PORT IN A STORM.
The best night out in ages, you muse, sitting back in the comfortable armchair, holding the small bunch of pink flowers that Clark had given you. He had stood about the door as if he wanted something more, something other than the short words of gratitude you gave and quick peck on the cheek of a kiss. It is still damp now, you sense. It would have been awkward to have let him in; it would have made you feel as if after the cocktails or coffee or whatever he may have wanted to drink, you ought to have let him kiss you more or maybe let him embrace you and that may have led to other matters and you arenít really up to that kind of thing. The flowers were sweet of him though. Pink, you favourite colour. He may have known that. Some kind of softening maybe. A way to my heart or bed. The latter no doubt. You sniff the flowers. They donít smell much. He smelt stronger. He wore something, some kind of aftershave lotion. Smelt of cats. You put the flowers down on the floor and put your gloved hands together. Rub the fingers against each other, then press the tips on the tips and push hard. Yes, he wanted something more. You could tell by the look in his dark eyes and the motion of his lips and the whole body motion as he stood at the door. It would have been quite of a palaver, quite a to-do. You try and imagine him undressing from his stiff clothes, unravelling himself piece by piece and then standing there naked in the all the glory of a stripped banana. Then he would have watched you undressing, removing bit by bit each item of clothing, until you were there before him nude as a plucked hen. You close your eyes; push away the image. Youíve not been naked before a man since Harold went. Not had sex with anyone since him either. Wanted to sometimes, but never did. Almost did when Adam came into the house with Mr Downside and you felt your pulse race and your thighs dampen. Nevertheless, you didnít not out of moral choice, but lack of opportunity. You were never alone with him in the right place; there were always others around; always opportunities going away from you and then he was gone off to Africa on some mission. Some nights while laying in bed you really want him there beside you, want him touching you, kissing you, making love to you. You open your eyes and wish youíd let Clark in after all. It wouldnít have been quite the same, but it would have been something. Any port in a storm, Harold used to say. You imagine he had entered many a port in his time other than yours. Any port. What an expression, you muse. Just like Harold. He liked his sex. Often too. You suppose that is what took him off in the end: died sinking his last ship in port. Not your port though. Some foreign port. Discretion all around. All made to be otherwise. However, you knew. You ought to have let Clark into your port. You sigh. Another night alone again with just the chill wind and rain against the windowpane.