Posted by: Juliann Budimir | May 16, 2018


My trip to Capri wasn’t as exciting as the sun-soaked afternoon depicted by the incredibly handsome couple on TV, but it inspired my return.


The sun glistened on his hard, wet body as he came into the boat.  He was everything I wanted a lover to be – handsome, romantic and passionate – but also kind and captivating.  His eyes gazed into mine and reflected the long, lost years of loneliness I knew before we met, and he blinked them away like remnant tears from his eyes.  Rodolfo knew every curve of Capri just as he already knew my own.

“You should come in with me sometime.  Come into the water,” he said as he stretched out beside me in the skiff.  He was lean and fit with a gleaming smile that almost made me blush.

“I’d rather kiss you than swim.”

“You would?” he said with a playfulness I loved about him.

He gently brushed a stray curl from my temple and pulled me close with his other arm.  I tried to memorize the eternal bliss of his kisses, so I might know forever the joy he brought to me.  His mouth was on mine, and we were one with the summer sun.  I felt outside of time as if recapturing a youth I never knew or living a life far better than my own.  It was wondrous what lust did when it was shared.  I knew it wasn’t love, but that mattered not.  Not this summer, not this week, not this afternoon in my lover’s arms.

“Damned Limoncello!”

The words ripped me from my reverie, and I looked up from my notebook to see Mark’s wide, leathered back and thick waist leaning over the stern.  The leftover liqueur was caught in his line, temporarily tangled with the refuse of someone else’s memories.  He cast the empty bottle aside and sat down next to it as he continued to work to free the yellow and white striped ribbon that was stuck to the hook.

I looked down at my writing, those sappy, wistful words and then back at my reality.  Sitting on the low bench near the outboard motor, he looked more suited to a local sailing club than an Italian dream, but I couldn’t help but smile.  He felt it and looked at me, questioning me with his eyes.

“Remember the first time I ran my fingers through your hair?”  I asked.  “I didn’t know the effect it had on you.”

We met in the middle on the wooden bench nestled between the port and starboard of our lives.  Would we always share the same course?  There had been times when divergent winds separated us, but we always found our way.  The fair winds of our caresses outweighed the storms, and I felt safe back in his strong arms.

His greyish curls were thick under my fingers, and I loved the feeling as much as he did.  “You know all my spots,” he said as he pulled me close.

Our passion cut through the difficult days and made sense of our world.  In his kiss I saw a life outside of time, and I realized I had everything I dreamed of in that boat.  He was cozy and sexy at the same time, with his broad shoulders filling out his polo shirt, his delightful smile and thrilling wink of the eye.  As I wrote him in the first birthday card I gave him long ago, “May we share as many dances, sing as many songs, and savor as many kisses as time allows.”


Juliann Budimir, May 2018.  All rights reserved.



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