“How do you live a fairytale in an age where god is dead, everything seems utilitarian, and the only magic seems to be in the seasons changing, but the most pleasant seasons, both spring and fall, have given way to longer and harsher summers and winters?” she asks.
He chews the escargot slowly, mentally noting that whilst the sliced portabello mushrooms were supposed to be farmed and foraged, somewhere between the slicing and the soaking, the slightest dusting of dirt remained.
He sighs, and then realizes he is sighing, and catches himself.
Foie gras, of the dozen options on the menu that she could have picked for him. He doesn’t know why he indulges her enthusiasm of describing him through the food they share. They met at the beginning of the week, and so far, he has been perceived as pizza, chicken tikka, a raw papaya salad, and now, foie gras.
He picks at a shallot with his fork, adds a bing cherry, tops it up with a grape and wonders if it is concord. Duly satisfied that it is, he turns to answer her question, in the strange way he has, by asking another question in return.
“How do you live magic while the seas are laden in plastic and romance is reduced to commercialized greeting cards selling you dozens of roses, hand-delivered by Tinkerbell and an oversized monstrous teddybear?”
“So you agree with me then? That nothing is perfect. That perhaps Narnia is a silly fairytale?”
“Narnia was never a fairytale though, amore. The children had to come back to a space where their biggest accomplishments, their hardest sacrifices, would never be understood. The moral of the story is that with time, we forget what once was, and our experiences, if they are not glorious tokens, renewed homages to daily beauty, these will wither and die. Narnia is essentially a dissertation of how externalities affect the status quo, and nothing is permanent. By virtue of the unraveling of space and time, sooner or later, we are distanced from the very things that incite passion in us.”
“Why are you and I here then? If this passion will dwindle, why do we not just go our separate ways?” she asks.
“You do not understand then, how much I want you.”
She laughs hesitantly, and then averts her gaze from his light hazel eyes. “Well, here we are, in a verandah overlooking the Caribbean. And tonight, tonight we already popped the bottle.”
She grins fully now, staring at him solemnly before reaching over and planting the softest of kisses on his lips. She leans back, beaming.
Her beige silk dress rustles lightly as she plops back down on the chaise longue. Her nose scrunches up lightly.
She looks at the green bottle.
“I love the mineral taste, but it really is slightly corked.”
“I couldn’t send it back down. The maitre d’ would have been tremendously upset.”
“Because it’s from 1993?”
“You know how managers are. How would he report it back to the administration?”
They both break out into an easy laughter. “I loved the touch of the lollipop colored roses in the foyer when we were entering our bungalow though.”
“Let’s go to the beach tomorrow.”
“Silly lad, we are already at the beach.”
“No, let’s really go to the remote beach. The one the taxi driver was telling us about that only the locals go to,” he says.
“To provide syntax for the ellipses which will emerge in due course?”
“It’s smudged, your lipstick,”
He reaches out gingerly, a light touch, fingers that hover briefly on her cheeks. “There, it’s fixed now.”
“I love your smile. Do you have any idea how much?”
“You’re looking for a respite about the Narnia comments. But it is true, is it not, that the seasons changing is what speaks out most in the processing of time.”
“Is this some sort of an interview?”
“Do you want it to be?”
“I know that I’d like another glass.”
He pours her a generous glass. “It’s delicious, even though it’s corked, isn’t it?”
“You’re so optimistic.”
“What about the beach?”
“And then after that, you’ll board your flight?”
“We’ll both board our flights, scattered like the Narnia children.”
“Will you seek this beach with me?”
“Yes, I will.”