Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Memories are made of this 5

The scent wafted through him as Robert was half way up the stairs to his flat; a blend of baked chlorophyll, flint dust and salt sea. Mediterranean. Coastal mountains, from the strength of the chlorophyll over the salt air. And then he caught the olive trees, and a hint of cypress and he knew he was back in the Midi.

As he passed the flat on the floor below his, the smell intensified; he drew in the warm aroma of a fresh cafĂ© express, the acrid smoke of a forbidden and therefore furtive Caporal and the persistent buzzing of straining mopeds in the small square where he’d spent so much time that particular summer. Back came the sunlight dappling through the trees fringing the square, the bustle of the fragrant little fruit and vegetable market and the complete absence of Jessica, who would be up in the villa, seething quietly beside the pool, sleek with expensive lotion.

Mrs Alford was probably serving up something Provencale again for when Mr Alford came home from the office. She was occasionally adventurous like this. She found recipes in the supplements or on the television.

And if Mrs Alford found something Provencale and Robert was passing, he would return to that sun soaked yet distressingly turbulent summer when the love of his life found out he was not at all the man for her. Jessica could barely manage three weeks with him in the land of Matisse; to spend the rest of her life with him would be utterly beyond her.

Even so, despite the tears, Robert appreciated these little return visits, and with a little sniff he found his key and let himself into his flat. He’d planned on spaghetti, but somehow he didn’t feel like one now. An herb omelette, perhaps.

1 comment:

No One In Particular said...

Bittersweet, Chips. Felt I was there.