The evening had fallen patiently into itself, leaving behind it copious elements to be absorbed. Reminders given, and awaiting, as they always seem to be those who find themselves in moments where they have the eyes to notice such things. Those fragrant traces, subtle sights and muted tones, while being nearly endlessly variant in their nature, were, as always, simply taken in by all those who were present to them: taken in, and maybe retained and converted into memories--part of the perfect day-hours that had preceded this early black. Perhaps this time more would be recollected upon its arrival. The lush tropical plant scents mingled, and then re-released themselves, marrying into divergent, darkly-sweeter forms unknown until that precise, unique moment; holding, as had Mother Earth herself, the many hours of calor intenso sol that had caressed the two of them just prior (the plants and the earth, as well as the man and the woman). With this also came the natural settling-down of all those who lived around this place, this place that he and she had made into their Home; that home that laid so perfectly. It was almost as if the home could know that it had its own right to do so--that it could simply rest, in its own simple, elegant, native luxuriance, there-as-it-was, comfortably-perched on the Seventy-Second parallèle, with the various insects singing their insect songs all around it, making an unplanned, but fully-fitting sonority that somehow worked distinctively, for that moment, in rhythm, tone color, dynamic. Although the night obfuscated most color, it was such that certain hues remained, perceived not now by sight, but by a taste that seemed as if it entered directly into one's skin.
He had prepared their evening meal this time (they tended to take turns): lightly pan-fried chicken, run through a reduction sauce (he was always afraid of running reductions, as the timing was so to-the-second, that, if he were to become distracted, it would congeal into something he did not want). He had experimented with creating a pesto, (because some time earlier, he had planted an herb garden), and based the entire meal around the taste of that harvested pesto, which he had ground with a mortar and pestle he had found at a church sale. His theory was to grow things near to him, things that he could nurture, make fine, native. That idea had been with him for some time, but was rekindled when they had taken this place, because it sat on what once had been an orange and grapefruit grove (which he exhilarated in when he picked from the trees and made his own juice, juice that came from the very trees, the very soil that was about where he lived, telling history, telling tales through sheer taste--he could only imagine who made these plantings, what they had seen in those times, why they had done it, and what the earth then gave them, for instance). One morning, upon her awakening, he had brought her a small, crystal glass of that juice for her to taste, and she enjoyed it greatly, though she did not, despite his jubilant explanations about its making, maybe believe its origin to be as significant as he did, origin meaning literally feet away from her in the form of a grapefruit tree that sat outside in back of their bedroom.
He had accompanied the chicken with some spring greens (topped with a dressing of his own improvised making), and completed it with a fine kind of bread he had found, drizzled with seasoned oil. And, of course, all this had to be accompanied by some sort of good wine, which he had also found, in the form of a rather nice Floridian Rose' (diverting from the use of Whites, as is normal when serving fowl), one that came from the nearby Eden Winery (he had uncorked it and left it to breathe out for a moment, because he took care with such things, such-to-point as pouring it carefully into these fine, fluted glasses that she had carefully purchased, to her own taste). He had, as well, folded the napkins with care, in this case using origami technique--creating the simple form of a Japanese Warrior shroud, which, by so-folding, allows for a fork-and-knife dispensation with a bit of space in between (he had used a very large linen napkin, of a light-beige color, and it had allowed him to fold it over and around the entire plate). He still wondered if he should have chosen a Bird of Paradise fold, but made himself dispense with his fussing.
The raison d'êtrefor him always going to such lengths was that he knew, had nearly always known, the essence of a moment, meaning that a bit of extra care will define it, make it that day's dernier cri. But these days, he was almost always doing so because he loved her so much, and forever wished to honor her in many small ways (and he always found them small, in comparison to how she gave herself to him), whether she merely saw what he had done, or at least just felt it in some light way. To do such things, he thought, was a joy, no matter how received. It was a way of demonstrating his great love, his endless reverence of her.
On the other hand, it was simply supper, albeit a pleasant one, and she seemed to enjoy it from the moment she approached the table. She liked the way he had folded the napkins-- how he had made the preparations for her and only her. It occurred to him that she had not been used to such tender mercies, what he considered simple things, and, upon her compliments (not yet having even tasted the food, but simply speaking in admiration of how the meal was presented to her), he felt a great warmth, content in being able to provide her with this small pleasure.
The pleasure was mutual, then (in his case, having such a lovely dining companion made him feel like he wanted for nothing else). He considered her with his eyes, which always freshened when he cast them upon her: it did not seem to matter how frequently he did so because he saw, each time, aspects both new and familiar. He gazed over her as a jeweler might a fine diamond, knowing that each time, he would uncover another of what seems, in such fine jewels, to be a never-ending source of different prismatic lights that endlessly reveal themselves. Or sometimes it was like how such a stone will uniquely reflect a certain kind of light at one special time--there is no end to it. She could see him in his seeing, loving his blue eyes as she did so.
She was petite, so much so that she often had to choose children's watches for wearing. Her hands, wrists, and as well her feet and ankles were this way, and this led to a certain fine delicacy in the way she held herself, usually without being aware of it. Whether she sat or stood, one of her feet always seemed to have this natural, beautiful arch to it. Maybe she was aware of this, because at the end of the arch were always beautifully-painted toenails. The overall of it created a deeply sensuous effect--the question of whether she knew it or did not know it ceased to exist-one only could see a delicate kind of beauty, the kind some sculptors attempt to capture through rendering such details.
Her body was luxuriously buxom, though, and always emanated to nearly anyone in her presence something unquestionably feral, provocative. There was wolf in this woman, it seemed, clear down to how her eyebrows and nose sometimes appeared to operate independently of the rest of her face--rapidly contracting and relaxing as if they were sensing things of which others were unaware. He had never seen this before, other than in the wild. All of these features combined, often, to invoke tumult in other women when she was among them, even though she never did anything to give them legitimate reason for it. He wondered if this might partly be because she was of only two very old bloodlines (Kanienkehaka, and Celt). He knew any kind of simple purity such as this was rare to encounter in his day and age, much less such a potentially volatile combination as Mohawk and Irish.
And so they sat and dined, savoring the simple but resplendent beauties before them. Their conversation moved to-and-fro, as it will with couples, ranging from the very smallest of things to deep innermost sharing, and back again--that singular blend of seriousness and smiling--mostly the latter, though, as it had been the kind of day where absolutely nothing bringing the slightest reason for concern had crossed their paths.
Also, she brought him fresh news of her friend Angeline--they had spoken on the phone today, and were discussing the possibility of a visit: they had not seen each other for a very long time, since Angeline had moved to Texas. He had not met her yet, but he felt like he knew her quite well, having spoken to her many times on the telephone--he enjoyed her sharp-witted humor, and how it appeared that a slight Texas drawl seemed to have crept into her voice since she had lived there. There was a certain bawdy, playful intelligence within her. And of course he had been told a great deal about her, and even seen one or two pictures. Her features reflected her Latin origin--she was truly beautiful, as was his mate, but in every physical way they differed from one another. He was pleased to hear of this possible visit--it was clear that both women had only one or two true comrades, likely because of their distinctiveness, coupled with their independent natures. While he provided her with great comfort and companionship, he knew from his own experience that such friendships were prized, needed--irreplaceable. He saw the glow of anticipation in her as they discussed this happy new prospect.
After supper, they sat out on the lanai, finishing off the bottle of Rose', and saying very little, preferring, instead, to drink in the evening along with the wine. When it was done, she rose to go inside, pausing to kiss him deeply on the lips, holding his head in her hands--she had come to know that he liked to spend a few solitary moments each day, alone with his thoughts. Her fragrance remained, and he considered which one she had chosen. "Ah, Bora Bora," he concluded--the final, perfect touch to all the luscious scents swirling about him--those of the evening air, the wine's bouquet, and, of course, her own.
