Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Recovery Muse

A Tiny Pirate blogThese improper thoughts were probably wrong but I couldn’t help myself. I had resisted her for almost two months, but my primal instincts could only take so much torment. Every day I would see her gliding past my villa in her Italian-made scooter, full, luscious hair trailing behind her gleaming helmet. “Buenos dias” the little coquette would offer in a voice so sweet I could taste it on my tongue. Her sunny smile always reached up to her eyes, as she’d turn and wave with a dainty hand in my direction. She would stir something in me that grew with every single day.


I had moved here for the peace and tranquility the island offered. I wanted to be away from those kind of girls after the last catastrophic dalliance left me bereaved of love, destroyed of heart and barren of money. Broken, I rampaged wrathfully and desperately through the usual Soho bars, after-parties and illicit drinking dens, trying to dull my pain with a succession of nameless faces and faceless bodies, touching, needing, and reaching out to anyone and everyone to make me feel alive again. But my corpse was truly haunted and I was too far gone with grief to recover.

Unable to sleep, unable to eat, and full of remorse and self-hatred after finding yet another stranger in my bed, I finally sought aid from Dr Frazer. A man I had not seen since I was a wild kid, running around with a bad crowd. He suggested a cocktail of ‘mother’s little helpers’, lest I find myself back in the drug haze of my youth.

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“Heartbreak is normal. It’s a bereavement. Tears and sadness are your body’s way of letting go and healing.” Rubbing at his tired old eyes, he continued to try and soothe me with placebo words and futile promises. “But you are an artist and therefore sensitive to life that little bit more than the rest of them” He looked through my own vacant eyes over the rim of his half-moon glasses, now perched at the end of his bulbous nose. “These will help.” He scrawled in his spidery script, and numb with pain I dutifully obeyed. He dismissed me with a flick of one hand and a recipe for disaster in the other.

I initially followed the instructions to the letter however after a couple of weeks, impatience and madness invaded my mind. I began to wash the mystery capsules down with vodka as the promised remedy of light failed to materialise, and sleep became all but a distant memory. I chose vodka over gin as I thought gin might make my melancholy worse. ‘Mother’s ruin’ was coined for a reason. When my cleaner found me, I was moments away from leaving my body to medical science.

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Wildly inaccurate, the headlines screamed about my ‘failed suicide attempt’ every lurid detail giving me no privacy or respite to recover. Speculation as to which model had broken my heart so viciously was rife to the point of vulgarity. Lauren in the mean time, had long disappeared with someone who could provide her with the emotional props that I had apparently lacked. The weeks that followed at the Priory allowed me the space and time to patch myself up to the point of functioning again, but I had no energy or vision left to pick up my camera and get back in the game.

My agent’s calls went unanswered, fashion week came and went, a multitude of editors begged me in vain to shoot for them. I didn’t know if this was out of loyalty, pity, or simply business. A cover shot by me, especially after months of features and grossly exaggerated stories, would be worth a small fortune in sales alone. I felt somewhat violated. And I resolutely refused to give any interviews, making this piece of scandal that much more sickeningly valuable to the salivating hacks. Most importantly for me, in order to capture a moment through my lens - whatever moment that may be - beauty, sadness, emotion, colour, I have to feel alive. But I still felt as dead as the profound love that Lauren had killed.

A paparazzi caught me unguarded, coming back late into my Notting Hill pied-a-terre, laden with bags from the off-license. “Off the wagon are yah?’ His tone was a treacle of mockery. In a fit of pique I smashed my fist into his lens, as I knew from experience that this would hurt him more than if I’d caused him physical damage. The tabloids went into a rapturous frenzy and the hunt was back on, and once more I found myself with no power to outrun the pack. That is when I decided to escape my life. I needed to become the person I had been, and being in London, where the glare of the spotlight seemed to be following my every move, was not conducive to this.

That’s when I made the decision to go to the island.

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I had been here many times before, this magical place had offered me so many happy and sensory memories from the past. I remembered joyful family holidays as a child, mum and dad dancing on the golden sand to Frank Sinatra, and my brother and I learning to swim in the warm Mediterranean Sea and looking for crabs with dad, as mum looked on and took what are now, old, grainy photos. When my first editor asked me for suggestions for my debut cover, I immediately thought of this place. It was still relatively virgin and undiscovered, and totally at odds with my profile and reputation, so it became my haven anew when everything in London became too much to tolerate.

