Nightfall brought a different wind, one stripped of the day’s heat, coming off the water beyond the sunbaked beach below. I breathed deep, drawing the freshness, its tang–that scent of where the ocean meets a foreign land–into my lungs. An exotic aroma that always teased the possibilities of evenings in a seaport… and that sometimes happened.
I smiled. At how I felt, not for the girl wearing the Ramones shirt that stood between me and the moon rising over the bay, though she caught my expression and returned it. I blinked. The wine… music… I closed my eyes and drank it in… the taste of life I knew was the good fortune of the young when nothing matters but that moment. I sensed her watching, opened my eyes and slid them to the right.
Still there, she grinned at me and then slowly turned toward the promenade, its stone tile awash under a full moon’s light. I followed her, steps echoing as an evening mist thickened and the crowd sound in the bar faded until I could hear the surf pound the rocks below that embraced the harbor. I slowed—a couple arm in arm passing me and her—as she stopped to lean against the stone balustrade. Looking up at the moon, she had to grab her sunglasses and seat them more securely atop her head. With that shift, she noticed me.
And this time I smiled just for her, took another step and with a slight bow said, “If we’re quiet, we can still hear the music… may I have this dance?”
Her head canted to one side as she tested the song–the thread of its slow, rhythmic beat–eyes crinkled showing fine lines around them. She nodded and took my hand. Her perfume mingled with the sea breeze and moonlight… far more intoxicating than any drink… and time stopped as we danced and I held her as she held me.
“Ah, you took a walk with me and then you took a hold of my hand and I knew it was going as planned. Yeah, baby I need your love I need your love I need your love, tonight…”