A single crimson rose in a cut crystal vase was on the table; below, the Pacific waves broke against the cliff. The cold north wind whistled through the blow holes in the cliffs face with a Siren’s Song. Fishing boats were out past dawn’s shadow, working where the coastal shelf dropped off. The gulls did their dance on the wind.
Just past dawn he had stopped on his drive from nowhere to no-place at this rather elegant bed and breakfast because they had advertised a café. But he was surprised.
The omelet with artichoke hearts, thin slices of mildly spicy pork sausage, spinach, and three kinds of cheese had been wonderful, and the French Roast coffee superb.
They were slices of life he hadn’t often contacted in the life that was his.
The bread was fresh, sweet and still warm.
As the creases in his face had slowly relaxed; and the smoke and the noise, the drama, the dreams and the struggles, had drifted away, he could breath for a moment.
The passions, the momentary passions, the lovely passions: hollow, empty and past, the lives touched, and past.
He had thought he had finally changed all that.
As always, as with everything, you gave it all of your love, all of your heart, there simply wasn’t any other way.
All of my love, he mused, and now a moment, a breath.
He listened to the wind, the Siren’s song, the gulls.
Reaching out, caressing the velvet of one of the rose’s pedals with the back of his index finger, he paused, “Goodbye” he said softly.
He turned, and there she was at the door.
“Shithead” she said
“Bitch” he replied
“You were driving too fast, I couldn’t catch up” she said.
“Well, it looks like you caught up” he said
“You think I wouldn’t” she asked
“That’s why I stopped, would you like some coffee?” he said.
“I think so, it’s pretty here” she said
“As is everywhere with you” he thought.