The smell of wedding fever is a heady melange of sweat and a cocktail of perfumes gone stale. This church is an ancient place which has become the final rest of figures notable in their day, names now forgotten by most, their engraved tablets dulled with age.
'Parking' was their thing. Parking meant driving to private or not so private places for sexual activity. It was a common practice in the USA, of necessity as sex was almost forbidden to anyone under 21 and unmarried. Cars parked adjacent to one other, sometimes a dozen or more and all attending to their own business, windows steaming up and never a sight of them. There was an ever-present threat of a visit by cops with large torches to disperse loving couples. They had once seen such an intervention and it made them wary.
Werner was younger then, 17, and always on the look-out. He had long been a walker, a flâneur, a seeker from an early, an earlier age. Although Weehawken, and Boulevard East where he lived, looked directly across the Hudson River to Manhattan, it was merely the outlands of urban adventure, a tame suburb with neat spacious houses down tree-lined side streets. Its big lure was its entry to the Lincoln Tunnel, under the Hudson, three tubes for traffic, directly into the Port Authority Terminal on 42nd Street, centre of the city. Board in Weehawken, alight on 42nd Street: a change of gear was required. One night, alone and bound for home from an evening with a girl in Manhattan, he missed the last bus through the tunnel.
Back at the motel she invited me to her room for a nightcap. She was an attractive woman without being showy. Tall and athletic looking she had a relaxed directness I found appealing and wondered why her husband had dumped her.
There was no boat and after ascertaining that it was safe to swim out beyond the rocks, Giorghios thanked the fishermen and returned to his friends. They all plunged into the water and swam away, striking out confidently to the rocks and beyond. Hidden from view, they stripped off their clothes and bathing suits and laid them on the rocks.
Paul himself said nothing. He knew, of course, that the fact that he had a life-size marble statue, looking almost like an ancient Greek sculpture, lying on the floor of his workspace in decorative fashion was bound to upset people. It was also obvious, however, that it was difficult for people to take their eyes off of the figure. He had had a group of friends over one night – well, acquaintances, really – and the situation had been almost surreal. Everyone’s eyes kept wandering back to the composition of exquisitely feminine limbs…
Apart from the two dentists and the patients she didn’t meet many men, and it was hard to find someone attractive when you knew about their gum disease and congenital halitosis. She had friends from school whom she kept up with, and occasionally went to the pictures with a lad, a brother of a friend, but on the whole her life trotted along fairly efficiently without a boyfriend.
I was working in a bar in Deadwood one summer. The town is pretty much given over to tourism being the place where Wild Bill Hickok was shot dead. It was early in the season and a slow period of the afternoon. There was a tall, well-made guy at the bar who’d been quietly nursing a beer but who was clearly sociably inclined.
Head hanging, Rana struggled to breath through a choking tide of scent. Jasmine, sandalwood, cedar, rosewater, swirled in the humid air, wrapping around his throat like fingers. One side of the bar was crowed with a chattering flock of exotic birds. Light refracted from jewelled throats, fingerings stabbing his retina. Weddings were almost unheard of at the hotel, stuck as it was on an industrial swathe of the Clyde riverbank. The current honour was due to Mr Bhatia, the bride’s second-cousin. She was marrying a surgeon from a very good family. There would be several medical professionals in attendance, some bankers, and an Uncle who owned a furniture emporium.
Dear Mr and Mrs Landlord I spotted your advert in Country Life and my lady wife has urged me to get a wriggle on and throw our hats in the ring to bag this plum of a rental. We are very eager to arrange a viewing at your charming sounding house with its position on the ring road and handy access to Middlesbrough Junction. And it is even more exciting that our potential new landlords (aka your lovely selves!) would be living right next door, so we are keen to make a good impression!