Eden Roc

In October of 1985 I weekended on Cap d’Antibes. Bridgit’s husband owned a house on the water. She made sure that I went with her. Guy was sexually obsessive and she figured that my presence my temper his libido, but on the first night her screams echoed down the hallway to my room and I wished that I had stayed in Paris.
The next morning was glorious on the Cote d”Azur. We had the rocky peninsula to outselves. I pulled on my swimming suit and grabbed a towel.
Bridgit was in the kitchen with Guy.
They were drinking coffee.
She looked worse for wear.
“Where are you going?”
“For a swim.”
Three was more than a crowd around those two.
“We’re going shopping in an hour.” Bridgit’s eyes begged for my return.
“I’ll be here.” I hated shopping with the Vogue model. She could spent an hour choosing a melon.
“Hurry up.”
I crossed the empty road to the Baie Doree. The small beach was devoid of tourists and one older woman was swimming in the clear blue waters.
“Ca va?”
I dropped my towel and plunged into the sea. Its temperature was a pleasure and I stroked out to the older woman.
She wore a gold necklace and heavy gold rings.
“Tu a raison. C’est sublime.”
“Especialment sans les foule.”
The absence of the summer horde was a blessing and I trading water to put my feet on the sand.
I stepped on something sharp and thought it was glass, until I spotted a small fish swimming away and the older woman tsked, “C’est une vivier.”
“Le poisson est poison. Dangereuse.
“I understand.” A burning sensation crawled up my leg and intensified with every heartbeat.
“Poison fish?”
She nodded her head and I swam to the beach, then crossed the road to the beachhouse and entered the kitchen to announce, “I think I just stepped on a poisonous fish.”
“Fine.” Bridget muttered with disbelief. “If you don’t want to go shopping, just say so.”
“No, I telling the truth.” The fire had risen to my waist.
“Right.” She stormed out of the house. “Thanks for ruining the weekend.”
“Une vivier?” asked Guy with a note of doubt.
“Yes.” I showed him the puncture.
“On doit telephone un medicin.”
Guy dialed SOS Medicin. They made house calls. Fifteen minutes later a young doctor arrived fifteen minutes later.
“That’s another weekend you’ve ruined.”
Luckily I had the number of the doctor. SOS Medicin made a house call. The young doctor interjected an antidode.
I paid him 300 francs and he asked, “Are you feeling better?”
“Yes.” The burning sensation was gone.
“Are you tired?”
“Don’t worry. You will be.”
“Ca va?” Bridgit’s husband wanted to know, if I wasn’t going to die.
“Ca va.” The phrase had many meanings.
“On y va.”
“Where are we going?”
“Eden Roc.” It was my favorite hotel in the world.
“And Bridgit?”
“She meet us and you can swim in the pool. There are no poisonous fish there.”
“I hope you’re right.”
Ten minutes later Guy ordered a bottle of champagne.
“Strictly for medicinal purposes.”
“I agree.”
We clinked glasses.
I was feeling tired.
“Are you okay?”
“I’ll survive.”
“I’m sure you will, for if you were going to die, you would be dead already.” Guy was an ex-mercenary. He loved Bridget. Anyone with a libido would have done the same. We watched the sunset. It was almost romantic.
Neither of us mentioned Bridgit’s name. It was better that way at Eden Roc.

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