• the gates opened to reveal a spacious but compact estate
  • the tires of the town car crackled over the loose gravel drive way
  • the faint roar of children's play was punctuated by the bark of dogs
  • kids dodged knees and darted around dresses only to disappear again into a garden brimming with flowers
  • a few folding tables were strung out in the shade of the broad oaks that lined the rounded drive way.
  • White table clothes were being shook out and spread across the tables with a flutter that pushed the scent of lilacs into the air.
  • The occupants abandoned the car just inside the gate too overwhelmed by the scene to even close their car doors
  • they joined the fray pushing through the bustle of clattering plates and precarious platters of stemmed glasses
  • through the opened double doors of the dim kitchen lit only by the afternoon sun flooding through the door frame
  • behind the counter stood a St. Bernard of a Man radiating reserved confidence as he humbly cut vegetables
  • he briefly glanced up at me with a warm smile and returned to his cutting board
  • he carefully picked up a small chef's knife by the spine and offered it handle first without looking up
  • I accepted it and took off my coat
  • gnarled olive trees
  • the scene was deceptively bucolic, a Renoir-esque rouse with the seductive tug of an idyll
  • before he even spoke I knew what the subject would be about
  • His nihilism was suffocating, why else would a man go to so much trouble to create this rural oasis than to preach of the vanity of vanities
  • but he said not a word

“You could have been my son.”
There is a quick glance at his real son,
followed by a dismayed reaction shot,
and then a sudden return to reality.
“But of course you are not. Remember that.
We can do business, but we are not family.”

I can be bought but never bribed


  • get in here it's cold out there
  • we have a fire going
  • tea is brewing
  • sit and rest man
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