Back to the Future
The afternoon sun peaked just above the green and yellow striped parasols that swayed gently in the cool Lanzarote breeze, their rhythmic resonance more familiar to a bird in flight than the strain of canvas on a wire and wooden restraint. Muffled sounds of jet bikes and time lapsed laughter drifted on the warm updraft from the harbor below invoking a cerebral picture of people playing water sports on the crescent waves that never ceased to roll onto the white sands that ran the length of the Marina.
Will Doran sat just inside the glass sun room that doubled as a restaurant in the evenings of the Casa sol Terraza a small bodega on the cliff top edge over looking the main plaza
one hundred feet straight down.
In the distance he could make out the blurred image of a parachute being towed by a speed boat its line severed the pale blue cloudless sky, ocasionally drifting across the suns face creating a silhouette reminiscent of a soaring eagle. He found him self transfixed by its erratic flight.
A ray of light glinted off the wine glass and caught his eye, it sat untouched on the plastic table to his right; this distracted him from the mundane diversion of the parachute that by now was almost lost behind the façade of an outlying hotel sited on the Marina’s edge. He reached out and took a sip of his Palo Masi Chianti; its temperate texture bathed his tongue it felt like the sun’s rays on his tanned arms and face, enveloping his body in a warm caress.
For a moment he thought he could see the outline of crimson lipstick on the glasses edge and the figure eight impression left by a woman’s lips, a hint of Jasmine seemed to fill the air as he turned it slowly between his fingers. A trick of the light, of course, and the sway of the over hanging flower baskets contributed to his illusion.
His concave reflection remained still in the glasses curve back dropped by the thickness of the French Black Shiraz wine leaning in the tilt, like a fair ground mirror it threw back his distorted likeness, I look like my father when he was my age. He thought
Same dark brown hair graying at the side’s, same dimple chin and squared shoulders a glass portrait of an older twin, a forty something man staring back from this goblet of time. Then he heard himself whisper her name,’ Grace’ it hung in the air momentarily then drifted away on his illusion of Jasmine aroma.
He hadn’t said it out loud in nearly a year, not since the funeral not since his first night alone, he thought he could still hear her voice in the stillness of their bed room –still smell her body from the bed sheets, still taste her crimson red lipstick on the coffee spoon.
Loneliness had been the Merlin of his year long delusion; he spent his days in his cocoon of office work, forcing smiles and yearning for routine, crunching endless numbers.
Spending each night watching video footage of past vacations at this very place blurred by salty tears, interrupted by frequent rewinds, A two dimensional world of virtual reality
could not replace the solid feel of a lovers embrace.
This was her place, her island in the ocean of illness that had over whelmed her, they had came here every year since they had married he liked the habit -he ached for the usual.
At first after she died he felt guilty, had he done enough to ease her pain his remorse then turned to anger how dare she wreak the order. Finally he succumbing to the numbness of a future alone- ritual was the implement that influenced his return, to find his concluding chapter and maybe swim in the pool of memories.
He let it fall from his lips again ‘Grace,-oh how I miss you’ and allowed the Jasmine air carry her name upwards onto the evening wind, he felt his fingers instinctively reaching out searching to feel her unseen hand- maybe if he closed his eyes she would touch him back. But he felt nothing other than her absence.
Jasmine was Grace’s favorite perfume, French Shiraz her choice of wine -a balmy Spanish twilight- this was her heaven, a contented smile formed upon Will’s face as he placed her drink back on to the card board coaster and wiped away the single tear that burned his eye ‘One last toast before I go sweetheart, raise your glass, I’ll see you soon’.
Above his head a crescent moon spun its silver aura into the night sky and veined across the oceans horizon its reflection swirling in the turning tide, its bluish glow cast mystical shadows across the sun bleached stones scattered a long the bodegas walkway. In the midst of his nostalgia Will had lost all track of time.
A round him the Terraza had filled with laughing couples and noisy families, waiters buzzed between tables like bee’s searching for the sweetest blooms with trays aloof balancing their latest order of holiday drinks. Will suddenly felt the embarrassment of the single man among this cheerful mass, he’d stayed too long, spent too much time on his wistfulness journey his awkwardness compelled him to leave.
As Will bent to retrieve his back pack that lay below the table a heavenly voice from above him seemed to still the gathered throng, slowly his eye’s reached the rim as he lifted his head in response to this enchanting tone.
‘I’m Sorry, is this seat taken?’ his vision asked again ‘This seems to be the only one’
Will looked towards his wife’s empty chair and quietly shook his head, ‘Please, of course’ he pointed sadly ‘I was just about to go’
‘We’ve met before’ she said as she slipped softly into the seat ‘At the airport when we landed we spoke briefly in the queue’
‘I’m sorry, I can’t remember’ Will frowned and dropped his head ‘I’m here alone’ he said.
‘I know’ was her reply ‘I am too, my name is Faith, it’s nice to meet you’.
She raised her hand towards his her warmth felt good within his grasp, ‘They call me Will’ he smiled and placed the pack back at his feet, ‘Would you like a drink Faith? ’ he asked ‘That would be nice Will’ she said ‘A French Black Shiraz it’s my favorite wine’
Jan 07 WillNeill
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