Buy Oliver a Cup of Coffee

Lisbon - life is but a dream

Lisbon, the tilting candle in the window, orange flame flickering.  Not far from her cozy port, unfurled masts flutter as the tempest grows, becoming wicked.  Screaming.   A cold driving rain compels the traveler climbing her steep cobbled alley on aching knees to duck low into a tavern door.  The light inside glows soft amber: a warm, buttery chardonnay.

By the fireside, a sailor’s lover sings her loss ever louder but she cannot drown the seductive sighs of the siren smirking in the room’s blackest shadow.  The stranger hears it all and cannot look into the lover’s eyes.

He orders his meal and stares into the fire.  A wind knocks at the window.  He will not look over.  Death hovers at the heavy door.  With an involuntary shudder, he feels the images he saw only yesterday engraved on cathedral door, sucking the souls now entombed within.  They desolate ones have come alive and are scratching now, clawing to be let in.

The waitress sets down his plate.  He nods quietly in gratitude.

A gift from the sea. 

The sea giveth and the sea taketh away.

Could he have chosen another life?  Perhaps settled in a stone villa overlooking hills of grapevines?  Or applied a lifetime to proudly crafting beautiful tiles for the tall buildings here?  Taken a wife and multiplied?

The wind is howling now.  Through a crack around the leaky door frame, a stream of wind sails in, nipping his neck, whispering in his ear.  This wind has come up the Tagus from the sea.  He can feel her.  It carries her persistence.  She, who beckoned him one black night not long ago.  No one was awake to hear her call rise from the depths.  Only him.

Her gurgle turns into laughter again.  She tosses her seaweed hair.  He can feel her swaying movements.  She calls him even now.  He has felt her breasts.

Henry, she croons.  You are the sea.  I am the sea.  Let us ride together.