IN WHICH I ENDURE THE LONG AND THE WET, AND SEX WASN’T EVEN INVOLVED.
The overnight ferry to Athens was one long cryingfest for me. I buried myself in a window seat so I could face away from everyone, put my hoody over Nikos’s shirt and with sunglasses on, grieved hard. Since I’m always a model of preparation, I had made sure not to wear makeup — for me, Mrs.Hot, being sad is forgivable, but running mascara and an impromptu flirtation with Goth? Not so much.
And speaking of preparation, the condoms I always carry were definitely not going to be necessary … despite the hot looks being sent my way by some crew members. Damn, how long do you have to be out at sea for a red-faced woman with Jackie O sunglasses and unisex clothes to be attractive? A couple were noteworthy, and ordinarily I might’ve enjoyed a romp in a lifeboat to pass the long hours. However, Niko’s face kept stabbing me in the heart. And I knew he was crying, too. I inhaled his scent from his shirt I was wearing — it was like he was still hugging me, and it just made me cry harder.
After awhile, I needed to stretch my legs and went up on deck. The stars were blazing, the moon almost full. It was then I remembered the promise Nikos and I had made the night before, when we were lying together on the beach for the last time, holding hands, as always, silent and gazing at the moon.
Nikos and I had sworn to each other then that from now on, wherever we were on the planet, we would look at the moon every night and think of each other, staying connected through her. Now I remembered that oath, and looking up at her, felt Nikos’s love reflecting onto me. I could feel him so intensely — he was keeping his promise, too, looking at the moon and thinking of me, and at that very same moment. I could feel him as if he were right with me. He was.
Even though we’d both been crying, and the sense of loss was still unspeakably devastating, the magnitude of what we shared — conveyed lovingly through the moon — hugged both of us in a warm blanket of comforting moonlight.
I fingered the moon charm on the necklace he’d given me. Knowing he was wearing the other half made me feel connected, and through eternity.
In Athens, I forced myself to fuel up again with my trademark GAS (Glamour-Attractiveness-Sexiness), but played it low key as I continued to grieve, sticking to myself and taking day tours to Delphi and other tourist activities. Finally back on the internet after being off the grid so long, I checked the emails that had piled up. Nikos had sent a few dozen already. He was sad, and mad, too. Kids or no kids, he was still determined to be with me, and he threatened to show up on my doorstep in New York someday. Part of me, at this point, hoped he would do just that.
Apollo was in New York, but even if he’d been in Athens, I wouldn’t have seen him. Because, believe it or not, I had zero desire for a man — my libido had been knocked out by grief.
I couldn’t help noticing, grief is the most effective chastity belt, ever.
But don’t despair, dear reader — I’m nothing if not resilient. Though I certainly wouldn’t be seeking it, and it might take time, in these situations, my chastity belt always has an expiration date — that being, the moment I’m presented with my next hot meal of male.
Because when you’re a hot feline, sooner or later, pussy has to be fed.