Finding a relatively secluded villa, just overlooking the quaint little fishing harbour was no issue. I travelled in October, off-season, and the elderly couple who rented the property to me welcomed me like a long lost child. As soon as I saw the little house, with its whitewashed walls, full-length green shutters and ochre roof tiles I was enchanted. My new home only had two bedrooms and was scant in furnishings, but had clearly been loved. There was a huge open plan kitchen and lounge which led out into the fragrant orangery, with its magnificent views across to the azure waters, and where I eventually set up my cameras and tripods to start the long journey towards recapturing my spirit and raison d’etre.

The villa had been my landlords’ son’s place, but he now resided with his wife on the mainland, so his parents welcomed me to fill the void Alberto had left. They gave me total privacy but from time to time I played the dutiful adopted offspring, sharing Sunday lunches with them and sometimes accompanying ‘Mama Rosa’ to the grocery store. As bizarre as it seemed we all naturally embraced our roles and it seemed like we needed to fill a gap in each other’s lives, and for now, this worked for them and it worked for me.

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I had been existing, because to call it living would not yet be true, on the island for four months, through cooler breezes and chillier nights, a self-imposed exile to tend to my emotional wounds in private. Friends and family understood, they knew me well enough to appreciate my need for isolation, and were never in doubt that my hospitalisation had arisen through ill-thought and clouded brain blunders, as opposed to an actual attempt to take my life. We emailed, Skyped and were in touch almost on a daily basis, and we shared our New Year’s eve online with me overlooking the twinkling harbour and they at various high-end restaurants or private parties of the season. Christmas had meant nothing to me, and I secluded myself in the discreet cocoon of the orangery, looking at the stars through my newly acquired telescope.

As sunnier days became the habit, so too did my disposition. I slept less, awoke earlier, and looked forward to my daily walk down the cobbled streets of the picturesque village. I had picked up some words and phrases on my daily jaunts, and became familiar with several locals, whom had finally stopped looking at me with curiosity and confusion in their eyes. For the first time in eons I actually smiled back whilst feeling it inside. I was connecting again.

On that fateful day, the day I felt re-born, Mama Rosa had invited me for a coffee at her friend Marisa’s shorefront café, in reality a rustic little shack. I was a little early, the morning heat having made it impossible for me to stay in bed. Approaching the harbour wall, a force so intense speared into my core, almost making me lose balance into the swirling sea. In-front of me, at the coffee shack was the most angelic vision of beauty I had ever set my eyes on.

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Long, raven-black hair framed a doll-like face with full red lips, a perfect and tiny upturned nose and large, green almond eyes. Her lashes were so full they curtsied like a butterfly’s wings. She had a beauty spot on the top left hand corner of her succulent lips, which I the instant urge to kiss until I had no more kiss left in me. I caught my breath and watched the heavenly apparition from behind some lobster traps that the fishermen had stacked up, their catch already en-route to the mainland’s finest restaurants.

She was petite, around 5’4”, with an ass so high and round, it begged to be caressed and bitten. Her breasts, full and firm, threatened to explode out of her just-too-tight white shirt, where her nipples announced their presence by their subtly darker hues fighting through the material.

“Que haces?” I jumped as high as my heartbeat as Mama Rosa approached behind me, wanting to know what I was doing there. She looked quizzically at me as I lamely explained I was interested in the traps. I took her arm and joined together we walked towards my kryptonite. With each step my heart raced that much faster, and my swollen tongue felt no longer able to fit in my parched mouth. I self-consciously wiped the sweat from my face, patted down my hair and tried to regain some composure.

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A gaggle of older ladies, whom I hadn’t noticed due to my blindness at anything other than my new angel, were seated in the low rattan chairs. They waved their fans in unison, hoping that the silent breezy chorus would give them some respite from the heat. Greetings were courteously exchanged, as I surreptitiously drank in every inch of my Venus’ smile, her skin, her movements, her curves as she sipped from her coffee cup, oblivious to the fresh wounds Eros had caused me via her splendor.

Mama Rosa’s friend Marisa came out from the back and arrowed her ample hips towards our table, excitedly pulling at my beauty’s hand. She lifted me brusquely and kissed me on both cheeks whilst bear-hugging me into her abundant chest. “Te presento a mi sobrina Sophia ella quiere ser modelo.” I looked questioningly at Mama Rosa. I vaguely understood what was being said…niece..? Model…? How did any of these old women know I was a photographer? Marisa placed Sophia’s hand in mine and at that moment I swear I levitated. Above the sea pounding on the shore I could also feel and hear the waters swishing wildly in my ears through the boom, boom, boom, of my chest. My pupils dilated, everything was so much brighter. Every one of my senses had intensified in a raw, animalistic response through the power of her touch.

“Alex,” was all I managed to drool. Imbecile.

