The Page

A tale of intimacy and loss

Tag: Puccini

La Tosca

ToscaShe did not know much about Puccini, but when she heard that Sarah, her much admired Mistress, wife of Julian, her beloved, hardly secrete, crunch, was planning to take them both to the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, Melissa got very excited. Sarah had swept one morning in the little studio in Kreuzberg, finding them both asleep in bed, her pet showing all the signs of the satisfying evening before. She laughed, and woke them up with cold water.

After breakfast, which Sarah prepared with her customary imagination – who else could find fresh Baltic salmon in Berlin on a Tuesday early morning? – she explained that it was time Melissa saw London, and got a bit out of Faust’s city, to taste the megapolis of greed, Mammon’s capital. Julian was enthusiastic, the more so since his wife appeared to accept his new intimacy with her pet, with good grace. Of course, for Sarah, it was exactly what she had intended, a soft therapy to counter her sick husband’s longing for Melissa-the-ghost, hopefully for ever.

So it was that, a few hours later, the three of them were in Sarah’s East End home, Melissa trying various items of underwear and evening dress in Sarah’s room. Being back in London, for the first time in nearly a year, was strange and a little frightening for Julian. A silent witness to the delightful spectacle of his wife and lover, both naked, trying out garments and jewellery, he took pictures of the two of them, modelling for him and playing dolls. With interest, and not without a little lust, he observed the attention Sarah was giving to Melissa’s toilette. One of his favourite shots would later be that of Sarah,  adjusting Melissa’s stockings over the pet’s silky thighs, a devilish smile on her lips, and sensitive fingers.

The opera was at seven, and they had plenty of time to enjoy a pre-performance drink at the bar, after taking a walk through the busy market. Melissa was amused by the jugglers and acrobats. Julian could not not admire his companions, who, for sure, attracted much male attention. Sarah had fitted Melissa with an audacious green low naked-back long dress, which enhanced the girl’s fine features, athletic backside and striking short blond hair, and lent her a pair of long black ebony earrings. Her black leather and silver collar looked enticing on Melissa’s neck. For herself, Sarah had chosen a simple split black dress, that revealed her splendid thighs and shins, and let most of her breasts free, and free to be admired.

They had good orchestra seats, and during the first act, Melissa got agitated whenever the evil Scarpia appeared, and enthralled by the duos between the lovers. At the break, the three of them enjoyed a bottle of Dom Perignon, and Sarah kissed them both on the lips. Melissa was floating. She cried for the rest of the concert, every time La Tosca sang. Sitting between Sarah and her husband, she held on to one hand each, in despair, drowning in tears.

Later Sarah took her to the ladies room for a bit of repair. Fortunately Melissa wore very little make up, so the disaster had been avoided. They caught a cab to Julian’s club in Mayfair, a discrete place where his wife was always welcome with awesome respect. Finally Melissa stopped crying, after she was promised to be allowed that night to sleep – or so she was told – in Sarah’s bed, that happened, of course, also to be Julian’s. Sarah explained to her the plot of Tosca, and the historical settings of post-napoleonic Italy. She wanted to know more, if Mario had really been shot, and if Scarpia was really dead. She had plenty of questions about Puccini too. Julian, amazed, was looking at his lover with much tenderness, to his wife’s great entertainment.

At the end of the evening Julian’s favourite and friendly barman, who lived East-way, gave them a lift to their place. Sarah told Julian she needed a little time alone with Melissa, and then he could join them. Together they were going to spend a few days in London, and Sarah planned to show Melissa shops and museums, girls out by themselves. Julian too had some business to expedite in London with his publisher and solicitor. Then Sarah would send back husband and pet to Berlin, well groomed and satiated. Both, she knew, were now in good hands.

Voyager

Voyager 1: message I am reconciled: what Melissa told me is the plain truth, and those facts I cannot comprehend will be, one day, clarified.  Sarah is very apt at clarifying the mysteries of life for me, and so is my beloved sister, Jane.  So it is that I won’t go back to the little town soon, unless Sarah insists, rather we will wait for beautiful Elga to contact us.  As she said herself, Melissa is our “mediator”, the one who knows how to communicate with them, and the coven.

There is another change, and I am aware of being happier about it: Sarah appears to be less “into” the other two women in my life, and closer again to me.  Not that she went away, far from it.  Simply I notice Jane’s scent a little less often in our house, and, well, my wife is now friendlier than ever.  It’s not that I don’t like my sister’s visits: I never have enough of Jane… I hear you smile: but this is true, I felt for a while neglected, or at least not loved as I deserved!   Sarah said it was all in my mind, there had been no change, and Jane and her have always been close.  I accept that.  So last Saturday we went to Coven Garden and watched Tosca.  We both love Puccini, and for me he is the absolute artist, the essence of Italian opera, the successor of Verdi.  For a few hours we forgot about the stars and doomed mankind, and worried only for Tosca.

Since I met Melissa at Foyles I have been busy, going back to my writing, more engaged now with my publisher who was about to despair. The book is doing well, and I hope to have a first draft for my editor next month.  Sarah has commented positively, in marked difference from her view a year ago when she said she disliked both the plot and the way I had set the characters.  Jane has promised to comment too. I have also returned to my routine, gym and running, that was interrupted that day when I walked in the Apple store.  Only six months have gone, but what events!

The three of us have agreed to wait until we can talk with Elga again before taking any initiative.  Nonetheless we know what our roles may be: Jane has access to the fashion channels and some of the magazines in her business with influence here and the US, but also Japan, Russia, India and China.  Sarah has the market contacts to push some articles in the financial press.  As a reasonably successful writer, I will probably be in a position to talk to the “intelligent” press and TV.  Today we heard the news of Voyager 1 leaving the edge of the solar system.  We were moved by the news: the small spacecraft may never get much further, but it is a historical moment.

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