Archive for blind date
She sweeps down the marble staircase, descending into a white room, her diaphanous costume streaming behind her. The music swells as she glides past the Greek columns, standing erect amid the lavish displays of roses and orchids. There is a peculiar smell in the air; of freshness, yet excitement. Her black hair is perfect, she pauses for a moment, then delicately places a slippered foot on the bottom step and, arms outstretched, rushes towards the silent figure standing, until now, in the shadows. The lights come up and He is revealed in all His glory. He stands well over six feet, dressed completely in black. The sombre trousers, jacket and t-shirt are complemented by vivid splashes of silver. Carefully cropped and coiffured silver hair belies his young years. A silver buckle connects a black belt, cinched tight around an impossibly thin waist His hands are a splash of bronze and silver; a silver bracelet, a single silver ring. He, too, extends his arms and Loretta and Randolph embrace as the soundtrack swells to a crescendo.
I drive up the winding gravel road that leads to the hilltop mansion, my heart in my mouth. I had met him the week before. He emerged from the pits, sweating and grinning after hurling his late model Alfa Romeo around the street circuit for a gruelling three hours. His camel coloured race suit had a little horse logo’s, the famed snake and staff of the Italian marque, and, in bright red letters, his name – Morgan. He hadn’t won the race, but he had won the hearts of the crowd. His close fought struggle with the German ace in the inevitable Mercedes had bought the thousands to their feet as they both defied death, duelling down the narrow city streets. Finally, he had spun out on the penultimate corner, and the eastern European put his iron monster in the right spot to accelerate out of the corner and take the race and the purse. He approached me, his face lined with oil stains but, also, a boyish grin. He extended his hand and introduced himself. At first, I wasn’t interested; more bemused really. Then, his suave chatter had penetrated my toughened outer surface and I started to warm to this man. We swapped email and telephone addresses.
Loretta threw back the glass of Château Neuf and fixed her eyes on Randolph. His eyes smouldered in return. She could see the maleness in his black trousers rising, and she felt her own self become moist. Her heart raced, her eyes widened, and she slid along the chaise lounge to mould herself to him.
The week flew by and halfway through he invited me to his country house for the weekend. He hinted of exotic, candle-lit dinner, of lazy drives through vineyards and lakes. His conversation bordered on the erotic but I admired that he merely hinted. On the Wednesday night before the weekend we had an hour-long conversation that harked back to the days of giddy adolescence. We talked of places we had mutually (but at different times) been to, of favourite foods, films and books. We appeared to have a lot in common. I actually found myself lying on the floor, legs halfway up a wall, telephone cord twined between my hands, my eyes shut, dreaming. I hadn’t felt this way since the divorce. Did I dare allow myself the thrill but risk of the chase? I phoned my friend but she was not home. I wrote an email hoping to catch her before the weekend. Did I use the words ‘get lucky’? If all else failed I could always use it as short story material. Who was I kidding? I didn’t want a story. I wanted an epic novel.
He lowered her to the floor and their bodies melted together. He tore off her clothing and began nibbling, sucking and licking her bare skin. She shuddered as she felt his hardness against her groin. She struggled with his clothing. The silver buckle suddenly broke and his trousers and organ were free. She heard a soft little moan as she slid his clothing over his head. She could barely breath.
He answered the door. Dressed in casual trousers, striped cross trainers and a t-shirt with Pennzoil emblazoned across the front. He, at first, seemed surprised to see me, then he stepped aside and indicated I should come in. It felt tense but then maybe he wasn’t used to this sort of thing. What exactly was this? A dirty weekend? A one-night stand? The start of something BIG? Maybe he, like me, had been burned by a relationship gone bad. Suddenly he was gone. A women emerged from a side door. God! Had I got this so wrong and he had a girlfriend? Or worse. A wife. She cheerily introduced herself as Cherie. The flatmate. The masseur flatmate. And where had he disappeared too? Cherie mumbled something about work but I couldn’t decipher if it was her or Morgan she was talking about.
They lay satiated after their frantic lovemaking. She could smell the animal, after-sex odour of him. It excited her and she thought that it might be nice to ravish him again. Then she saw his limp organ and thought better of it. She rolled toward him, encircling him with her long ebony legs. She felt him stirring again and couldn’t suppress a giggle. Randolph was breathing deeply and was suddenly very interested.
By nine thirty he still hadn’t reappeared and I was halfway through book numero uno. Then at ten, Morgan suddenly jumped into the room and handed me a pile of bedding and indicated the couch. Muttering, he sped away with embarrassing quickness, something about having to do computer work. I made up the hard couch and settled into book number two.
The lights slowly come up and Loretta is sitting in the centre of the set. She has the same shoes as she had on the previous day but her clothing indicates that she is waiting to go outdoors. She is regally attired in red, with a single white pearl at her throat. Her breasts swell out of the low cut bodice and if you could smell her she would be like a field of new cut hay with a hint of musk. The doorbell rings and she hesitates, pats her hair, then rises and opens the door. Randolph greets her with a radiant and knowing smile and hands her a bunch of perfectly cut pink, red and white camellias. Loretta’s eyes flutter. She knows the secret language of flowers and Randolph had just said ‘Longing for you. You’re a flame in my heart. You’re adorable.’ Was there no end to this man? Perfect, ardent, lover. Gentle, intelligent, companion.
