I remember Sorrento.
I remember looking for that beach…what was it called? We saw it in the brochure in the hotel lobby and thought it looked beautiful.
I remember that day we set off, the noonday heat like a hot breath in our faces. We must’ve walked for miles, up and down tiny lizard-strewn pathways that stretched across the cliffs of Sorrento, the sound of families outside having dinner.
I remember the guy we asked directions from, and how he told us we’d need water. I remember the tiny bar we found where we bought two bottles, and then–feeling cheap–figured we’d better buy two beers as well. I remember the old guys at the bar eyeing the two sweaty tourists curiously.
We never did find the beach. Hours later, we came back with busted sandals, and collapsed, exhausted, on the bed in our hotel.
I remember the day the storm came. We were in the little village of Sant’ Agata when a biblical rain hit. We took shelter in a restaurant thinking it would pass. Nearly two hours later, we were still sitting there, embarrassed. We decided to make a run for it back to our hotel. We didn’t realise how flooded the roads were. As we ran, the rain flowed like a river, a sheet of water moving with us. You were wearing flip-flops; as you ran in front of me, I could see trails of water spraying up onto your back. In the end, you took them off and ran barefoot back to the hotel.
When we got back, we were wetter than either of us had ever been in our lives. We jumped into the shower and lay naked on the bed, the steam still rising from the meeting of hot water and freezing skin. It was a time when everything else was forgotten, and for those few moments–running in shorts and vest through Italian streets in the rain, and then, washing it from you and lying hot and cold on the bed–a time we felt alive.
Nothing special happened those days.
Do you remember?
We were happy.
Derek Flynn is an Irish writer and musician with a Masters in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin. Derek’s short story “The Healer” was recently featured in Surge, an anthology of the best new Irish writing published by O’ Brien Press. He is also a regular contributor to http://www.writing.ie where he writes his “Songbook” column. And because he obviously has a lot of time on his hands, he is currently working on his latest solo album.
Like most writers, he is fuelled solely by caffeine and self-doubt.