A persistent memory

It’s Sunday morning. If you could see me now you’d notice the smile on my face. The cause is obvious. He brought me breakfast in bed – of course that was after he’d used his tongue and his lips to bring me to two screaming orgasms that curled my toes and made every hair on my body stand on end and shout – ‘hallelujah!’

Not being the kind of girl who takes and doesn’t give, I gave him the benefit over every orgasm denying technique I’d ever learnt. Keeping him on the verge until there was smoke coming out of his ears and his eyes bulged redly. Then I turned around, got on my hands and knees, wriggling my bottom at him.
He was like a raging bull; slapping and snorting as he drove into me.
I clung to the quilt with one hand, shuddering at every stroke, using the other hand to massage my clitoris.
I’ve said before that giving a blow-job almost always makes me cum, well, by the time I let him enter me I’d had one orgasm and was well on my way to another.

Forty-seven savage strokes and he exploded with a howl of triumph, sending me over the edge at the same time. That’s why I am smiling.

It’s only been a few days, but I certainly miss the heat of Italy. Outside the skies are leadened, it’s not cold, but there’s a breeze that raises the goose-pimples.

*

….follow on from….. A happy return….

“I’ve put you in your old room,” Vitalia said, after the lengthy hug and the introduction to her beautifully dressed bambini, who I assumed had been dolled up for my benefit. Her mother, still a lovely woman, slender, stately, and elegant to her finger nails, gave me a huge embrace, as if I was a long lost child, finally come home.

Shooing her children out to play, Vitalia took my hand and led me up curved staircase to bedroom level, and while I unpacked, she talked; mostly about her life, her marriage, her husband and her children, in the reverse order.
She was happy, she said. Her husband was kind and loving, and her children were blessings, who she loved more than life itself. They were trying for another one, she said finally, with that slight inflection in her voice that asked the question, ‘and what about you? Have your ovaries dried up?’

*

It’s a warm Italian evening, I’ve showered and washed my hair and I’m standing on my balcony, watching the yellow sun sink into a reddening western sky. The cicadas are chirping noisily in the shrubs in the garden below. It suddenly strikes me as funny that at eighteen I’d stood on that same balcony, looking at the same sun sinking into the same sea, perhaps wondering about the direction of my life. But it was more likely that I was just enjoying the view. Eighteen-year-olds are not usually given to thoughts about how their lives have descended into the strange. For one they haven’t yet lived, and secondly their brains are full of empty space, waiting to be filled with pictures, regrets, doubts, love and all the dust that travel and time collect.

Back then I’d been an innocent – ripe with virginity, glossy with hope, all my illusions in tact, no idea that within a couple of months I’d have fallen madly in love, and had my heart broken in the worst way.
Back then I wouldn’t have recognised the person I’ve become. I wouldn’t have thought it possible that little-ole-me would develop a soft addiction to sex with strangers.

A Happy Return

Back to the daily commute today. It’s not so bad – British drivers are fairly tolerant of each other on the road.
‘After you.’ – ‘No, after you.’ – ‘Why, thank you.’ – ‘It’s my pleasure.’
All done with a gentle hand gesture, a nod, a wave, and a smile through the windscreen. Civilized.

Not so your Italian driver, whose first reaction is to lean on the horn aggressively, followed by a narrowed eye glare, and a gesture, which ranges in meaning from, “Your-a Mama isn’t-a sure-a who-a your-a papa is!”  to “Your-a sister gives lousy blow-jobs.”

My first morning back wasn’t too bad; my desk wasn’t piled high with files and there wasn’t a shopping list of calls I needed to make. My secretary just smiled and said, “Nice to have you back. Did you have a good time?”
Within five minutes she was knocking on the door with my first cup of real coffee. As I said, civilised.

All morning I looked forward to coming to the bar; comfortable surroundings and friendly faces.
The handsome barista hasn’t returned, which can mean that he’s become a gigolo, or has joined the ranks of the over-worked legal climbers. He’ll be dressed in a suit and tie and occupying an office somewhere in the city.

Honestly, I did a lot of writing while I was in Italy; half a page here, half a page there; in all it mounted up to over fifteen thousand words. But it proved difficult to finish anything before someone tapped on my door, inviting me to descend for dinner, or go out on a boat around some island or other. So now that I’m back in my usual seat, I’ll try to correct the prose and draw the disparate pieces together into something approaching a readable narrative.

*

Giovani loaded my cases into the boot, then opened the rear door of the car for me, inviting me to get in, but I’d smiled and said that I prefered to sit in the front.

