I felt so embarrassed with the string of pearls around my neck. We were at a beach, for God’s sake, not last night’s bar. My little black dress, the conduit to last night’s love making, was shackling me on the stones today.

I was so deeply rooted, in my element last night. I use that cranberry and vodka like no one else I know.

And this man, who was so enchanting last night with his plaid shirt and Hispanic kissed skin, somehow grew in the sun and on the beach. He was something more pagan, something blessed by the Mother herself, and he seemed to have jumped straight out of a Pablo Neruda poem. His name was Santiago.

His name was Santiago and that name, though beautiful, wasn’t enough. His name was Santiago and he was taking me to work after a quick morning walk with his dog on the beach.

His name was Santiago and I was so awed and ashamed. He rose brighter than the sun and I couldn’t stand to look anymore. My gaudy matte red lips grew more appealing with the moon and a drink. It was his time, not mine.

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