The Hydra (the 'Ingrid cycle') - part 4


…our boat didn’t sink, Ingrid, for he wasn’t called Titanic, and when you ran over the shivering gangboard you sneered towards the captain, named Stavros, “you don’t even know how to decently sink this old tub”, and Stavros grinned his row of white non-feta teeth and spit in the water.

About your driving, darling, i remember 3 things: one you were the lousiest driver i’d ever meet in my life, two you knew this, three you didn’t give a damn. And four: when you claimed the steering wheel the despair in your eyes was thus overwhelming that i, fool, could only nod, hand over the keys and put my life on the line. 

My odds were a billion to one but i survived. The way to Sounion was paved with a thousand abysses, at my right, and one Cruella De Vil at my left, having the time of her life. You were irresistible, that day, Ingrid, you knew that, too, and when i buried my face in your lap because i couldn’t stand another look into the abyss you screamed like Helen must have screamed standing above Troy’s walls, the bravest of the Greek at her feet.

At Sounion’s temple we searched for Byron’s inscription, which took a while, “hope he was better in fighting the Turks,” you muttered and, bored, you pushed me destination abyss and you didn’t stop shouting “come on coward, nearer, NEARER to that abyss!, pluck up some goddamn courage” and i almost fell off the edge which you thought very funny.

And you took the pic, ‘me and the abyss’, and then ran slowly towards me,backwards, showing off a derrière so near to perfect as to be Aphrodite’s and Juno’s and Daphne’s at once, and when your back reached me it was all hair in my face and you were in my arms, whispering “Titanic”, and bowing over slightly (you devil), and then turning around and putting a pinky on my lower lip, “now shut up Jack, keep your lousy poetry for yourself”, and-

-about what happened next, i mean those 3, maybe 4 minutes, Ingrid, i don’t have the slightest memory. Only this: when i opened my eyes again the afternoon sun caressed your face, and strands of black hair clung to your cheeks, wet from tears.

(Painting 'End of Day', by Malcolm T. Liepke.)

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