The Bubbles are Bliss
We met on a cool, crisp autumnal morning; although the sun was shining,
Our conversation was stilted; inclining towards prosaic subjects,
Nothing too taxing on the intellect: – ‘Still at the old place?’ ‘How’s your job?’
Monosyllabic answers in return: ‘Yep,’ ‘Fine.’ But I was pining for more.
We strolled along the promenade; an offshore breeze kissed the crest of the breakers.
One or two brave souls ignored the cold in their skin-tight wetsuits; in pursuit
Of the perfect wave. I took her hand, she said, ‘I’m not comfortable with that.’
Drat! I thought, ‘Pardon my infatuation, I think I’ve blown it again!’
‘You have a strange effect on me,’ said I. It was a lie of course.
But she showed no remorse, reminding me that she was doing me a favour.
I wavered before I made another gaffe and now I longed to make her laugh;
Make her believe that I wasn’t just another desperate and dateless dude.
In truth, I wasn’t really sure how desperate I was. My crude attempt at casual intimacy,
Was completely lacking in legitimacy. I needed to come to grips with...
Reality. ‘I kknow,’ I stammered, ‘Lets go get some fish ‘n’ chips, and maybe a drink.’
‘Ok.’ said she and winked, ‘There’s a little pub over the way, just down the lane.’
It wasn’t exactly the Ritz. ‘What’ll you have?’ I enquired tentatively.
‘Something fizzy, effervescent, would be pleasant,’ she laughed, ‘Hark at me, a poet and...’
‘A glass of Moet, perhaps?’ I cut her off before the well-worn phrase left her lips.
‘With the chish and fips!’ I groaned inwardly; it was not going well!
I returned from the bar with two foaming flutes and a little less loot, ‘Here we are!’
‘I’ve ordered a couple of fisherman’s baskets,’ then added, ‘the fisherman was a bit miffed.’
She raised her eyebrows and shifted in her seat, ‘At least it’s good to eat and good for the brain.’
Again, she parried comfortably with my alleged sense of humour. I demurred to retort -
Thwarted, for the fishy baskets had arrived and I contrived to regain some facade of control.
We talked about rock lobsters, rock ‘n’ roll, Balmain bugs; all manner of things inconsequential.
She shrugged off her coat, I thought to myself, ‘Self...she seems to be relaxing, there’s potential.’
But for what: a few wretched hours ravening each other in a sordid hotel room?
(How did she know that this hotel was here anyhow?)
Oh Lord, stop it! You’re declining into paranoia now; stop, relax, take in her odd perfume!
I broached previous affairs, tried to coax her into revealing some of her ‘baggage.’
‘Mainly, here in Manly,’ she replied. ‘I do try to get across to Sydney to make merry.’
Raising her glass, ‘Most men I meet are wimps!’ I bit another shrimp, ‘Is that why...
They call me the Manly Ferry.’ She looked askance for a moment, and then a smile danced –
Upon her face. She laughed out loud, not a trace of rancour could I detect.
As the champagne plied her nose with bubbles, she cried, ‘Oh bliss – a man with real humour!’
Could this be the start of something? Should I continue to be circumspect?
Then I heard that sound, a low rumbling, bubbling as from below the ground, and...
I was to hear it often, attended by a scent – sometimes sweet or sour; rent again and again.
Well at least I had broken the ice; which was nice. She in turn had broken...
My heart? No, not at all; there was an air (so to speak) about her that held me in thrall.
‘Oh dear, did I just far...?’ her voice trailed off, ‘Err, I mean impart a gust of...’
I must’ve looked bemused, so she excused herself and repaired to the ‘loo; as you do!
Whilst she was away, I ordered two fresh glasses of sham-pagné – in truth: sparkling chardonnay.
But hey, I knew she wouldn’t complain. Back she came with her dignity intact, eager in fact,
To carry on. ‘So Artie,’ said she, ‘please excuse me it’s the bubbles, my in-flatuation; cheers’
‘No troubles Dawn m/dear, whatever you wish for yourself! Good health!’