Diary of a Separation (an open window, the summer heat and an erotic memory)

Mario López-Goicoechea
4 min readNov 5, 2018

Monday 25th June

The past always creeps on us. I don’t know if that is a quote by someone famous or clever, or both. It is merely the thought running through my head as I hold a photo of S in my hand. It is a rather unusual picture, though. Not in terms of quality. That, I have never expected when using a camera. It is unusual in that I remember exactly what came before and after it was taken.

I remember the day of the week, too. Sunday. I also remember the season. Summer. And I remember the love-making that happened before this photo was taken. I especially remember my nose nuzzling S’s back as we lay in bed, eyes semi-closed, limbs intertwined, both our bodies naked and sweated, sheets pushed off and wrapped around our ankles. At the time I used to fall asleep holding S’s belly. A belly that had become softly rounded as a consequence of having A. I remember that on this particular warm day A was sleeping on his cot next door. His window, like ours, had been left slightly open to fend off the oppressing heat of this, my first summer in London, and create a much-needed draught in our fifteen-floor flat. It was 1998. A was six or seven-months-old. S and I were first-time parents. Y was not even a speck on the horizon but she was already being thought of.

S’s cascade of blond curls (the rollers had come out the night before to curl up her normally straight hair) pushed back against my face. So did the bottom half of her body. It was all part of the secret language we had both developed in the two and half years we had been together. The signal for me to join in the choreography our bodies were already performing.

The sun, streaming through the east-facing window, caught us in the midst of this sweat-drenched, erotic, Terpsichorean moment. It was the inadvertent witness to the “before” of this photo.

A woke up at the same time our bodies disentangled in a moment of pure synchronicity. Snuggled up and holding each other closely S and I could hear his breathing in the room next door.

As his breathing turned to sobbing, I got up and took him to the lounge to sit with me, leaving S behind in bed to catch up on some much-deserved sleep.