I was happy again in Salzburg. Our short stay in Liechtenstein had been a disaster. Bonnie was extremely angry when I had rebuffed her advances on our first night there and decided to punish me with, what was to her, the most dreadful punishment of all. She pointedly ignored me and made friends with a group of tourists with whom she spent all her time.

Her punishment was a balm to my soul. I liked being ignored; it gave me time to collect myself and repair my shattered defences. Intimacy is all very well in small doses, but I was beginning to feel the strain. Once, after a bout of hectic lovemaking, I had awoken in the early dawn. Disoriented for a moment, I had felt a brief panic to find a stranger in my bed. For a moment I was aghast, but then Bonnie had turned in her sleep and snuggled up, and the feeling had gone. Alone in my bed in Liechtenstein, I relived the moment and selfishly relished my renewed solitude.

When we got to Salzburg the situation improved. I decided to ignore any provocative remarks and was my normal charming self:

‘What are you wearing that suit again for? You look much better when you are dressed as a woman, and stop doing that to your hair, you looked really pretty before. You want to watch it,’ I said, ‘You are very beautiful when you take the trouble. Don’t waste it,’ I admonished.

‘Oh, Charlie!’ and as we looked at each other we both started to giggle. With tears in our eyes, we clung to each other in laughter and it somehow resulted in a passionate embrace.

Later it was as though the rift had never occurred; Bonnie was very attentive, and I tried my best not to get too engrossed in my computer. That was difficult because I had finally mastered the use of the modem-digital phone link and was communicating in real time with other time zones. Ah well, I must make sacrifices to keep the little woman happy.

Bonnie was right, I had insisted that our itinerary include Salzburg. Mozart is my favourite composer. Most of my colleagues go for Bach, it is really fascinating for a systems analyst to see the way he can weave and balance so many variables, but give me Mozart. There is an essential rightness to his music, even his pot-boilers far outclass the other composers; Schubert, Hayden and Weber approach it, but I can really listen to Mozart.

‘We should have come here in August for the Festival,’ Bonnie argued.

‘But the place would have been full of tourists,’

‘But you are a tourist’ she pointed out.

‘But I’m a lone tourist. Well, not completely lone.’ And I clasped her ’round the waist. ” I don’t like crowds. As it is, there are all sorts of Mozartian things going on,, and besides,s I can get us a bunch of CD’s and a portable player. We can listen to them in bed,” I gave her my Groucho Marx leer.

‘Charlie, you’re incorrigible!’

“Wel,l it’s your fault for “corriging ” me!’ I complained.

The weather was bright and sunny, and mild for the time of year so Bonnie came to my room to lure me out into the city.

‘For once, Charlie, let’s play at being tourists. There are a lot of wonderful places to see. Look, I’ve got these maps and guides from the desk. Please, Charlie, Pretty Please.’

I considered it. ‘”Wenceslas!”‘ I said.

Bonnie looked puzzled.

‘It is shorthand, or short-speak. Surely you can work it out. Look,’ I explained patiently. ‘Remember the carol. “Good King Wenceslas looked out…” You have most of it there. He was Good and he was a King. Now comes the tricky bit, after checking up on the particulars of “Yonder Peasant” and finding out he lives a good league hence (that’s about three miles ) he gives instructions to his page to assemble some goodies “Bring me food and bring me wine, and bring me Pine logs hither. You and I shall see him dine, when we bear them thither.” You notice the King himself proposes to help the lad carry all this lot, although why anyone wants to carry logs towards “the forest fence” I can’t imagine. Anyway, it’s obvious that the King must be a fitness fanatic therefore he was probably thin.

‘There you have it all: Good-Thin-King. Good Thinking. Don’t you do cryptic crosswords?’

‘So you’ll come?’ Bonnie always got back to basics.



© Copyright H.St V.Beechey August 1996



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