Thursday, August 17, 2006

Ship of Wools

Heath loved three things in life: a vintage port, a well-written novel, and that gigantic snuggly coat that he had been given by that sherpani in Kathmandu on that long-ago, post-Oxford journey. Oh, but it was more than just a coat! It was the coat...of Lhakpa Dorije.

He had learnt the ways of the mountain with her, learnt to love fresh goats' milk and the regularity of flaxseed, and how far a gentle touch and softly-spoken nothings would go on that long-ago Himalayan adventure. She was pure and true, a real goddess of those blessed hills. But how cold it was! How cold.

No other woman would take the place of Lhakpa Dorije, light of his life, edelweiss of Nepal. She left him sobbing in the goat shed as her father whisked her away, shamed by her affair with the "English dog." Dogs weren't thought of well in her neck of the mountains.

He never saw her toothless smile or heard her lilting Tibetan patoƮs again when he left for Bangkok, but when he enveloped himself in the woolly warmth of her old coat in his firelit manor, he could almost smell the far-away apra aegagrus hircus and the scent of her unwashed hair, forever linked in romantic memories.

No comments: