(Authors Note : Part One might be helpful for connecting the dots.)
After a month of cinematic travels, I returned. With, naturally, equal amounts of anticipation and trepidation. Had I correctly assessed Michelle’s reaction to the exotic stanger from the far away lands? Or was it just another faux tremor from fantasy island? Unloading the bike, back to the street, I did’nt hear the car. The slamming door turned me around to see Michelle striding purposefully toward me. Preceded by a million watt smile. We kissed. Politely, of course. No body contact. Of course. My hands lingered, caressing her shoulders. Of course.
Time to go to the next level. Of course. “J’ai, une petite cadeau pour toi.” I murmured. In my best Yves Montand imitation. Her smile wattage increased as I offered the tiny, gift wrapped package.(A purloined bar of rose scented hotel soap) Michelle oohed and ahhed appropriately. Then, after an effusive thank you kiss on the cheek, and a see-you-later wave, headed for her door.
Michelle did’nt show at aperitifs. As tempus continued to fidget, still no show. I was’nt worried. Concerned, Yes. But, as You remember, dear reader, apprenticing to Joe himself in the art of cool, I restricted my comment to the imminently logical :
“Should’nt we wait for Michelle?” “No…….She won’t be back tonite.” Gabriel replied.
Crushed, not to mention decimated, destroyed, defeated, dejected, despondent,and, quelle surprise – forlorn – I connected the depressing dots. Not coming home tonite. So – sleeping where? With the boyfriend! Bozo!! – exiled to fantasy island!!!
Contemplating which monastery to join as I trudged bed-ward, I wondered what was wrong with my radar. How could I have jumbled her signals? Oh well! Maybe my equipment just needed a French re-calibration.
Pass on the teeth tonite. Curtains drawn. Shutters closed. Earplugs in. And, as I turned to the bed – a red rose on my pillow. Talk about salt in the wound! Leaves me a rose, then goes off to the boyfriend!! I resolve to leave fantasy island and never return!!!
In the pre-dawn hours, I tossed fitfully. Sensing a presence in the room. The vision that appeared was Michelle in a flannel nightgown. Not what I would have imagined on fantasy island. In my dream She was talking, but I could’nt hear her.I felt a shudder of helplessness watching her lips move – trying to get through to me. Then She raised her right hand and delicately placed her palm over my ear – as if to communicate without speaking. A screaming diesel truck broke the spell. And burst the bubble. Helllllllllo!……This is not a dream!!! Michelle is here. In the flannel nightgown.
She is talking. She is caressing your ear to say : “Hey dufus!…Take yer plugs out!!! I did. She told me she’d knocked last night, but got no response. (Gee, wonder why?) Then, placing her hand on mine, Michelle asked the question to which she already knew the answer : “Would you like to come upstairs?”
Rush hour’s roar dented, but did not break, the spell our hearts and bodies had woven. We woke slowly. Soft, delicate caresses confirming that our dream was real. We nutured it constantly. Always with wonder, reverence, and appreciation. Never taking our gift for granted. And because of that – it never got old. Each encounter remained as fresh and miraculous as our first. Deeping the bond between us.
Tho’ I don’t believe in guardian angels, lucky stars or destiny – I bowed long, low and constantly to whatever universal force helped these two become one. With Michelle, I had the best of both worlds. A girl’s “joie de vivre.” A woman’s maturity. And a chef’s talent. I was one happy camper. With a very full tent.
Off the road, an alley of cypress sequestered an unseen chateau. Neighbouring the trees, a wild, dry hedge. Beyond the hedge, fields parched pale yellow by the searing Provencal sun. Nestled in the hedge, fused together like wind and hawk, Michelle and I. It was a day first among equals. All lovers have one. A day so perfect, so exquisite, so intense, that it permeates every atom. Remaining chaste, pure and unscarred by time. Retreiveable at any moment. It is the day that opens the eyes of love to the soul of the universe.
Part Three – Next Time
THROW ME A BONE HERE, PEOPLE!
What are ya thinkin’