For all who voyage beyond the ‘fridge, the romance of travel includes the possibility of romance while travelling. Happily, I have enjoyed both flavours. It was an eggs-on-the-pavement Summer day in the South that I landed on the doorstep of “The two G’s.” Gabriel and Gilbert. Two of their three teenage sons were musicians/cyclists, so you can probably guess how I got there.
The “G’S” lived in the renovated half of the turn of the Century house where Gilbert was born. They were separated from the other unrenovated half, by Gabriel’s sewing room. This was to be the “BG suite” for the night. Their long rectangular building, unfortunately faced the busiest intersection in town.(Californians – visualize living on interstate five) The intersection of four roads guaranteed that the roar of the (traffic) crowd was dawn to dusk. And then some.
Whether the fickle finger of fate, or my unconsciously superb timing was responsible, I arrived a “soupcon” before aperitifs. And so, after a quick, welcome shower, I was “a table.” Soon after, an attractive, casually dressed Woman in her early thirties breezed in. Sparkling eyes. Short salt n’ pepper hair. Classic Latin nose. Energetic, but not speedy. In short – effervescent!Her attitude, jeans, sneakers and batik blouse screamed : “Berkeley Girl!.” Independent. Eclectic tastes. A foodie. Socially responsible. Recycles. Drives a diesel. Bikes to work.
Gabriel’s sister, Michelle. We were introduced. No sparks. I shipped my romantic fantasies back to fantasy island. After Michelle left, Gabriel told me the bathroom I would be using was in Michelle’s apartment. A slight tremor from fantasy island. Soon calmed by another glass of pastis.
With dinner and conversation a fresh, happy memory, I “installed” myself, in the sewing suite. Michelle soon appeared.Flashing a radiant smile. “This way to the bathroom.” After making my dentist proud, as We were saying our goodnights, Michelle let me know I’d be breakfasting with her in the morning. No tremors from fantasy island. And so – Curtains drawn. Shutters closed. Earplugs in. Covers up. Eyes closed.
The next am, Michelle waited for me to come down from the bathroom before ringing the breakfast bell. It was five star!(“Eclectic tastes. A foodie.”) Two kinds of bread. Brioches. Crossiants. Pain au chocolate. Three homemade jams. Peaches. Apricots. Grapes. Silver and china. Cloth napkins. In a room with twenty foot ceilings and Belle Epoque furniture. But the best item on the menu was the easy, known-you-forever rapport between Michelle and I. No Sparks. Just an effortless atmosphere of comfort and ease.
Still savoring this ambience, I loaded the bike. As all assembled to see me off. Kisses to Gabriel. Handshakes to Gilbert and the boys.Then I turned to Michelle. There was a spark. A big spark. A spark that lit her bittersweet smile and infused her eyes with a look of invitation. A look that said : “I know you well enough now………that I want to know more.” Major earthquake on fantasy island!
Part Two – Next Time.
THROW ME A BONE HERE, PEOPLE!
What are ya thinkin’?