Thoughts of Then

Long past our seasons. I drift along with the river. Darkness, my companion. Cruel is Autumn. Its winds open memory. Tear open stitches to expose old wounds. Not by purpose. Yet, by natural intent. What were we then? All of eighteen. You of tainted legacy. My Melissa. Did you not ruin so many? I remember those High School hearts. You teased, and laughed, and teased. Sweet, bubbly, curious - ingénue. And Devon, our angelic companion. In love with your every movement. He came with us. Despite his parents plea's. His college savings taken. Just to follow you. We set out. The world was ours. Large as it seemed. Small as it is now. Truly free for the first time. Free and arrogant. We drank away Europe and Spain. Oh God, I remember the Merseyside gang. Drunks all of them. We drank to everything and nothing. That Ruben. Followed us all the way to Madrid. He loved Devon. But Devon, thought it laughable. Wanted nothing of his advances. He could only see you. His jealousy kept in check. As you tempted groins. Played with your virtue. And I found ceremony. With that lass from Tyrone. Damn false were my loins. My drunkenness left me hard. Yet, claimed my pleasure. I did not invite her! She just came along. Damn convenient of her. Up until Madrid. When, as a lark, I sold her. What was it? 100 Peseta? He was a drunk Cypriot. 50 to 55, and sweaty. Last I saw, he carried her, past out, away to his room. What a fine time we had that night. Devon woke us early. Our shadows unable to cope. But we left for India. Without her or Ruben. It was there. In Delhi. Where your Maidenhood was taken. To a supposed Dervish. Who lured you and Devon. Got you both drunk on imported poteen. Devon could do nothing but watch. As you staggered in the heat. Deshabille. Our Indian was not to be teased. He had his purpose. He took you to the floor. Disrobed you. He swallowed your nipples whole. Then took what you had never given. Devon watched your pain. His weak attempt. Fell him to the floor. Then it was he. Caught up in the moment. Adrenalin swept. Who ravished his first. You, he had to have. Then he fell asleep. Hours later. He was awoke by your willing anger. When Devon returned to our room. Sick and scared. He fell flat on his cot. He cried. I persuaded the truth from him. Yet, we continued on. Without a mention of what had happened. But you were different. You left with that Angolan guide. For two days we waited in Luanda. Devon cried and drank. He took an obese maid. For a lover. I'll never forget your surprise. Upon your winters return. Cold and flighty. You bitch! You held him in contempt. Yet, it was you who went off into the jungle. The willing slave of that Angolan. And the offering to his chief. Yes, Yabi told me of your two days. Still you ignored Devon's eyes. Cruelly you danced naked in that Nairobi bar. Your body without flaw. Then left, laughing, with that rich Spaniard. Devon lost himself. The wine became his soul. I fell in love. I looked for Chimera to appear. But no! You stole my dreams. Devon talked of love in a devils dialect. Wondrous was the tone of the air. I don't remember why? But we returned to Spain. (Do you remember?) You, happily with your Spaniard in tow. Ruben was still there. He said, "I love these Spaniards!" He was surprised and happy to see us. And very happy to comfort Devon. And I drifted out with the tide. Lost in a field of Irish clover. I swam and drank with Devon and Ruben. Until at the Hotel. I became barkeeps. Drinks and tips my only fees. And you came in and out. Like a shadow in a drunken dream. "Hello chaps! See you later." And Devon no longer slept in our room. But the world became cold. And you lost your Spaniard. He left without saying goodbye. And we thought of home. It could never be small town again. I remember our last night. I comforted you out in the Queno ruins. Your tears got lost in the rain. And we made love. You said, "I love you." And I bit my lip. Drank from my wine skin. And turned my face away. The next morning you were gone. Took the early coach. So I took my bags. Sat on the platform. And waited for the next train. Devon came by. To say his farewells. He gave me a note for you. It was torn in pieces. I let it fall out of my hand. As I boarded the train. I left for New York. And you for L.A.. And Devon said he would follow in just days. But that was ten years ago. And you - now I read - a rich virago. You turned your teachings into a fortune. But Devon was not so lucky. For in Spain he lost his name. Devon a male strumpet? A lover for pay? Ruben wrote me. Tear stains on the paper. He said Devon always loved you. That the memory never went away. And he begged my forgiveness. But Devon - took his own promise. A mere week today. I look at the walls. I see Devon's smile. Your unforgiving anger. And I made bestsellers. Due to my pain. And I wonder Do you ever think of a night in the rain? Did you ever find the time? To forgive? But, here's hello! To us and then. To Devon and Ruben. They new love. And us. And we were in love. And now is gone by - like then.
Thoughts of Then

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