“Sheee…eeees neeed fotos too bee modelo” offered Mama Rosa in her long and broken version of my language. “Yu hab camaras.” Ahh. Of course. Mama Rosa had seen me unloading my hulking kit.

“Oh. Ok. But me…uhm..me no es bueno. Me no good. Is hobby…erm..no professional.” I lied. I didn’t allow myself to even dare look at Sophia.

Sophia, Sophia, Sophia. Even her name was a gospel song in my soul. A possessive surge ran through my veins, and at that very moment I wanted no-one else to ever look at her, and certainly to never see her in the way I would capture her perfection through my lens. I never wanted to share her with anyone else. I wanted this goddess utterly to myself. The crying irony of my trade.

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The rest of the day, well, I don’t know what happened to the rest of the day. I don’t know what happened to the rest of the weeks that followed, all I know is that my routine became a journey into voyeurism unlike any of my myriad photographic sessions had ever conjured. I would awake early, preen myself like a deluded peacock, and await her passing on that blasted scooter. With strong coffee in one hand I would cooly tip my hat to her in return salutation at her unflawed little wave. As she rounded the headland I would rush like an Olympian through to the back of the villa, to catch her dwindling silhouette through my telescope from the secret enclave of the orangery. I lived for those moments and repeated the ritual in reverse in the late afternoon, when she was on her way home from working at her aunt’s café. The moments in between her commuting trips past my home were a lamentable drag. No reading, beach walks or Skyping with friends would settle my anxiety until I caught sight of her again.

I avoided any other contact for fear of what I would say or do, not say, not do, and how this would affect my still delicate frame of mind. I dreamt about her, erotic dreams where I would kiss her all over, from her perfect little feet to the curves of her lower back, pulling at her hair until she drowned me in kisses with her lips. My lust was so potent I could smell her in my dreams, her musky scent driving me insane with a longing to please her as I had never pleased another woman.

Alone with my thoughts , I pondered on the last two months and previous year which led me here, undecided as to what I should do. Leaving was an option. The fact that I was so infatuated with Sophia meant that Lauren was therefore no longer running my emotions and consequently my life. I had stopped taking medication and felt strong enough to consider returning some of the work calls I had avoided. I poured myself a large brandy to settle in for a night of star-gazing and time wasting.

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An unexpected knock on the door surprised me and jolted me from my reverie. No-one had ever come to see me, never at this hour and certainly not uninvited; Mama Rosa left notes under my door when she wanted me to join her in any activity. My London cautiousness magically appeared, and I pulled at the door slowly, blocking it from fully opening by placing my leg firmly against the internal frame.

Large, luminous eyes radiated at me, and the beauty spot on the left top corner of her lips moved as her smile beamed in the dimmed lights of the front porch.

Sophia.

I didn’t move. I didn’t say hello or welcome her in. I did nothing but stand there like the clown game at the fair with my mouth gaping open.

“Hola Alex, como estas?” she stretched her arms out to present me with a pie. Still nothing. I was paralysed. Her right hand gently pushed the door to open it, and my nervous reaction slammed it back in her face. The pie, chocolate I judged by the smeared splats that appeared from the unexpected ricochet, flew straight back over Sophia’s chin and chest.

“AY DIABLOS!”

She screamed with laughter, which flipped my horror into uncontrollable hysterics. We laughed like lunatics, each infecting each other with our unrestrained mirth. I opened the door and ineptly grabbed at her slippery form as her melodic laughter permeated every one of my pores.

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I ran inside to get some towels and anything to hand that could help clean up the mess on both the floor and the focus of my unrequited passion. By the time I came back to the door, Sophia was inside. In her underwear. By her feet, a little mound of chocolate covered clothes. In my mind, I had turned into a cartoon, my tongue unravelled down to the floor, eyes out on stalks and evil little cherubs flying around my head, hitting me with hammers, anvils, baseball bats and other weapons as they zoomed on by.

“Doo yu hav somtheen I can poot on?” Her dialect was adorable. I simply pointed in the direction of my bedroom, my tongue still unable to properly form words. Sophia walked to the room, her heels clickety-clicking their way in and around as she looked for something suitable. She came back with a long dress shirt on. She looked magnificent in it. I’d shot the brandy whilst she changed, to help steady my nerves. Thankfully the maid had cleaned today and the house was spotless.

“ I am so sorry Sophia, please forgive my clumsiness”

“What ees clumsies?” Her lips struggled to make the word, making exquisite little movements that belonged to be planted from my neck to my navel and beyond. I silently reprimanded myself to stop with these kind of thoughts. I needed to be here, in the moment and not mess this up.

