Night fell and brought a different wind, one stripped of the day’s heat, coming from the sea beyond the sunbaked beach below. I breathed deeply, drawing the freshness, its tang… that scent of where the sea meets a foreign land… deep into my lungs. An exotic aroma that always teased the possibilities of the evening in a seaport… and that sometimes happened.
I smiled. For what 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 as the good fortune of the young when nothing matters but that moment. Eyes open again, I sensed her watching 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 that hugged the harbor below. 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 now-not-needed sunglasses and set 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 it—eyes crinkled showing fine lines around them. Her hand brushed strands of hair back to reveal long earrings that cast a flash of topaz swaying in baskets crafted of finely-worked brass. 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.