Sly about Venus de Milo.

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Photo by Bradly Weber.

 

Notes about the Mysterious Bluffs.

Micheal Midas divorced his wife after she cheated on him two years into their marriage. He was blue about how fast the relationship had turned sour, though relieved she signed a prenup.

At times the antiques dealer was still amazed his flighty ex had agreed to the final say over the decor of their home in exchange for her signature on the marriage contract. She should have foreseen that a skin-deep attraction would carry her away swiftly, Micheal thought, and saved herself from the formalities of marriage.

It was a wonder Micheal kept Zelda’s attention after their home had been furnished. The constant shopping uplifted her about a glittery future the purchases would bring their marriage. Filling the new home with furniture and other decorations brought spontaneity to life, and she rarely asked Micheal for a second opinion.

One particular item, a statue of Venus de Milo, she was convinced would suit the backyard perfectly, though she insisted Micheal see it first, as it was sure to stand out. He was bit nervous when she brought him to the quaint store when he should have been confident – the unique, collectible items reminded him of his own shop.

The thing is, the store owner, Hector, shared a suspiciously amiable rapport with Zelda from the first word on, and as a salesman, Micheal sensed their mutual affinity was deeper than he’d expect with a client. They acted as though they’d known each other for ages, conversing slyly that Venus de Milo was a good pick for a backyard.

Then, out of the blue, Zelda mentioned that when she first visited Hector’s store, he told her about a strange experience to do with a dream he had, and that she found it quite interesting.

She asked him to repeat it to Micheal, and he agreed to quite willingly:

Hector woke up alone in bed, his head lightly mounted on a pillow. A nippy breeze snuck in his partially opened window, reminding him the fall morning is still early. He rubbed his beard, and the first impulse of habit broke into consciousness, to brew coffee then quickly shower before the first cup wass ready to be poured.

Before Hector followed through, he picked up on a strange woozy feeling that he somehow missed while waking up. It was the aftertaste of an intense dream he just had but somehow forget momentarily, a bittersweet essence that lingers in the palette of his perception. It drives him to dig inside himself and gather a few remnants of the dream:

A blond women in a red dress was sauntering across a suspension bridge, until without any notice, she jumps over it.

Locked in the subconscious event, Hector ran to the spot where she jumped, looked over the rail, and encountered a large patch of fog that was rising into his face. The woman was nowhere to be seen, and he couldn’t discern the height of the bridge or what lay below it.

He felt remarkably close to the women, and was convinced he’d seen her before. Sorting through the past, he narrowed it down to a lonely January during a snow storm, at restaurant near his shop, where she sat at a table close to him. She was looking at her nails until the waitress served her a pink lemonade.

Then Hector recalled the waitress – it was Zelda, who had waitressed at the restaurant a few years before.

“You wouldn’t believe we were so close, and just met each other a week ago,” Zelda added.

Hector and Zelda chuckled mischievously.

The sly laughter was plenty to wake Micheal up. The visit to Hector’s store had been a dream. His ex had never asked him for an opinion on the statue.

He was in bed alone, and his alarm clock had yet to ring.  The sky was lightly pink, and he had beaten the usual ringing wake up by five minutes or so. A large manila envelope containing his divorce papers lay on his night table. He got up and went to his washroom, where he could see the backyard from the window. The Venus de Milo statue was disturbingly in place.

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