Monday, January 24, 2011

What's a Single Girl to Do?

I feel him kiss me
with his eyes – a warm caress
Every glance I get
Fingers massage a path of discovery
    tender excitement
All in a smile
   understood…

A brushed shoulder is electric
Soft phrases slide closer,
   more probing…
A promise of passion
   with metaphors.

Hands stroked.
Offers made,
   and accepted
Leave a glow in my mind
as I go to bed, tonight
Alone and untouched
   on the outside…

Ah, the false promises! Did I really fall for that? Could I not see through his slick ways? I suppose that loneliness makes for a desperate bedfellow, but really?! Thank heavens that I played coy long enough for him to move off to the next backpacker through the door though. I was getting enough attention, despite the fact that now Brett and I were travelling as a happy duo. No romance complicated our journey, just friends enjoying the open road together. The men of Harare seemed to be drawn to me like wildfire though.
“What’s a single girl to do?”, I smiled to myself as I counted out my roses in a makeshift vase. They numbered 9 and that didn’t include the one I lost, the one I gave away, the one that had wilted too soon and the red one without a stem that I had pressed between the pages of my journal. From many hands they had come, and I was tickled by all the interest.
With so much attention in such a short span (after not having had much for a while), I suppose it was understandable that I was flattered by Dean’s advances. Oh he, with the promise of passion for every lady that walked in the door of his father’s hostel! Was he really any worse than Ian though? They both did nothing more than “talk shit”, as the local guys I met liked to say. As long as I kept my head about myself, what did it hurt? Well… did it hurt Ian that I agreed to be his “woman”, when I was leaving the next day? Hmm. Ach, all a game, I fear.
The lure of romance, the excitement of bars, and city life filled my many days in Harare. I shopped and gathered mail from home, enjoying the break in motion. I dropped off my passport, in order to get a visa to cut through Mozambique on my way to Malawi. A delicious feast at an all-you-can-eat Mongolian restaurant pushed Brett over the edge though. He pushed away from the table fat and declared he was done with city life.
With a travel visa for Mozambique stamped in Brett’s passport, he left me to head for Malawi. My visa would not be in for a few days, so I tucked in to enjoy the ride solo, until we met up again three days hence. With a resolve of steal, I kept myself mostly out of harm’s way and by Tuesday I was on the 14-hour long bus ride from Harare to Blantyre, Malawi myself. Romance and Zimbabwe were left behind in the diesel-fumed dreams of youth.

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