

      Laurent's second time at the D'Allegro farm has brought him a new perspective on his own story and his way of looking at things and at himself. He thought he had lost contact with his roots after they left Punaouilo, but he has found a new connection at the ancestral lands of his family.

  2. Finished this chapter last night. Excellent!
    It's good to know the history of Fabrizio's family background. But 'the sounds of our love'? So cute! Not sure if you ever watch movie called Cthulhu (2007) not 100% exact adaptation of Lovecraft work but that Laurent & Fabrizio scene really reminds me of the Russel's scene in that movie. Very sweet. :)
    Laurent&Fabrizio scene on the beach,lovely as always.

    1. andante zenJanuary 23, 2014 at 3:49 PM
      dear Yuki, so good to read your words here, too!

      Thank you for reading -- this is the longest chapter yet, with almost 140 pictures and the corresponding text. Laurent and Fabrizio's love story should be told just during the Interludes, and I have to concentrate a lot of events and emotions in each episode. You can see it by the short space devoted to the Caprice family, that I try to depict during Fabrizio's coming out, and each member's reactions to it.

      I'm happy you are a fan of the couple! They do look beautiful together, don't they? They have been through so much, and they have done a lot to transform their lives and themselves, to be able to live a love so sincere and precious -- I'm so invested in their relationship!

      I haven't watched nor even heard of the movie you mention -- thank you for letting me know about it, seems interesting. But probably I'll watch it only when 'the last canvas' is finished. I have to confess: I avoid going to the movies (I never, ever watch tv) and reading books when I'm writing, so that the only story screening in my mind is that of 'the last canvas'. Otherwise I can easily get distracted and divert from this plot, and get confused about so many characters and different sceneries and times.

      And this is also my chance to apologize -- I'm aware that it is faulty and mangy of me that I'm not following some wonderful stories of the other writers who comment on this blog.

      I'm really sorry, I can't help it, I cannot write a story and read others at the same time. But I hope to catch up when 'the last canvas' is done!

      thank you so much for your comments and your support!

      PS* quoting a comment not imported by Blogger to this new version of 'the last canvas'

  3. Yes of course I understand. Just do whatever you are comfortable with. I agree distraction from outside isn't good for any writers. I guess maybe that's why some of them moved to remote place,no TV/internet or other entertainment to finish their novels? Forgive me I don't know much about writers. :)

    Take your time Andante,enjoy your writing moment. We always support amazing writers like you!

    1. Thank you so much for you support, Yuki!

      It's so good to have you on FB and now here, too :D

  4. It was so fun learning more about Fabrizio's journey, or his crossing, as he calls it. I wonder if his behavior before then, how he came across as a rude jerk in the airport, could have been stemmed from his anger at having to keep his sexuality bottled up. Fabrizio seems much calmer now that he has crossed over and is with Laurent. I felt his pain at having no one accept you, and having the people who are supposed to love you unconditionally reject you so forcefully. Thank goodness for Carlo, Laurent, and Patrizia, who have accepted him because in truth, he is the same Fabrizio he was before, just as you said, "Plus gay." Not to say that he hasn't changed his demeanor a little because I did mention I saw him as calmer, but I think he's more at peace with himself because he too has accepted that part of himself, without having to live behind the lie of being perfect. It seems shocking to me that Andara would be so callous, as if she would be fine living in a marriage where she knew her husband would not, could not ever love her in the same way. It does make me wonder if Andara actually did love Fabrizio, so she was willing to put aside what he told her, just so she could have him around. A selfish love, perhaps, as it would only fulfill what she wanted, but not what Fabrizio wanted, which was to do the right thing and break up with someone he did not love.
    Also, T_T I was saddened learning about Fabio's death, but I am happy he managed to do some of the things he wanted before his time came. I'm also happy Laurent got to see him again.
    When Laurent was speaking of his appearance being displeasing to Patrizia, I was reminded of how Catherine felt that same way with Carlo when they were leaving the Ile, and how Catherine never liked the way Carlo dressed.

    1. Like his father and brother, Fabrizio has a drive for money and is very competitive, as Laurent has already noticed. That day at the airport Fabrizio was in a furious frenzy before the perspective of losing a great and important deal, and was trying to push as hard as he could to get on a plane and towards his appointment -- the whole situation seemed unjust to him, and he was being unreasonable, like he knew and later apologized to Laurent. The phone shutting off finally liberated him from all possible efforts, and Laurent's quote of the Dalai Lama did resonate for him.

      Fabrizio, after he met Laurent and made his "crossing", is an altogether different man -- or at least, he is on his way to be. Much more relaxed and with a sense of contentment, fulfillment even. His coming out discourse was very rational, stating that he was not a different son from what he used to be... he was just adding to his biography the fact that he was gay. But maybe to diminish a revelation that is usually shocking for people is also appealing to his parent's emotions. They did not react well at first, though they seemed to make to want peace with him at the wedding. It is a bit of a consolation that his dear sister did not abandon him, that Carlo was so welcoming and warm -- and that, after all, Fabrizio was liberated to live his love for Laurent.

      Fabrizio and Andara -- who was being more selfish? Let´s not forget Fabrizio decided to leave her only because he had the possibility of having Laurent -- but most of all, having himself in the end, true and honest and sincere. Maybe Andara cared more for appearences, and she would be brave enough as to have a husband whom she knew had other "inclinations", and still tolerate those in their marriage. Personally, I know some women who do, and I don't judge them. And it musn't have been easy for Andara to suddenly lose a man like Fabrizio, who nevertheless was a very satisfying lover and correct boyfriend. And gorgeous, no matter what.

      You have a point there, LKSimmer! There is a mirroring between father and son -- and between several other characters in this novel. Laurent is in many ways the continuation of Carlo -- their insecurities, a certain inferiority complex... Yes, transmission is a key concept to this novel -- how certain characteristics and stories and struggles and issues to resolve are transmitted and keep coming back, generation after generation, until their knot is untied.

      Thank you for reading and commenting!


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