Walk Slow, Look Good – Hen McClucken

They were traveling. Paris was stiff.

Monaco – too posh.

But Montevideo! Wow! Silken days, smooth nights… It was much more suitable there. Until, it became unsuitable.

She went for the powder room at the supper club. From a window there she saw stones very near leading to what appeared to be a rose garden beyond sentinel hedges. She found the staircase just around the corner, quickly and quietly descended the two flights to the ground floor, right to the glass-paned garden door. A simple door with a stoop, perhaps for a package or a basket to rest and wait. She turned the brass knob and slipped out, unseen.

The stone was cool on her feet as she carried her shoes, trying to dodge orb weavers and their webs. Past the sentinels, the sound of trickling water greeted her. The foliage made thick walls in every shade of green. The place seemed a secret, but was well manicured, well cared for – like the best of secrets. She followed the flagstones to arrive at a large circular fountain, surrounded by a curtain of fragrance and sheets of birdsong.

This was where he came upon her. A masked man wearing dark clothing had furtively come up behind her, like only a successful cat could. He popped her bubble of reverie.

He was tall and fit with steady gold eyes that locked on hers from beneath that scarf that made him look like a pirate. She had turned to face him and stood still as the garden statues, taking him in. He too, was still, like David of Firenze. She felt no urge to scream. After they faced each other for eternity, he spoke four words—then, was gone with his treasure. In her state of awe and disgrace, she took stock. Her toenails were newly painted. Although she had not shaved her legs—they were well lotioned. Thank the stars she had put on her more modest lace and satin panties.

She took a rose as she made her ascent from the garden. At the doorway to the tables she caught her husbands gaze and kept it. Then, she walked slowly, and looked good.

The hum of the room dropped, then deepened until only a tinkling of a spoon..and this stopped on a dime as she wove her way through the pond of round tables.

She maintained unwavering eye contact with her love as a crash of glass followed by more popping crystal happened by the waiters louver door. As she finally arrived, her husband arose and seized the white cloth from the empty table next to theirs,

causing more crashing and popping. He enrobed her, then eased her into the chair. He snapped his fingers at the dumbfounded maitre’d. Heavy pours went round and the hum returned and began to rise. She began to tell him the tale.

As Langdon Mitchell said, “..let us endeavor to be graceful..if we cannot be decent.” For the thief said, “Give me your skirt.”