Next to him, on a small table, he kept an old, battered transistor radio--the paint-stained kind men keep around for all kinds of outdoor purposes. There was something he found pure about having to carefully move the dial about, and position the antenna just-so in order for it to work properly. He knew that at night the ionosphere drops, making it easier to pull in distant stations--and this he did, just barely capturing what he identified as Miles Davis, and Gil Evans--something from "Sketches of Spain," he guessed. The signal drifted in and out lazily, but remained there well enough. He examined his old Zippo lighter, turning it over in his hand: bronze, once fully covered with ivory bearing a scrimshaw design--almost all worn down now. He lit a cigarette, drew deeply, and gazed at the tropical scene before him, letting it, the moist heat, and the jazz wash over him.
The cool, dry air greeted him when he finally stepped back inside. How long had he been out there? She had left a single lamp burning--the one next to his reading chair, to guide his way in, and in case he wished to sit and read for awhile. "No Hemingway tonight," he thought, smiling at her thoughtfulness, and feeling happily tired. "Sorry, Papa…no can do." He stood there for a moment, looking at Hemingway's picture staring at him from the back of the hardcover. Miserable bastard. How could he be such a miserable bastard? He had it all, in so many ways. How horrible was it to be an expatriate living in Paris? How excruciating could it have been to have that beautiful house in Key West, right on the Southernmost Point? Ninety miles to Cuba. Back then it was Paradise down there, and all he could come up with was, what? More drinking? Machine-gunning sharks? Maybe, he considered, in the end it's a matter of amplitude, or just appetites. He knew his own to be quite fierce, but not when compared to that fellow's. He clicked off the light switch, leaving poor Hemingway there in the dark to contemplate his sadness, wherever it had come from.
Heading into the bathroom, he peeled off his clothes and washed up, still thinking a little bit about Gil Evans' lush string arrangements, how Cuba must have been once upon a time, and the day's events themselves: all of it had woven together into a sort of soft, colorful fabric that seemed to be gently brushing itself back and forth across his mind. He looked at the mirror and threw himself a half-scolding look--"How late you were tonight!" He swung about and headed down the hallway.
Their bedroom was at the far end of the place--the real master bedroom was at the front, but they had chosen this one because it was as far away as could be from, well--everything, and then converted the other into a guest suite. Together, they had chosen all sorts of different fabrics and unusual items for their room--it was a near-perfect balance of the delicately feminine, and the utterly masculine. It was never completely dark, nor flooded with light; instead always bearing some level of soft, inviting glow. Entering this glow, he paused for a moment, as he often did, to take in the sight of her sleeping. The sheets were drawn back to her calves, and she faced away from him. He considered the outline of her body, and how the auburn hair lay back across the side of one shoulder. She was wearing only panties--lacy, pastel-green and high-cut, which accentuated her beautifully-rounded bottom. Both of her arms were drawn over her head and kind of off to one side. He loved her so, and to see her so cool and tranquil brought a soft smile to his face.
But then, even before he could quietly join her and wrap her in his arms as he always did, something began to stir in her. He cocked his head to one side, studying her. He began to hear slow, deep moans escaping from her, and her body seemed to move all over--almost everywhere at once, but ever so slightly, as if a wave was gently moving through her from head to toe, and then back. Not being quite sure what to do, he remained where he was. She turned slightly towards him, the soft sounds building in strength. Her left arm dropped, the hand beginning to move slowly up and down her side, caressing. And almost at the same time her other hand had reached across the front of her and was stroking her breasts--he saw her nipples begin to harden, quickly, as she began to pinch at them from time to time. Then she began to speak! "Oh, my God how I missed you. You're here, at last! I've waited, wanted you so much!" Her left hand plunged down into her sex, touching it in a way that only a woman knows how to touch. She was beginning to writhe now, and he could see a mild, dew like sweat begin to come over her-- she was licking her lips, and beginning to breathe harder and faster.
And he knew now, without any doubt: she was still asleep.
