The church bells are ringing.
Tuesday is practice night for the faithful and unfaithful campanologists. The peal is uneven, discordant and untidy. A novice is hauling the rope. The sound disturbs the silence. The evenings are usually so quiet here.
I sip my wine. It is nothing special. A syrah grape without provenance, but it fills my mouth with blackberry, and pepper, and smoke. And summer. And memories of her.
She was far too young for me. A child when measured against my grey hair and dark experience. And yet she touched me in a way that few have ever done.
She was lithe and slender and had eyes that saw beyond the obvious, She was as sharp as a glass shard and far cleverer than she realised. Her demeanour was a mixture of swagger and vulnerability. She had the face of a model and the bewitching smile of a girl. She pretended that she was five foot six, but she wasn’t. Her legs were breathtaking, her breasts spectacular on such a petite frame.
She was as heavenly as sin.
She gave herself to me with poetic solemnity and a glorious sense of drama. In retrospect, I think she meant it. She lived for the moment and, just then, with her head bowed, I was the moment.
I am a master of discipline, manipulation and control. But I’m not sure I could ever have tamed her.
She was a wild and wayward spirit.
I don’t know what has made me think of her. Perhaps the confusion of bells, the wine in my mouth, spring rising, the overwhelming certainty that evening is descending on me fast these days.
We drifted apart.
I am glad we did.
She would have only disappointed me.
And that would have hurt
More than I could bear.
© the author writing as Romantic Dominant
Art by Thomas Saliot