Holding an old picture in my hand, I said to my friend:
“I don’t even know where this came from. From time to time I step into pictures hiding in some corner of this house. Family of previous owners, for sure. Look at these guys, they resemble a cruet stand!”
I handed her the photograph where a group of three smiles to the camera, a thin man flanked by two very large women. The woman at his right must have weighted twenty stones and the other at least thirty.
After examining the picture for a short period, my friend placed it over the coffee table, standing against a greenish bowl.
“I bet it was taken in Africa. Look at how they dress. The man tries to show off a kind of casual safari look. Visionaries?”
“I would rather say missionaries. Africa for sure. Central Africa.” I considered. “They don’t live in Africa or those women would have died long ago, with all the fat they carry. It’s a big adventure for them. Afterwards, they will believe they know Africa, when Africa is three continents in one: the exotic north, the wild center and the more cosmopolitan south.”
“It has to be some central region, with gorillas, rain forest and lots, but lots, of mosquitos. It was their choice. They wanted the African experience to be wild and wild it was,” she added.
“Yes, they got lost in the bushes for weeks and it was only by chance that someone found the three of them trembling with fevers,” I conveyed.
“The only amazing thing the doctors remarked is that the man had become thinner and each woman had gained one more stone,” my friend detailed.
“Amazing, indeed.” I repeated with a long yawn.
Shadows and a heavy silence gradually invaded the room. Still too hot to move, we kept reclined like two boas indulging in the sun, looking at the same old photograph.
“Bet he was banging both…” I announced.
“Yes, he was banging both but he didn’t love them,” she completed.
“Absolutely. But that was before the accident,” I continued.
“The car driving them to the boat supposed to take them back to Europe crashed against the rail of a bridge. The larger woman fell into the river and no one could save her. Rapacious crocodiles devoured her right away, in front of the horrified surviving duo. It was during the two extra weeks in some pestilent hospital that he realized how much he loved the woman the crocodiles had swallowed,” I detailed.
“He loved her so much that he could never touch another woman again, fat or no fat,” my friend suggested.
“It crossed his mind to be a monk. It would be the obvious thing to do. He would return to England and live a life of solitude and contemplation,” I rationalized.
“He had such intention, but then he discovered that he was gay. He spent the rest of his days following other men in the streets of London,” my friend revealed.
“And even though he knew he was gay, he was too shy to make a move. He even wrote a personal note found after his death: “I missed so many opportunities because of my shyness!” He died divided between his feelings for the fat woman the crocodiles had had for lunch and the attraction for all the boys and men he stalked for the rest of his life.”
“Whatever…” my friend shrugged. “It’s too damn hot to bother.”
“Whatever,” I agreed.