“Va bene,” he said.

I didn’t miss the way his eyes washed over my body, not blatant or lingering, but just enough to weigh and measure my proportions. His expression didn’t change, but I read the appreciation in his eyes.
It’s always nice to be appreciated.

We drove out of Naples and south along the narrow twisting coast roads toward Sorrento.
Yes this was Italy, vehicular chaos; horns blaring, hand gestures, hair-pin bends; scooters beep beeping, swerving and leaning at dangerous angles and crazy speeds.

It was a fairly long drive, and I noticed that not once did he resort to the car horn; which is very un-Italian of him.
He asked, and I gave a brief run-down about my life and what I’d been doing since I left – leaving out the bits about my extra-marital indiscretions.

“I started studying marine biology at university,” he told me, when I got around to asking him what he was doing, “but after a year I switched to engineering. Now I’ve taken over the family charter business and expanded it to include motorised super-yachts.”

I am familiar with the super-yachts and the kind of people who owned them. They were the type of people who sometimes used my company’s professional services, when they wanted to obscure the ownership of such large, immensely expensive toys.

While he drove I had time to contrast the boy I’d left, with the man next to me. I recalled how he’d looked at me from the pool as I sun bathed, or from behind a tree as I walked through the garden gossiping with his sister.

“You are his first crush,” she’d whispered then. “He’s always staring at you. Poor thing is going to be broken-hearted when you go.”
“That’s sweet.”
“It wouldn’t surprise me if he masturbates in the shower while he thinks of you in your little bikini.”
“I’m sure he doesn’t,” I’d said, making a mental note to be more careful how much of myself I exposed.

There had been tears all round the morning my rucksack was loaded into the back of the family car. In the few short weeks I’d become part of their family. Of course, in all such heat-rending departures there is always a promise to return. I had made that solemn promise.

Now here I am fifteen years later. The same person, but different in so many ways.

An English woman abroad

lips 1I went, I saw, laughed a lot, cried a little, found people I’d lost in time and distance, been temptation, and fleeced by experts. Sounds like a lot to have done in twelve days, and yes I have travelled many mile, but I don’t intend to bore you with every little detail.

Just a small reminder, during my stay in Italy I met a number of people who I’ve known for years, and also made a few new ones. In order to protect their identities I’ve changed all the names and substituted one city for another.
It’s difficult to change everything, so some of the descriptions are as they are. Which ones? Well, that would be telling.
Also all conversations with the family were in Italian, here I have translated.

*

A few days before we left I’d called Vitalia, who I’d met fifteen years before while in Italy, told her when I was going to be in Rome, and said that it would be nice to meet up, if she had the time. An hour later she rang back and said that her family were very excited at the prospect of seeing me again, and they insisted that I spend some time at their villa near Sorrento.

*

I could write a travel-log describing the time I spent in Rome, but that’s not the reason for his blog. The Eternal City has remained essentially the same; more beggars, more expensive, more commercialised, but Rome will always be Rome.
It is a city of churches and statues and fountains and museums, where art and sculpture collide with the horrible history channel.
We arrived in Rome on Friday and while he went off to work I spent the days reacquainting myself with the churches and monuments, running the gauntlet of street sellers and tourist queues. The pound is at a record low, around 98 pence to the euro when I arrived, which meant that everything was much more expensive.

We spent three nights in a beautiful apartment. On the fourth morning I kissed him and took a taxi to the station and boarded a fast train to Naples.

**I’ve found the best Italian iced-cream shop in all of Rome, it’s called Romano’s. It is well worth a visit, if you love iced cream as much as I do. I’ve decided that it must be what is described as the Nectar of the gods, and in ancient times only available on Mount Olympus.

*

Vitalia is now married with two children, a girl of twelve and a boy of nine. That much I knew from the letters we’d exchanged over the years. Her younger brother Giovani, who’d been ten when I stumbled into their lives, was now in his mid twenties; her mother, once a holiday rep for a large multi-national company, had given it up to raise her children and look after the huge family home and estate, with the aid of five servants; and her father, a doctor, had retired from medicine at forty-five to pursue his other passion- yachting, and now owned a very successful boat chartering business.

Vitalia had said that someone would be at the station to pick me up, and as I exited, dragging my luggage I was approached by a tall, handsome stranger. Sounds a bit of a cliché, but he is tall, tanned and dangerously handsome.

“Hello,” he began.