It was as if his body had immobilized itself. Utterly transfixed though he was, his mind began to race. It was a strange place, this--the beginning of a deep arousal, but one interrupted by other thoughts. He felt like a voyeur, watching this, watching it without her knowing--sensing a tinge of embarrassment, and that other, stranger feeling which accompanies all guilty pleasures. Perhaps he should just try forcing himself to turn away and leave? But he knew he would not, could not, move even one inch. He could smell her sex beginning to fill the room, and after more cries and moans, she spoke again: "Angie. My baby, I want you--your touch. Touch me, please! Kiss my lips!"
A jolt ran right through him, top to bottom. Angeline! His eyes remained locked on her, taking it all in, while his mind pushed into overdrive. It was only a few seconds before it all came to him, even though it felt like forever, almost movie-like.
The two of them, he and she, withheld nothing from one another--their respective pasts, old lovers, desires, fantasies: there were literally no boundaries between them. Because of this, he knew some things. She had told him that, while she had never experienced being with a woman, if she were to (and she had entertained the thought along with many others), Angeline would be her preference, by far. She told him that more than once, while in conversation, their eyes had locked, and a moment of silent understanding, of want, had passed between them. But they had averted their eyes from that wanting, carrying on, feeling perhaps a bit awkward for a time. Still, though, it remained, in one form or another, and there was no denying it, not that either of them would do so anyway--they were open, freethinking, highly sensual women. And above all they were the best of friends.
Now, she was having this beautiful dream, a dream that was satisfying an innermost desire. She was absolutely dreaming while she touched herself--dreaming that she was with Angeline. He realized it was one of the most unusually beautiful things he had ever seen, and something that he might never see again in his lifetime. By now, things had progressed so that it all seemed incredibly real. To look at her (them?) he could almost, envision the outline of Angeline's body entwining her--it was as if Angeline's essence inhabited their bed in both form and feeling.
And he still considered: what, if anything, should he do? What if he awakened her? Would it matter? By now, he was feverishly aroused, but in a fashion completely unfamiliar to him--in all his years of erotic experience, he found nothing in his mind for comparing! She was thrumming, and beginning to cry out very loudly now and then--"Oh! Damn!"-- her hand smacking the bed hard as the waves of pleasure pounded at her. Her back was arching hard too, her hips were locked into a slow, rhythmic grind, and her already-stunning breasts were fully engorged. "They" continued to whisper and kiss one another--he could hear her speak, then pause, then answer. Requiring nothing more, he slipped into the bed as noiselessly as possible, and carefully blended his body to hers--an arm around her waist, the other around the back of her neck. It was as if Angeline was to her front, him to her back. As she touched her clitoris, he carefully pulled pushed up her top leg, and thrust himself inside her as far as he could. She cried out "Angeline!" and, first smiling for a moment (did she think Angie was using a toy on her?), he reached around her back with both hands, pushing up both of her breasts, and squeezing the nipples hard. She rode and bucked, shudders running through her every few seconds, but never waking up! He bit at her neck. She tried to pull his hands away from her breasts, but he wouldn't allow it--giving her instead an even harder thrust. She screamed, and he felt her fluids gushing all over him as she came in cascade after cascade. With this, he could take no more, and let go so hard that he saw blinding white lights behind his closed eyelids. He shuddered, holding on to her as hard as he could while it made its way through both of them.
Her breathing relaxed, and he tried to match it. He could not believe it, but even now she was not awake. Instead, he saw tears coming down her eyes, and she was saying "I love you…I love you both. I love you so much." And with that, she drifted back into a peaceful, exhausted slumber. He withdrew himself slowly, moving away little by little, and covered her with a light sheet--he had decided to not wake her. Dazed, he managed the hall, making his way to his office. He clicked on the light and saw Hemingway staring up at him, again, still looking depressed. He stared back, stuck out his tongue at him, fired up the Zippo and lit another cigarette. Tomorrow, when she awakened, he would tell her--that way she could share the story with Angeline, who he knew would enjoy it greatly. Maybe he might tell her. Right now, it belonged to no one else in the world but him, which, he mused, is not something a man can often say about many things, least of all ones of such a nature as this. He looked out a window, and listened to the insects singing their insect songs. Time for bed, and very soon. Perhaps, while he slept, her dream would become his own.