The Island of Capri

Carlton did not know quite what was coming over him when he rose in the darkened theater. He’d been gazing forward across the rows of velvet seats at the young boy for the better part of this Italian picture, transfixed. So absorbed with those delicate features was he that the twenty-something found himself entirely unable to follow the abstract, obtuse plot, indeed had difficulty even tracking the subtitles cursorily. So he found it an immense relief when the lad suddenly rose and excused himself from the rest of his party, a veritable family affair involving what Carlton presumed to be his sisters and mother, or some combination of cousins and aunts. He was certain neither of the two charming young ladies could be dates, that the youth – Consenting age? Carlton squinted to make out telling characteristics, acne or peach fuzz through the shadows… Eighteen? He struggled hopingly to verify, though knew perfectly well the object of this admiration was more plausibly on the way to graduating middle school than college – was like him, and enjoyed doing what people like he did in their leisure time…

The moviegoer understood these things implicitly, powerfully sensed them. But regardless, the excruciating distraction had been compromising, nay ruining his screening experience completely, and a momentary break (been just draining that vat of soda, slurping away in an uncouth manner that did not help matters whatsoever, rather exacerbated the fixating maddeningly) from his dark allure would make for a refreshing, much needed breath of fresh air, Carlton though to himself at first. So he was quite startled to discover his legs acting as if on their own accord to lift him up out of the stiff discomfort of the old, hard seat and carry the somnambulist out through the swinging doors and around a corner toward the circular staircase leading up to the lavatory on the balcony level.

through the sewers
hero gives chase
dauber stamping card

How did Carlton know the young man was not occupying the closer, single-occupancy stall beside the concessions stand, easier accessed, more private? Call it a hunch. The solo cineaste was convinced the boy had given him a look as he jogged past, you see, ‘come hither stare’ he’d recalled such being previously termed elsewhere. Carlton got a distinct feeling he might find the fledgling in fact waiting for him up there, eager and ready for anything, itching for it with the same tingling and warmth he intuited forming around his own nether regions, those tropical climes clustered at the equator. So when he shoved the door open, other hand hurriedly unfastening calfskin belt, there was no shock at observing this stripling frozen, just inside, before running faucet. That look in his eyes couldn’t be fear, surely. Carlton was only there to provide him with what he’d been begging for, after all. The boy took a step back. The adult advanced toward him.

duckling unattended
when muskrat comes calling
field trip headcount

Jerome Berglund

The Island of Capri

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