April 13th, 2006

Hope is Renewed!

First, breaking news. Spring has arrived. Irrefutable proof is the appearance of these little green lizzards that scurry and scamper from the dark crevices of green tuffa walls, and then sit perfectly motionless to bask in the sun. Further proof is the blooming of sorrel, virtually everywhere you look. A sea of green with brilliant yellow blossoms, moving in the gentle breeze.

It's been a long, cold, dreary winter, but now comes a rebirth of warmth and hope.

Second, here is another excerpt from MEMORIA NERA, the detailed story of my journey through the Bronze Age labyrinth beneath the Minoan palace at Knossos.

Still Another Dead End.

Catherine is a beautiful woman, but nevertheless I am holding her at arm’s length. Her e-mailed portrait resembles the actress Marlene Dietrich. Haunting eyes. Strikingly sensual lips, more Italian than French.

If this encounter had taken place a few years ago I'd be in a frenzy, my mind racing a thousand miles an hour, thinking of the romantic possibilities. But as it is I'm battle-scarred, wary, cautious.

The major reason for my wariness is that I am dating someone else—a Black princess from Côte d'Ivoire!—and I find it impossible to lie to one, or to the other, or to both. Women can tell when I’m lying; they can see it in my eyes.

But then wait a minute. The thing with my Black princess isn’t likely to develop into anything serious, what with her strict, controlling father on the long-distance phone to her all the time, and her maddening ambivalence. That is clear. So therefore I have every right in the world to explore possibilities with a woman who is...well, more obviously available.

Actually the problem is that I'm a fucking lunatic!

But nevertheless, I will drive 150 miles to White Plains and we—Catherine and I—will have a quiet dinner this evening at a restaurant on a cliff overlooking the Hudson River.

I left my apartment at two thirty in the afternoon. The traffic slowed, then stopped seven or eight miles before the Tappan Zee Bridge. The sky slowly turned a horrid gray-green, and then came the lightning, thunder, wind gusts and violent rain. Three hours later I finally pulled into her apartment complex’s parking lot.

The door on the fourth floor was open. The stereo was up full blast with a song by Selena, that Hispanic woman who'd recently been assassinated. Catherine was nervously fumbling with a portable phone in one hand and a big telephone book in the other. I wanted to leave right then because I knew, in an instant, it would never work out.

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