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  1. May 2024
    1. The very possibility of meeting his family suddenly alarmed me—tooreal, too sudden, too in-my-face, not rehearsed enough. Over the years I’dlodged him in the permanent past, my pluperfect lover, put him on ice,stuffed him with memories and mothballs like a hunted ornamentconfabulating with the ghost of all my evenings. I’d dust him off from timeto time and then put him back on the mantelpiece. He no longer belonged toearth or to life. All I was likely to discover at this point wasn’t just howdistant were the paths we’d taken, it was the measure of loss that was goingto strike me—a loss I didn’t mind thinking about in abstract terms butwhich would hurt when stared at in the face, the way nostalgia hurts longafter we’ve stopped thinking of things we’ve lost and may never have caredfor.

      Even after fifteen years, he has not matured the way Oliver had, because he still holds tightly, too tightly, to the Elio of yesterday, the Elio of fifteen years ago, to his identity-yesterday. But his identity can never flourish without the flux. His identity requires flux. Elio is not Elio if he never changes. This is his attempt at psychological continuity, the preserving of memories and the fear of destroying that continuity.