Intro: up to 50 words (delete this text and enter your own)

Posing of that magnitude took a great deal of effort. Paul used to make it look easy, unstudied even. Now the strain showed. It was in the eyes. The right arm draped across the back of the chair; legs crossed at the knee; languid open hand, palm down. It was a mistake to close his eyes whilst his head tilted to face the sun. There was a puffy discolouration, visible at that angle, beneath both eyes. I’d never seen him take alcohol, just a single short cup of coffee. Left undisturbed he might maintain that disengaged attitude for over an hour. But then that was the game. Disengaged but admired; the very essence of a detachment that drove women mad to possess him, if only for an hour or short night.
I could be a small-minded Scotsman here, and say the Rolex Oyster was fake. I don’t think it was though. He wore it like a trophy; a plainsman’s scalp hung from a Sioux Indian’s belt. The long-bodied jacket he filled was another study in faded, understated elegance. My Jock prejudice saw it as subterfuge, hiding a blowsy arse; a rear end gone soft on winter fare…. Sitting in the Mediterranean sunshine, at table outside The Nautique, gave me that whimsical, philosophical bent. It was a passion I shared with the majority of the clientele – very French – brutally honest, deliciously nasty, even…

© franciman 2023
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