A young sailor pointed out the Farallones as they sailed on by. The cliffs of the Golden Gate opened its arms and folded them into its young city.
Their story could be that they got off the ship and had an adventure.
The adventures of Christine and Meg. Of Meg and Christine.
They'd had plenty of those already. Left a City. Tossed star crossing lovers to their crosses. Rings.
Took their own rings. Crossed an ocean.
Were somewhat ship wrecked off of South America. Sat in the lifeboat and clung to each other like those lovers in Dante. Only without cursing, which would have had them swallowing the Atlantic.
Cursing was for ghosts and angels and demons.
Complaining was for soft boys who'd never danced with bleeding toes.
Christine loved Meg's tiny toes. She'd sat for so many hours on the long white beach and counted them. Like little pink pearls. Hard and smooth. The arches that flexed and pointed under her hands. Explored strong calves and muscled thighs that could grip... a tree trunk in search of the choicest fruit.
They fed each other fruit that tasted like a concert in Notre Dame. The pipe organ rolling down with time. The reaching calls of the choir piercing the vaulting.
They fed each other fish from the tide pools that tasted like young love's melody, but without the lemon.
It was paradise. So, of course, they were rescued.
Some great sailed ship caught them with their clothes on.
Christine didn't tell the Captain that they had gold for their passage sewn into the lining of her skirts. She looked at his kindly old beard and burst into tears at their terrible ordeal. Meg sobbed for her mother until the poor man gave them his cabin and went to nest with his 1st mate.
It was a good thing Meg's mother wasn't there that night. As they were nesting in the narrow bunk. Ship shape and Bristol fashion.
Sailed. Sailed. Sailed. All the wide blue world between them and what it was between.
Sailed all the way to a bright young city with no catacombs. No madmen with damp eyes. No damp boys made of milk and toast. Sailed all the way to somewhere else.
It could be their story that they got off the ship and the manager of an Opera waited to beg Christine to become the Prima Donna, the first lady of the stage.
No one was waiting.
That was better.
They took their gold, some absconded phantom salary, and themselves. They strolled with their hardly possessions. All the way to where they were going. Which was all the way to Jackson and Mason for bars of Ghirardelli chocolate. Sonata dark for Christine. Milk with a staccato of nuts for Meg.
Then walking, hands twined, other hand free for chocolate, they walked to where they were going.