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“Erm..its…it’s when someone is stupid and can’t control their actions.” I flicked my wrist to guide her into the lounge. “Can I offer you a drink? Do you need a towel or anything else?”

“I aam ok Alex, all the chocolet ees gone! The postre was from Mama Rosa, she worrreed she no see yu forr manee weeks.” She was singing as she spoke, that is what it sounded like to me anyway. Singing and rolling her ‘r’s in a way that made me want to give her English lessons in bed.

She took the brandy I poured her, and casually lounged on my sofa, the tan of her cinnamon skin offset stunningly against the white cotton covers.
“Why yu no want to take mai foto?.” This question totally winded me. I was dumbstuck. My clown face re-appeared, opening and closing my mouth without a sound.

“I no yu had problems. I look on Google at Alex Jenkins and I see everytheen” My blood pressure dropped to fainting levels, she had worked me out. I could feel everything in my head drop down to my feet. Sophia took my hand and looked into my downcast eyes.

“Eet ess ok Alex. I undestand. We no yu in the village and we help yu becos we like yu. You are friend. We are so happy yu here and alive.” She hugged me and in that instant the layers of solitude I had built up for myself vanished. I needed love again, I needed warmth. I squeezed her hard, wanting more than ever to fuse my body with hers, wanting us to become one person as I had felt with Lauren.

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I stopped myself before I made her uncomfortable. Her words alone had meant more to me than I could have imagined. I felt free. I took her hand and pulled her up…”Let me shoot you now.”

“Ohh…noo…noo Alex I am aagly today. I must make up and dooo hair.” I took her face in both my hands. “Sophia…you are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. You are perfect as you are.” She believed me because I spoke the truth, so she took my hand trustingly and I led her to the orangery.

Under the stars and subtle lighting Sophia moved her body in a seamless a manner as a trained dancer, a natural if ever there was one. Her confidence in me allowed any inhibitions to be kept at bay and I shot roll after roll of film, as if the last year hadn’t happened. I felt as if I had never lost my very essence.

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“I want to bee neked” Her direct approached worried me. Before I could respond, she continued. “Yurr neked fotos are the best in the worrrrl. I seen this. Yu win prizes. I want to bee neked forrr mee.” I continued to shoot without saying a word and she slowly started to peel off. Firstly my dress-shirt in deliberate and playful rhythmical moves. Then her negligee, strap by strap, whilst seducing the camera with her feline eyes. I could see her nipples become erect with her increased confidence and power. She turned her back to the lens and toyed with her sexuality, flicking her mane over her bare shoulder, parting her lips just enough to show the tip of her tongue caressing picture-perfect teeth.

Slowly undressing, her flawless skin became more and more revealed, a hint of breast here, a hint of pert ass there. She had been practicing. This was no first-time model. She threw off her lace bra to reveal glorious breasts, the kind men have fought over, conquered countries over, the kind I wanted to lick and bite and suck until nothing else existed. She looked directly at the camera, her cheeks now coloured with the flush of her excitement “Do you want to see morrr?” I remained silent. She knew exactly what she was doing, she didn’t need any direction from me.

Her hand moved slowly to her panties, tiny Brazilian cut ones, which barely contained the toned curves of her heavenly derriere. Grabbing one side, she rode them up enough to reveal a provocative glint of her pussy. Did she know what effect this was having on me? She must have noticed my breathing becoming more shallow, and the perspiration on my top lip. I looked at her face and she was looking straight at me, gently biting on her lower lip, watching to see what I’d do. Inhaling deeply, I carried on shooting, using the lens as my protective shield from whatever games Sophia was now playing. The shots were electric. She continued her teasing apace, trailing her hand between her breasts and her belly, putting her fingers just out of sight inside her moist underwear, goading me to break ranks from behind my mechanical armour.

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She was driving me insane and she knew it. I had fantasised over her in this way for weeks, I had dreamt of burying my face deep in her thighs, licking every inch of her pussy whilst holding on to her tantalising ass. In my dreams I had already fucked her deeply, felt her nails on my body, felt her teeth biting my lips as I showed her exactly how a woman needed to be satisfied.

My decision was made. I needed to get back to London. This small village life was no longer for me. I had accomplished what I’d wanted to achieve and now I wished for my old life back. I wished for rain, I wished for travel, I wished for manic shoots. I looked at Sophia, so brazen in her quest to model. Her legs slightly parted, so caught up in her orgasmic amusement. Right now though, right now all I wished for was one night with her. And for that to happen, all I wished for was to be a man...

My pussy, wet with scandalous torment mourned this impasse. Oh, what I would give to be a man just for one night.

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