Curiosity got the better of me. The day was rapidly starting to melt away and I felt a need to be out and about, with or without the elusive Morgan. I edged open the door to his office. Morgan was more animated than I had seen him all weekend. His attention was focussed on the computer monitor in front of him. I inched closer. His hands were clasped around a play station control unit. I saw the opened CD case to the side of his desk. Grand Tourismo. Morgan had been in this room, by my reckoning, for six hours since I had arrived and it seemed that he had been having an intimate relationship with a motor racing game. I touched his shoulder. Jumped out of his skin, Morgan literally left his seat. He spun around and looked as though he momentarily forgot who I was or why I was in the room. His hands flew from the control unit and pushed back the STP cap on his head. I had the impression that I had disturbed some deeply religious experience. I looked around the walls at the pictures of cars sliding into corners, cars sliding out of corners, cars sliding across race tracks; cars, cars, cars. I backed slowly out of the room muttering apologies. Minutes later he appeared and indicated that it was time for the drive. There was suddenly a new vitality to Morgan. A spring in his step, a slight grin on his face. A return to the man I had met a week ago in his Italian racing suit. He proudly backed a gorgeous dark green car out of his garage and I could tell from the expectant look on his face that this was something special. Before I could ask any questions he has informed me that, yes indeed, it is a rare Type S Jaguar. And, yes indeed, the famous Graham Hill had driven this model at Brands Hatch and it still had the plaque on the walnut dashboard to say so. The most I could tell you about my car is that its yellow and it has always started when I turn the key. I don’t know any famous legends and I doubt they would want to squeeze into my little yellow car. But this is progress. Morgan is positively brimming over with enough youthful enthusiasm to serve us both.
We sped out of the drive and into the country, balmy and full of smells after a brief, but heavy, shower of rain. He was to take me to Hillhaven, a newish resort that had opened in the last year and had been frequented already by Presidents, Kings and film stars. I had only previously seen Hillhaven from the outside and was looking forward to an extended tour. I had heard about the famous ‘wet rooms’ and the supremely relaxing Vichy shower treatments. As we sped along the road I noticed a white building, set back off the road. It looked vaguely religious, if a little run down and neglected. It was covered with multicoloured drawings and writing. I enquired what it was and of the obvious graffiti. Morgan grumped, muttered something about damn hormone driven kids, and drove on with increased haste. My hopes of seeing the inner sanctums of Hillhaven were short lived as Morgan raced in, drove at breakneck speed around the roundabout and exited, all within ten seconds. As we drove past the white building again I asked him to stop. Reluctantly, he did so with a dramatic look at his wristwatch and adjustment of the dashboard clock. As I drew closer I could see that the graffiti was largely themed around teenage female angst. Liaisons that had gone wrong, boys who had betrayed. Some were a short blasphemous sentence, others a poignant phrase, a few would have qualified as essays. I was struck by the sophistication and misery of the writing. I heard a horn blasting, and, turning, I could see Morgan gesticulating at his watch.
Randolph knelt before Loretta as a small orchestra of violins and one sole pianist played Vivaldi in the background. He reached into the inner pocket of his white linen jacket and removed a small, satin covered, box. Carefully and with much grace, he opened the lid to reveal a red interior, and, nestled in the centre a ring of exquisite beauty. Loretta uttered a small cry and her hand went to her breast. His eyes met hers and she could hear no words but she read his lips and knew what he was asking of her. She uttered the single reply they both knew she would make from the day they had first laid eyes on each other. She rushed to his arms and they embraced passionately.
The community barbecue later that night. The fluorescent ceiling exudes an olive glow that makes everyone look like they died two hours ago. Morgan stands across the room, talking with a group of men. They are all dressed the same. Dark trousers, polo shirts with automotive advertising emblazoned across the breast pocket, poplin casual jackets, and light coloured shoes. If it weren’t so sad it would be funny. He has successfully ignored me since the long silent drive home after what I am now coming to call the ‘graffiti incident’. I was genuinely fascinated by what this could mean and Morgan seemed to have a definite opinion, which he was keeping to himself. Morgan glances in my direction and I hope that he sees a tall blonde woman seated by herself in this lounge looking back at him and sending him a hard, wary glance that says, step forward if you’re who I think you are; otherwise, get lost. Still; having said all that I have a desperate need to also make something of this journey. I decide to take the initiative, and, as Morgan drifted away from his friends (or was he sensing my move and pre-empting it?), I rushed after him. Catching him, I spontaneously linked my arm with his. I felt his body stiffen and a grimace appear on his face. He’s like a trapped animal, knowing he needs protection and succour, but has this primitive instinct to run or attack. Morgan suddenly had the need to use his captured arm and he pulls free.
At exactly half past nine Morgan suddenly rose from his chair, stretched, yawned and announced he was off to bed. Bewildered I looked at him and then Cherie. She shrugged her shoulders and Morgan disappeared back into the house with indecent haste
At the stroke of midnight I slammed the door of my little yellow car and started the long drive back home. As I passed the room that must have been Morgan’s I saw a figure crouched over a computer screen, intently looking down the racetrack, illuminated by the flickering graphics, STP hat on his head.
A desert island. He, grey haired now, with the first flecks of white, raises a champagne glass. His eyes reflected in the blue waters and white surf, display only enduring love. Loretta smiles and returns his toast. Her sarong slips and shows the body of fifty-year-old Goddess.