Summary: Timmy finally sits down to listen to the audiobook and he’s lost to memories of their summer in Italy. A lot of angst ensues and he ends up calling Armie and crying. Angst, people, angst. And Armie’s voice sparking memories of their time filming. That’s all you need to know.
A part of me regrets pushing play as soon as my finger lingers over the button, almost as if to stop it before his voice booms in my ears and I’m lost in memories…
When he told me he’d been asked to do the audiobook, I was a little confused- shouldn’t I read it if anything? But the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. No one would listen to it if I did the audiobook, at least with Armie there’s some name recognition, I’d tell myself. His voice was better anyway.
He’d call me after recording and we’d talk about Elio, in a weird sort of dreamlike occurrence where Elio was more like a common friend than an identity I took on for an entire summer. An identity that I still dreamt in, and couldn’t shake on rainy days where my todays echoed our yesterdays when we filmed indoors. “It’s just so crazy,” he’d say. Or, “You got this guy so well, you know that? You’re incredible.” Or, a personal favorite, “I miss it. Everyday. I read these lines and it’s like I’m back there, you know?” Or even the times when he’d call and ask me to talk him through a scene. Those were the calls I’d get in the middle of the day, during his breaks. Those were the hardest.
It took just under a week for him to record but it felt like an eternity, which was only heightened by the conversations that didn’t end when the recording finished. It was like the audiobook had reopened the wound I’d sewn shut on the plane back to America over a year ago, and the floodgates opened once more.
We’d been doing fine, honestly. It was weird at first, for sure, trying to adjust to life in New York. I was depressed, God for a long time I just fucking hated everything. Even talking to him, it was like a punch in the gut and sometimes we’d just sit in silence on the phone, united in our mutual distaste for the summer ending, his breathing mingling with mine until I could close my eyes and pretend it was still summer, that the cold months hadn’t reached us yet and the only thing separating my lips from his were the words, want to practice? There was something there, in Crema, that we’d talked about in Italy but could never really bring ourselves to completely express after. The magnetic draw between us had never faded, but there was an unspoken agreement that what had happened was the past, that it was acting. “Maybe more,” he’d said one night, drunk off his ass when he visited me in New York. My heart had stopped then, but when I awoke the next morning, his arm over my still clothed body, I wondered if it had been a vodka induced memory instead of a real one. I had those a lot in the beginning, dreams that felt like memories. Maybe they were, maybe the lines between sleep and reality were just as blurred for Armie and I as the lines between our characters and ourselves. Maybe all those moments in Crema when he’d lean over and play bite my shoulder, or I’d jump on his back…maybe those were just dreams. Maybe his lips against my throat was just a dream, his hot breath a mirage created by the heat that surrounded us. Maybe I was still dreaming. Maybe none of it meant anything after all.