I looked up at him, squinting slightly as the sun was right behind his head. There was a low rumble of laughter in his throat.

“You don’t recognise me?” he said, removing his sunglasses. “I’m Giovani.”

Fifteen years had made definite changes to the shy ten year old boy I remembered. Then, he’d been a skinny youth, tall for his age, but all long legs and arms. Now he was two or three inches over six feet, dark, wavy hair, thick and glossy; toned muscular torso encased in a tight black T-shirt, tanned arms, still long, displayed solid corded muscles and dark hair. But it was his eyes that had changed the most. Before, his gaze had been shy, now they viewed me with a steadiness that was bold and little disconcerting.
Here was a man used to looking at women, and used to receiving lustful looks in return. I tried not to simper. I really did.

“Let me take your bags,” he said, picking them up and walking toward the large Mercedes waiting at the kerb.

Mills and Boon, eat your heart out, I thought.

Gap year – leaving home

Gap year - leaving home

This takes me back.
We are leaving for Italy tomorrow. Today I’m washing, packing, tidying the house and farming out the dog to family. The cats (yes both – the other one eventually came home a week back, looking no worse for her adventure. She isn’t saying where she’s been.) like all felines refuse to be parted from their home, so a neighbour has offered to feed them.

Sixteen years ago, Rome had been the start of an interesting time in my life; or to be more accurate, Rome airport. I don’t know how I’m going to feel going back there. Excited, yes – I adored Italy and made some wonderful friends.
There are butterflies in my stomach today. I know I won’t see him there, but for me the ghost of that meeting will always linger in the departure lounge.

I found a few old picture of him and spent twenty minutes sitting on the bed staring at the face of the only man to have broken my heart. I didn’t know I was crying until a tear slid off my chin and landed on my hand that was holding one of the photos. It was of us at the temple of the golden Buddha, an American tourist had taken on my camera three days before I went looking for him and found heart-break.

*

I’d expected some parent type resistance when I announced one Sunday after church in early June, as we sat down to lunch in the garden that I wanted to take a year out and travel the world before going to university. But both my parents smiled, nodded and said almost in unison, “That’s a good idea, dear,” as if they’d been pre-warned, and had been practicing the correct response.

“When do you want to leave?” asked my mother, gently stirring the Greek salad with a wooden ladle.
“After the exams,” I replied.
“How soon after,” she continued, with what seemed indecent haste.
“Err…sometime between July and August, I suppose,” I answered vaguely.
My father nodded his assent, as if he’d just agreed to buy a second-hand car from a deaf mute.

I felt a little cheated. I’d pre-prepared my reasons for when they shook their heads and came out with objections and arguments about why I shouldn’t postpone taking up my place at university. This easy capitulation knocked me sideways.

Planning was my mother’s forte; “Got to have a plan to decorate the house.”; “Got to have a plan for this year, or it will be gone before we know it, and we will have done nothing.”
Needless to say all her children were planned well in advance, and delivered on time with the minimum of fuss.

Almost before the plates had been cleared away, she’d got out the atlas and was tracing a path across the globe. Paris; Barcelona; Rome; Milan; Bangkok; Vietnam; Bali; Melbourne…… “And on the way back you can visit your aunt in California,” she said, stabbing the page with her finger-nail. “We haven’t met her new husband yet. She was always one for the men. This is her third, you know. But then they do things a little differently in America. They don’t believe in ‘for better for worse’ the way we do. If it’s not better all the time then you just get a divorce and find a new one.”

That was the other thing about my mother, she had an opinion on everything and wasn’t afraid to voice it. Even if it was about the Priest, who, she held, had too much money and was addicted to fine wines and rent boys. That didn’t stop her smiling at him every Sunday and mouthing on about how fine a service it had been.

Once he’d finished stacking the dish-washer my father wondered in, looked over mother’s shoulder, as she compiled a list of all the things that had to be done, nodded and then retreated to his study. His after lunch nap was an accepted and never to be interrupted tradition. When I was younger there had been a different Sunday afternoon tradition; I’d often be sent out to play with Anna and Patricia, while they disappeared into their bedroom together. They never knew about the one time I went back into the house to fetch something I’d forgotten– mother it turned out was a screamer and a blasphemer.

By early July everything had been arranged; flights booked, currency and travellers-cheques obtained; rucksack packed; itinerary planned down to the last detail.

They both came to the airport for the early morning flight on the twenty-ninth, seeing me safely checked in, and waving me off as I walked through passport control and temporarily out of their lives.

First stop Paris….