Chapter 1 - Suitor Number Six
Death's not that bad. I died once.
She reached the surface of the water gasping for air so ferociously, there was a little less oxygen for everything else in the universe. Shaking off the water that clung firmly to her mouth, skin and hair, she was so happy to be alive, again.
Observing every spec of her surroundings with razor sharp awareness, she clawed her way to the nearest mass of land. Sand dug into her and sifted through her fingers, salt gashed throughout her bodies open wounds, as the sun dried and extracted her drenched spirit.
She moved forward with grace and dignity, unabashed.
“I made it,” She whispered, afraid of what may hear her as she looked out beyond a horizon that held only nature and souls.
All her years making the impossible possible, the dead alive, the unlivable livable, she found herself also believing she could make time move faster.
No. As Emerson had described to her so many times about this journey she resisted for so long.
Truth takes time.
⎈ ⎈ ⎈
A union in its purest form becomes part of our very essence. When that union is broken our essence is changed forever.
"Isn't that something we often do because everyone else is doing it? A matter of ‘Groupthink’ as studied by Irving Janis, or ‘Social identity’ the theory from Henri Tajfel and John Turner. Arlie Russell Hochschild thought we would even align our emotions in order to fit into the group.” Morgan responded to Marcello with complete honesty, while lost in enjoying her vino recently plucked from the vine.
"We tend to trick ourselves into believing we are in control somehow? As if things aren't always changing, responding to synchronicity, or alchemy. Individuality theories from Jung and Freud taught us that.” Morgan said matter of factly with her flowery British accent ignoring the blank stares coming from around the table and the dirty look from her friend who was hoping on her and Marcella living happily ever after.
She refrained from getting esoteric about the matter but felt the urge to speak truthfully in order to clear the pretentious stench beginning to haunt the air. She didn't get this far by caring what others thought of her and this day was much too invigorating to allow it. After another sip of the rich bodied blend from her glass, she inadvertently let out a moan that belonged to a lover and felt jolted when the sensation of Liam washed over her as if he was still by her side. He always got her.
She shivered and aimed to shrug it off. She’ll never know how he seems to touch her through the rays of the sun and moonlight from wherever he is at the time. Morgan’s eyes closed briefly seduced by the idea, taste on her tongue and the misty breeze drenching her skin. Nature’s kiss was all she had now that he was gone and it always reminded her of him.
Her daydream was abruptly interrupted by a swift nudge from under the table. Morgan smirked with wide eyes steadying her glass she turned to look at her friend Angeline with regard for her bold interruption. Only Angeline could kick Morgan under the table to get her attention. Just like when they were kids. Not much has changed.
"Morgan tell Marcello about your work. I'm sure he'd be delighted to hear what brought you to Capri." Morgan's friend Angeline said with an insistent matchmaker tone hoping to find a way to connect Morgan with Marcello.
She was relentless.
Marcello smiled amicably, however sensing the disinterest didn't push.
Naturalists, biologists and marine life experts from all over the world have spent time studying the fauna of Capri, the marine life in particular like Morgan. The island was also a magnet for artists and writers like Morgan, including Graham Greene, and W. Somerset Maugham. It was no surprise she felt drawn to this place.
Angeline glanced at her dear friend with fears she may have lost another suitor for Morgan. She entranced all with her beauty but gently and promptly pushes all of them away. Angeline knew any man could fall madly in love with Morgan if she would just open up again. Morgan would never allow it and like a well-practiced artisan built barriers that could rival that of Fort Knox. She certainly wasn't going to give up trying even if Marcello is number six.
Diplomatically with a few sweet words to make the guests more comfortable, a flutter of her eyes, a dash of induction and a refill of her guests' glasses revealing an empty bottle, Morgan skillfully slipped away into the refuge of the kitchen.
The aroma of mint fields embraced her as she entered. Plucking a sprig she nibbled on it while heading for the wine cabinet. George brought in a freshly made case this morning and he never disappoints.
Winemaking on the island of Capri is ancient in its origins. Dating back to the Greeks. The Romans drank wine diluted with water, and in the seventeen hundreds, the wine of Capri was compared to the finest wines of the Campana region, such as the Lacrima Christi produced in the area of Mount Vesuvius. In the nineteen hundreds, the island's wine was highly praised by Pablo Neruda and Axel Munthe. Authentic grapes of Capri are the 'Uva Rassa' and the 'Ventroso'. The Rassa grape is typical of Anacapri and grows under the olive trees, in areas subject to drought and wind. The bunches of grapes are small and the skin of the fruit is thick and bitter, which is used to give body to the wine. The Ventroso grape takes their name from the area of Capri where it’s most densely cultivated. The grapes themselves are white with a black speck in the center and a fresh bowl can be found on the top shelf of the fridge every Sunday.
Angeline was never far behind Morgan. Passing through the entrance filled with raw stone walls artistically crafted in natural materials, crystal quartz with a hint of the original limestone and glass. You can feel a unique life in the room, which spreads more than 3000 square feet. An original Gustav Klimt brought the walls to life as if the room had breath and a pulse.
Morgan told Angeline the story of when Liam brought the ‘Sea Serpents’ painting for her from Vienna. He wanted her to always remember where she came from. Chills ran through Angeline’s spine thinking back to that day no one will ever forget but tries not to remember.
She’s never seen a love like theirs before.
Morgan’s presence interrupted Angeline’s trance. She had that energy you could feel from across the room. “Food, a place where all of nature convenes. Grow it, nurture it, caress it, taste it, touch it, share it and it's sure to infiltrate, merge nations, or souls without a thought, word, question or hesitation” Angie recited by heart.
“Let me help lovey," Angeline said softly when their eyes met from across the kitchen grabbing the bottles.
“From my first book. You know it by heart Angie?” Morgan mused. “I’m touched,” She said blushing with gratefulness.
Morgan knew all too well how lucky she was to have such a devoted friend by her side. "Tell me what I can do to help. This last platter needs fresh herbs and a bit more sprinkling of oil...” Angeline said answering her own question.
She gave instructions, but never took them. That’s one of the reasons Morgan adored her. She's been a true friend for as long as time.
"He's a little dry Angie. I think you're losing your touch." Morgan said with a warm smile referring to, Marcello, suitor number six.
Dipping her fingers into the freshly pressed olive oil soaked in basil, marjoram, dark green oregano, parsley, and thyme native to the island of Capri. She casually dabbed the thick oil onto her lips licking the excess. Many become quite overcome by the pungent scents of the Mediterranean from the naturally growing herbs and lemons. You can taste it in the air along with sea mist. For Morgan, it was intoxicating and keeping her alive at the moment.
"We all just want to see you happy, doll. You deserve it. You know, after everything..." Angie said with an awkward pause uncomfortable with the thought of tragedy.
Morgan kissed her friend on the cheek on her way through the flowing white curtains and glass doors behind the kitchen.
“I love you. Be sure to tell our guests what a lovely time it was meeting with them.” She tiptoed with a childlike innocence through the sand.
Slipping out of her dress, grabbing a board left resting on a nearby tree and into the sea she went.
Morgan disappeared for hours. Again.
Grace is at the core of tragedy. Once in the free fall of disgrace, the only way to change the momentum is to use it to your advantage.
-SALT by Mazeylotus