Yes, the dark taste of dreams weighed on all our tongues. Not in the least sugar-coated, as we tend to like our dreams. No, this one was raw, pure altercation; conflict, action, resolution, all in a matter of seconds, all beliefs suspended, all hope transformed into blood. On whose hands, no one said; if anyone knew, they dared not speak. No, this was one that the authorities would never put to rest. We all stood there for what seemed the greater part of the afternoon, no one saying a word. As we approached mid-afternoon, a passing cloud and the sounds of children, arriving from school, woke us from our trance. I was the first to speak. "Here," I said, "the sun hides behind a cloud, take my blanket, so you may stay warm." She put it around her, and I helped her up. We walked away from the water to a spot where the hippies had made a fire. One by one, the spectators departed, east and west they drifted. Soon we were alone, she and I, and the three bodies. Any thought of learning what had happened, faded as we began to converse. Though she was smart as a whip, and observant to a frightening degree, her words did not fall into neat little boxes. A word like "love", on her lips turned itself inside out, and gleamed there, like the edge of a knife. "Love cuts bread," she said. "Love cuts skin," she said. "Love feeds the soul," she said. "Love tears away love, love tears away life from hope, from death, from salty tears that tear away at death, revealing more than we can understand, more than we are ready to see, more than we can ever recall."

"I am Spoonman. I said. "I am tramping around world as young artists have done since man first built boats to sail away from home, from mother, from lover, from responsibility, from everything old." "The sea smells strong," she said. "It is a good lover," she said. "You can find it in the dark. Its breathing is constant, its whisper is the mist, that pulls you closer and closer to its breast. Relax, it seems to say, I will hold you up. I will carry you away. But today, it did not do that. Today, the sea left me alone, threw me back, stranded me on the shore. Without the sea, I was alone among the men, They all wanted me, in different ways, and I had no use for any of them, but that didn't matter to them. Each wanted me, so that the other two could not have me. They cared only about themselves, not about me. Now the sea has left me, and I must live among them again, because fate has given me the body of a woman. So now I must live, knowing the truth."

"What truth is that?" I asked. Instead of answering me, she asked me where I found my my name. It was clear I would not get simple answers from stupid questions. "Let us go to a taverna," I said. "We will drink retsina and ouzo, with a man I know named Nikos. He will dance for us and tell us how he came to have a glass eye, and we will sit there till the walls move and he breaks his eye on the floor, and then we will come back here and watch the sun rise." This we did, and when we returned to the beach at sunrise, the fire was roaring. The three bodies had disappeared, washed away by the tide, or perhaps, by memory. Watching the sparks of the fire rise and fade into the still rosy fingered dawn, it was clear that something was awaiting us. So began our odyssey. I was Spoonman, she was Cobra Woman, and this was how we met.


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