gallows pole

THE SITUATION AROUND THAT, like many things, makes me uncomfortable and so I prefer not to speak of it. Instead, let me tell you about my dream, which involved a Spanish maid of all things, or rather, all people. Her name was Esmeralda, and she had small, soft, palm-sized breasts. I know this because as she was tidying up, she approached me. My wife had gone out and left behind a small shrine in the corner of the house, which consisted of a fire burning, and then a woven blanket placed over it, stitched in the parish fashion. “It is very beautiful,” Esmeralda acknowledged it, and then, lifting her shirt, implored me to touch her chest. It was comforting to touch Esmeralda’s breasts that way, they were very soft, and this seemed to calm Esmeralda who, after enjoying the sensations, pulled her shirt down and went about cleaning up the rest of the house. I rather enjoyed it too. I am not one for taking advantage of the help, but if a woman asks you to grope her breasts, then you grope her breasts, no questions asked. Later, I went down to the port where another confidant, a blonde woman who happened to be a bus driver, asked me to ride the entirety of her route with her. To soften the deal, she played Led Zeppelin’s “Gallows Pole” on the transport bus, so that I would feel more comfortable. It was an autumn day in Tallinn, sunny but drenched with morning rainfall, and the bus rode from the port up toward that tram stop called Kanuti, where it seems five roads and six tram lines all merge into a tight circle. All the while Robert Plant was singing, “Hangman, hangman, wait a little while,” and the bus driver was looking back at me and winking. It seemed I was to spend the night with her at the end of the line and the map showed that the bus would leave Tallinn and then make stops in Upstate New York and Ontario before reaching Manitoba. It was going to be a long night. At Kanuti though my friend Erland got on, looking much the rogue figure with his shoulder-length hair, like he should be in the Swedish Guns N’ Roses or something. When I told him the plan he immediately tried to talk me out of it. “All of these bus driver ladies are the same,” Erland told me, shaking his head. “Trust me, this has happened to me so many times. They invite you on the bus, play your favorite music, take you back to their hotels at night,” again he shook his head. “So, what’s wrong with that? She seems okay.” The bus driver turned her blonde head toward me and winked again. “No, no, no,” said Erland. “That part’s fine, but afterward, she is going to expect you to be in love with her.” “Me? In love with a Tallinn bus driver?” (“Oh, yes, you got a fine sister,” Robert Plant sang on. “She warmed my blood from cold. She brought my blood to boiling hot, to keep you from the gallows pole.”) “Hey, this is a good song,” said Erland. “It’s Led Zeppelin III.” “Well, as I was saying, if you go out there with her tonight, she’s going to expect you to love her forever after that. Do you really want to love her forever?” I deliberated the proposal, but reached no certain conclusion. “Let’s just get off this bus, go get a coffee or something. I know a café in the Old Town.” When the bus pulled into Rocca Al Mare, we gave her and the others the slip. We went inside and hung out by the arcade until the next bus came to take us downtown. Then I remembered that Erland wasn’t vaccinated and didn’t have his QR code, but it didn’t seem to make a difference. Nobody had been checking codes anyway.

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