IN WHICH THERE WILL BE TENTACLES OF ONE KIND OR ANOTHER.
After our initial taxi dance, Alexandros and I hadn’t gone any further. I didn’t see him the first couple days — he had to spend time with his family. I did my own sightseeing, including a review of the local talent. Since I go for all things Mediterranean, I was enjoying the hot feast, and looked forward to sampling it all — and not just the food.
On my third night, Alexandros pulled up to the hotel in his Jeep and I got in. I turned my head to kiss him hello, but he was already on me, thrusting that tongue of his deep into my pleasantly surprised mouth.
Handsome Alexandros had gelled his hair, smelled divinely of Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue cologne, and was looking amazing in a white suit with a pink shirt, no tie. I’d never imagined he’d clean up so well from his scruffy professor look. For my part, I’d cleaned up, as well, with my snug leopard halter dress flaring at the waist, strappy sandals and slash of hot red lipstick, the bright shade I only use in the summer. The one that’s accompanied — in more ways than one — by a siren. Va-va-voom.
Judging from the thick vibe of lust and anticipation between us, the time apart had been a good call. Because sometimes absence doesn’t simply make the heart grow fonder … it makes the loins smolder. Yes, I just said smoldering loins! You’re welcome!
We drove to the port. Alexandros was humoring my wish to party with the locals in a real taverna, with ouzo-fueled dancing and classic Greek plate smashing! Yippee!
Facing out on the water, with all the dock loading equipment just steps away, the lights from freighters anchored in the harbor flickered romantically. The old, atmospheric restaurant was owned by an old friend, Stavros, who greeted us warmly and seated us at a table facing the bouzouki band, already in full swing.
Soon after Alexandros ordered octopus and other seafood for us, the bottles of retsina and ouzo arrived. The other diners were drinking, too, and a weathered man in his late fifties got up to dance by himself. He looked so much like Anthony Quinn, I immediately recalled Zorba the Greek. As if it were psychic, the band started playing the theme from that movie.
Under the white tablecloth, Alexandros’ hand was traveling up under my dress, simultaneously stroking my thigh and my libido. The wine and ouzo; the harbor; the gorgeous, colorful, bountiful seafood platter; the music; and now this solitary, elegant but clearly drunk dancer, all blurred together into one lyrical poem.
All of a sudden, Zorba swayed over and put out his hand, inviting me to dance.
Stand by, Homer — you’re about to get schooled with another kind of epic poem.