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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Roads around #Ravello 3. (Serialized Story in 12 Parts) by John von Daler


        I must confess to being a not unknowledgeable follower of the aristocracy of love, Messeurs Don Juan, Casanova and de Sade. In the spirit of their philosophies I have frolicked my way through many a rainbow-colored affair, and I have numerous flesh wounds not only from dueling with disgruntled lovers but also from the nails and teeth of amorous women in the throes of deciding whether no means yes or yes means no. The prospect of yet another conquest which I would and could initiate without the least possibility of disappointing my father’s former mistress seemed like a splendid way to end what until now had been an extremely boring season.
                   I went forthwith to the aeroport in the Danish village of Kastrup and finding there an extremely willing pilot by name of Ryan who flew me by way of London, where I was able to restock my supply of English country tweeds, to Naples where I was met by San Cataldo’s hunch-backed chauffeur, Mario, who upon seeing me cried out, ”Baron von Daler, funiculi, funicula” or some
such Italian nonsense. He drove me very vivaciously and with a great number of oaths past the as yet dormant Vesuvius and deposited me slightly ruffled at the modest door of the stately cloister.
        Francesca greeted me profusely and having been shown to my modest quarters I sat down immediately to a dinner of sardines and pumpkins and the refreshing and sparkling day-wine raised in the Cloister’s own vineyard. The other guests were mostly female, stately and without the slightest hint of any tendency towards indiscretion. The conversation was high-flown and wise, of theories and postulates, wars and wages, of positions to be filled and careers to be made in the outside world.
         I should mention that at the same table there was a gentleman of culture of about my own age with whom it turned out I could wile away the morning hours playing Beethoven sonatas, he on the piano, I on a Stradavarius I found in terrible condition in the music room overlooking the valley. There was also a young man, a sculptor, who already at this first meeting mentioned very indiscreetly the presence of Miss Hunt at the other side of the valley, but I ignored him and turned the topic ever so deftly to the
discussion of hunts and hunting of which I am a master.
         That evening the whole company retired at the incredible hour of nine o’clock, but I turned ill luck to my favor by using the hours before sleeping to form a plan for the seduction of Helen Hunt the following day. The Scala night finally took hold of me as I lay gazing out of my window at the tower in Ravello where I supposed my true love to be. A glass of sparkling wine in hand, I slumbered away, spilling unfortunately some of that divine nectar on a composition, a prelude and fugue, which I had been composing, ah, how appropriate, in honor of the lady, herself. The distant bells of the Francis of Assissi church filled my dreams with the sounds of Ravello, Ravello, Ravello as I swooned. (to be continued...)

Order my book: "Pieces: A Life in Eight Movements and a Prelude" (WiDo Publishing) from your favorite bookseller.
                                                              

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