On this warm, breezy afternoon the Mediterranean is the clearest it’s been yet, so I can see more sand, rocks, and fish during my half-hour of Australian crawl. I enjoy slapping through the choppy water like a small boat. When I turn my head to breathe, I glimpse either yachts in the harbor or the Film Palace’s flags flapping above the sunbathers. Afterward, warming up on my towel beside Darlene, I close my eyes and settle into the wind-muffled, incomprehensible hum of foreign language all around me.

Just past the two-week mark, we are settling into this place and into each other’s presence with an ease which, today at least, made everything seem precious and new. At some point on a long trip, I have noticed, enough memories of home slip away that we seem to lighten up and dance together more freely, with fewer expectations and regrets.

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