Are you in Italy or France?
She hung up. Again what seemed like the inevitable wall of silence.
When had they really last communicated with each other in the form of a dialogue.
A while ago I would have been irritated by her actions. Her rude abruptness. Now I seemed to accept it.
I put the smartphone back into the right front pocket of my Muji jeans. Seemingly preferring the indigo denim to the faded blue of my Levi’s.
For the sake of making a mental impression, a memory, I housed my wallet in the back left side pocket. Imagining a diagonal passing through the pelvic bone between the two pockets.
The clue was in the pictorial evidence provided. Fruit on the vine. At first he wasn’t sure if they were olives or grapes. So she could have been in Spain or Portugal. Where would she venture? Had she taken her white bikini that she looked so good in?
Are you still working on your script or do you call it a screenplay? I wish you had outlined the story with me. I was more interested than you thought.
I strolled the aisles of WholeFoods. Stopping. Reaching out but hesitating. Eventually I navigated my way to the cheese and deli counter to get some olives. Green olives with garlic and chilli.
I think we must have walked for some fifteen minutes or so in an edgy silence. My paranoia suggesting that an anger was accumulating within her mind. Muscles taut within her compact frame. A corridor of tall trees. A large park on the south side of the city. Strolling like lovers. But not connected by the joining of hands or the linking of arm through arm. We had been lovers so familiar with each other. The narrow distance that now separated us was in truth a vast chasm. She wanted to tell me all the things I had never been.
Then suddenly she says we could have met in the park on the north side of the city across the river. Which would have been closer to our respective apartments but which she claimed was full of prostitutes who worked 24/7 and sometimes it made her feel uncomfortable.
Which was odd because on a couple of occasions driving back to hers she had gotten me to slow down. She was fascinated by an influx of South American transvestites, transsexuals. And when a group of them sauntered and shimmied across at a pedestrian crossing and one of them lifted her leather skirt and revealed the package of cock and genitals beneath her panties she whispered, Oh baby.
Later, somewhere, I’m not quite certain of the time or location she said she could handle a ménage a trios with me and a hermaphrodite but not a straight man or woman.
Black or green?
The text message arrived fifteen minutes after I entered WholeFooods. Just at the moment I was bagging two avocados at the cash desk. That was seventeen minutes before I found myself perching on a barstool at Tony’s Bar and Grill and watched his son Raymond pour the contents of a cocktail shaker over an olive in a martini glass. In my mind I saw an olive drop into the high octane liquid in slow motion.
I texted back, Green.
What sort of time is this to have a martini? Came the reply. Spooky.
Every so often she would stop and listen. To the birds, to the raindrops, to the rain. But said nothing. She would look up into the trees then walk on. What had began as a state of serenity in my mind was developing into torturous drones of dark depressive thoughts. I needed to keep the situation light. Get back to asking about her writing. But that just seemed like a pathetic excuse to break the passage of non conversation. An undoing of the serenity that was secure around us.
At a fork on the track she went left. I needed to tell her that we needed to take the right side to get back to the car park, that the left lead down to the river and looped back onto where we had just come from.
I found a scrap of paper in my pocket the other day along with some small change. I had written her words to me on it as I sat waiting in the car. She had without turning to acknowledge my presence said, Don’t get to know me. It’s just fine.
Beyond finding out she had a sister and loved her mum very much, that she loved beer, wine and vodka, read and wrote poetry, short stories without plots, could speak three languages and loved solitude. I hadn’t scratched the surface.