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An Encounter with Don Juan

"I am Don Juan.  I am the world greatest lover". 


He leaned forward slightly, challenging her to question the integrity of his simple statement.


She closed her eyes for a moment, the heaviness of her eyelids reminding her of the events of the previous night.  Releasing a deep breath, she pushed the troubling images aside, into a dark corner where hopefully they would remain forever forgotten. 


"Do you know why you are here?" she asked. 


Her tone was warm, friendly, but she was aware that her voice had a harder edge than usual.


"Here?"  He folded his delicate fingers under his chin, his youthful face dark and serious.  "This room or this hacienda?"




"Yes, my compliments to your hospitality and some of your maids are truly beautiful."


"I see." 


She cleared her throat awkwardly. 


"Tell me, how did you become the world greatest lover?" 


"Because I look beyond outward appearances.  A woman's nose may be too big or too flat.  She may be too fat, too thin.  They don't matter.  I see inside a woman, into her dreams and desires.  I have loved hundreds of women."   


He spoke in a matter of fact way, seemingly without any trace of irony or self-consciousness.


“Why so many women?  Wasn't there one amongst your many conquests that you love so much that you want to stay with her?"


"I don't conquer women."  He sounded annoyed.  "They gave themselves willingly or not at all."  His eyes narrowed. 


"You are married?"




"How long?" 


"About 15 years."


"Are you happy?"


"I ...", she hesitated, groping for words, as she struggled to regain control.  Forbidden shadows rasped against the edges of her mind.


"Do you really know what love is?" 


He stood up, his face flushed and excited.


"Have you experienced love so intense that it burns away every mask, strips every suffocating veneer that cloaks you.  Until your naked soul stands exposed, vulnerable, trembling, wanting to be swept away by the sweet ache of love, yet fearing the scorching flames of desire?" 


He sat down again on the long leather couch, once more folding his hands under his chin.  


"Do you know what I am talking about?  Can you feel what I just said?"


Yes, she knew what he was saying.  Last night she came close, very close.  She sat up straighter, her body taut with suppressed emotions.


"But, love is not just about passion," she insisted.  "Love also means commitment, loyalty, staying the course, seeing things..."


"Maybe," he interrupted. 


His piercing brown eyes studied her intently. 


"I see no sparkle in your eyes, no dance to your steps." 


He stretched out languidly on the couch.


"I think I would rather remain as Don Juan.  You can keep your world."


 She did not reply, could not reply. 


Closing her notebook, she signalled for an orderly to return Don Juan to his room.

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