Martin was still wondering why this girl had brought up a bloody Clint Eastwood movie…Million Dollar Baby, he thought she’d said, though he’d never seen it…when he was feeling all soft and trusting and about to tell her his whole story. Bloody Clint Eastwood, “make my day,” ultimate American tough guy thumbing his nose at any old-world male vulnerability?
But they were all snuggled up against the fog about to descend on the Marin hills, where they were watching the sun set over San Francisco from so high up they imagined they could see the Farallons. And she’d given him what she said was an extra iPhone, so he could cross “watching the sun set over San Francisco Bay” off his new, trusty to-do list. Plus there was the latest vanilla latte she’d bought him in the other hand.
She sighed heavily. That he could feel with her snuggled up against him, a blanket she’d brought wrapped around them both. What he still couldn’t do, however, was remember her name. Because that annoyed him, he defensively blurted out, “You said it again in your sleep last night!”
She turned and looked up at him with dreamy but conflicted eyes. “Said what?”
“Ma cushla, or whatever that is.”
“Mo chuisle?” She reddened. “No, you must have been dreaming again.”
Probably meant dumb, prissy, effeminate, vulnerable Brit that could never hold up to the likes of Clint Eastwood, even if Clint Eastwood was now ancient.
She ran her fingers over his shoulder, probably without realizing she was doing it as she looked up him, thoroughly gobsmacked. “Where are you from?”
Couldn’t hurt to tell her that. “Originally? Canterbury, Kent.”
Soft fingers traced delicate patterns around the back of his neck. “What was it like there?”
Again, what harm if he told her? He looked beyond her, to where the sun would soon drop into an ocean afire with pink and orange. For some reason he couldn’t remember, the first thing he thought of was his father’s garden hose when he watered the flowers. Insanely, this tranquil memory made him shudder. The pink and orange Pacific Ocean undulated. Had he really stopped hallucinating?