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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Roads around #Ravello 9. (Serialized Story in 12 Parts) by John von Daler

                   In the window I saw the contours, in the discreet pink hues of the morning light, the uniform... of ... a cleaning woman. As she leaned out the window waving her cleaning cloth to rid it of the dust from the window sill she looked questioningly towards me and nudged a flower pot from the sill out of the window and it fell thirty meters to the courtyard below. Her face told many tales of childbirth, poverty and death and as I lowered my violin to the continuing strains of the sonata I saluted her, saying the only words I know in Italian, ”Mamma, Mia!”
                   A cloud momentarily covered the sun and I reached down to lower in defeat my violin into its case when I heard a voice, old yet sparkling, growling yet soft:
                  ”Sir, will you buy my goods? Sir, will you purchase my wares?”
                  As I bent over to put the violin away I could see between my legs the upside down physiognomy of an old hag. From this angle she looked as if she were hovering in the air, her legs crossed, defying gravity in Ravello. I lifted my head and the illusion broke. She sat on the ground a few feet from me. She was dressed in rags and her hair was a dirty, grayish tan,
disheveled in the most disgusting fashion. Her face had several moles covered with black hairs. But there was something about her eyes and then
too about her voice, ” Sir, will you pay for these”.
                  She extended towards me what appeared to be used Yves St. Laurent lipsticks in all the colors of the rainbow. Apparently, even though they appeared to be old, she had cleaned and polished them and now the fine ladies of Ravello, who knew a good bargain when they saw one, were to be offered these tidbits.
                   I approached her, my violin under my arm, my wine bottle in my hand. My friend’s unanswered chords hung in the air like question marks on a government application.
                   She beckoned me with her finger to lean down towards her. I complied, though keeping my distance out of some deep reservations about her intentions.
                    She said in a whisper, ”Follow. Follow me.” (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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