Touched: Ch 2 Later Still

The  young man set a cup of coffee down on the table in front of him. He liked that the cafe still offered sugar cubes and not packets. His watch, a Movado, felt strange on his arm. Wearing a watch was a new habit, or would be one in a few weeks. It seems like such a strange thing to take up in the age of smart phone, but he wanted it and the watch told him it was 7:00 am in California. He was not in California.

The blue waters below hosted all manner of boats; ones with sails, and motors, and boys pulling ores. Two lumps would do and the clink of the china as he stirred them in reminded him of the wind chimes on her mother’s porch. He wondered if they were still there after all these years.

The Amalfi Coast is a feast for the eyes. A length of coastline in Southern Italy, it draws tourists from all over the world. He had come down the night before, along the Strada Statale from Vietri sul Mare. The car, a 2008 Alfa Romeo BAT 11 Bertone Coupe, was the most beautiful car he had ever seen. It seemed to straddle the future and the past, a classic, and timeless…just like “The Girl”.

It had been eight days since he left her. She had been a model for most of her adult life, but in the last ten years she had found another passion, art. The seeds had been planted in Paris. On the rare day off, she would go to the Louvre. She had described it as a magical place where people could be alone without pity. It had taught her how to be comfortable with herself, and he admired her greatly for it.

He imagined her day. She would be just about ready to head to one of the galleries. There were three, one in L.A., the second in Sacramento and the third in San Francisco. She was a sort of talent scout, looking for new faces. Twice a year, each of the galleries would showcase a rising star. The last one she had found was a transplant from London, who, in a fit of teenaged rebellion over his parents moving him to L.A., had taken up spray painting buildings with graffiti. His work had started to build an online following, after a blogger wrote a piece about his style, and she tracked him down. Now, he stuck to massive canvases, but it hadn’t quenched his fire. His show opened next week.

“The Girl” would be too busy to be wondering about him, he was sure of that. Still, he thought that there should be some sort of reminder sent post-haste. A postcard wouldn’t do, because writing “Wish you were here” on the back was both cliché and grossly inaccurate. He burned for her to be with him. Saying that, though, would have been a bad idea. He stopped stirring the coffee.

It had gotten lukewarm during his day dreaming. Like the watch, the coffee was mostly an affectation, as he had never developed a taste for the brew. He took a sip and had to admit that it was starting to grow on him. The last eight days had been filled with more coffee than he had ever had before. It was time to make a gesture, though not too grand.