(Ben's Soulmate)

(from p. 38 of the novel)

     Rebecca said, "I wish you were here with me in Jamaica, Ben. It's so beautiful ... but so lonely."
     I pushed myself up, leaned my back against the couch and stretched my legs under the coffee table. "Tell me about your moon and palm trees at Montego Bay, and I'll tell you about mine in Miami," I crooned.
     "Oh, the moon is shining down on a lovesick maiden who's stuck on the top balcony of a thin, narrow hospital on the side of a little mountain. The moon's rays are casting deep shadows on the steep ravines on either side."
     Rebecca has an inborn sense of poetry, and she really knows how to push my fantasy button. I gazed at her photo in the plastic holder that sat on top of a pile of magazines on the coffee table before me. In it, she was standing behind the binnacle of the Diogenes, one hand on the wheel, the other gesturing towards the camera, her head slightly cocked, beaming a demonstrative and photogenic smile that seemed to say, "Look at me, I'm sailing Ben's boat." Her straight black hair blew in the wind.
     My eyes moistened and blurred, merging the photographic image with the one permanently imprinted in my brain. Holographically, Rebecca's image seemed to move and speak in magical syncrony with her voice. Her dark green eyes twinkled coyly, and her thin, fine-featured Mediterranean face dreamily and honestly delivered her romantic message. I found myself running my fingers through the telephone cord, involuntarily stroking her hair in anticipation of a kiss.
     "Tell me more of the idealistic damsel in the tower," I moaned. I could almost see her silhouette on the tower, lit by the half-moon. The shadow danced with the graceful movements of her head and the gentle wiggle of her ponytail, as she talked.
     "When she looks down the side of the mountain towards the Caribbean, she sees nice little sailboats bobbing in the yacht club basin. And she wishes that her young prince will sail his Diogenes to her."
     I could imagine Rebecca's svelte figure, leaning from one of the hospital's high balconies, her broad angular hips pressed against the railing, her thin, shapely legs braced .... My mind was wandering.