"Do you mind if I join you?" she asked.
"Sure" I answered, nearly dumbstruck with the question and her beauty. "Here," I said "let me get that out of your way" moving my backpack and my filthy sunburned feet from the chair across from me.
"Are you here alone? I mean, I noticed you before, the other night here. I was here with my brother and his wife and their little girl. You were sitting here at the same table."
Her questioning seemed so completely innocent it almost made me suspicious. What did a woman so brutally beautiful as she want with a sun whipped old drifter like me, I had to ask myself.
At that moment I happened to notice that the sky had turned an orange gray pink color - a color which no record, written or otherwise, could be made. It was the reaction the light had upon the air just before deciding 'fuck this day, I'm goin' to bed.' Within 5 minutes, I knew, this entire picture would change. At that very same moment I also happened to notice that I had a sizeable piece of cheese pie dangling from my lower lip. It could have been a leftover from my last bite, or from earlier in the day, I really wasn't sure. In a second it was gone. Still warm, I thought smugly, my luck.
"Yes, I'm here alone. I've been working my butt off lately and I just needed to get away," partially true, add to that the fact that I hadn't had any action lately and, yep, here I was all alone.
"And you," I asked, "Oh yes, you must be here with your brother and his family."
"Yes, I also needed a break."
She seemed relieved like a relay swimmer who had just completed her little part of a long race and successfully tagged the next swimmer. The light had completed it's change now and I could see the lights of a Turkish village burning across the water.
"You," she hesitated, "are American , yes?" That coca cola accent gave me away every time.
"Yes, and you are Greek, or maybe Italian?"
She laughed, "I was born on the island but I also lived in
, when I was a child."
The restaurant had become crowded, mostly with European tourists and their children. Bottles of wine were being emptied around us as waiters drudgedly brought endless plates of French fries and roasted lamb to the overweight red-faced Dutch and German couples. The waitstaff, indeed most of the entire population of the island, slumbered about at a pace reserved for human beings that live in such places where the temperature rarely drops below 30 degrees Celsius. Below us, on the beach, a young boy threw pebbles into the sea as his mother brushed the hair of his sister. The gentle fall of the waves distorted the multilingual chatter in the open air. I felt the tips of her fingers on my left hand.
"Would you share dinner with me?," her words sweet and heavy like the moon which I could now see reflected in her dark pupils.
Now the little girl on the beach was standing next to her brother laughing and tossing the colorful pebbles aimlessly into the tide. Her mother stood behind them, her hands on her hips, she seemed like a female personification of some Greek mythological male sea god. All three of them now laughing, playing in the sand and the tide.
"Yes, I'd like that very much."