Thursday, June 6, 2013

Crescent City Sketches

The magnolias were still in bloom, at least. The magnolias and the dresses, and that was enough of flowers for a lifetime of weekends, or at least for one weekend. For a lifetime, he thought, he would want the crepe myrtles, too. For a weekend, the dresses and the hats and the magnolias were enough. They blew down the streets in the gentle breeze (the dresses, not the magnolias).

Across the room sat a girl in a flower print dress, not blowing anywhere, but letting the smoke from her cigar float from her parted lips. He stole glances when he thought she wasn't looking, wishing that somehow she would notice and smile at him, and then he could smile back, and she would rouse herself from her soft leather chair and glide over to his table. Then she would ask him what he was reading, and he would show her a book of short stories by Faulkner, which would impress her greatly. She would sit beside him and laugh, and her lovely voice would quote her favorite passage, and they would talk of Faulkner and O'Connor and Hemingway, and he would always have a witty response with a drop of charm and a faint smell of wisdom, like honeysuckle on a warm spring afternoon. So they would pass the day in laughter and silence and companionship, in a miniature of life. Then the sun would dip toward it's resting place and they would stroll along the river, her arm in his, the wreath of white magnolia in her hair stirring in the breeze as she laid her head upon his shoulder, where it would fit perfectly. At the end of the river, or its bend, they would find a bench, and she would fall asleep with his jacket over her knees, resting in his arms...

His cigar had ashed itself on his book, and died out. She was gone. He hadn't even seen her go. "So it goes," he thought to himself. The cigar was not worth relighting, so he laid it on the ashtray, brushed the ash from his book as best he could, and walked out into the afternoon, never noticing that her cigar sat, still burning next to a half finished Pimm's cup.

When she returned she saw that he had gone. She sighed, sat, crossed her legs, and sipped at her drink, wondering who he was, and where he was going.

No comments:

Post a Comment