1 The Dolmen Kiss
Chapter One of Farewell, Eurydice
“I like it hard.”
Ava turned on her side and cradled her lithe naked body along
mine. She angled her head on the pillow to register the effect of
this tacit declaration. Her gaze was cool and level with a glint of
curiosity in the corners of her pale-blue eyes. Her expression was
casual, a bit mischievous, replete with youthful confidence. Her left
front tooth, slightly dislocated and overlapping the right one, lent
her smile a striking hint of erratic charm. I held her look for a moment,
then let my eyes play adoringly over her body as I considered how to respond.
In the afternoon light, Ava emitted a faint shimmer of amber.
Her slender form resembled a lanky cheetah stretched out in the
grass, relaxing after a chase. Her freckles were the cheetah’s spots,
but miniaturized and sparsely distributed. This nubile young woman
was inch for inch the perfect incarnation of tawny pale. Her fair Brit-
ish complexion made me think of the look and texture of oatmeal and
honey soap. Her scent was peachy: more precisely, of peaches on
freshly ironed linen in a wicker basket in a meadow bright with
morning dew. The wetness between her thighs exuded deliciously
into the room like a vapor of sublime incense. I tasted what I smelled,
having just emerged from a long, probing nuzzle into her cunt that
left my chin wet and tacky. I was floating in a mild delirium, drunk
on her juices. The flick of my tongue across my lips brought
back the succulent taste of her musky peachiness and set my whole
body trembling with rapture.
I have known some lovely specimens of Woman in my day-the
word demands capitalization, for I mean the carnal matrix of the di-
vine source from which individual females are cast. In the mystery of
the feminine gender, carnal knowledge of an individual gives access
to the matrix: every woman is the revelation of Woman. Each man,
on the other hand, seems to be nothing more than a revelation of his
In my life before Ava Tavistock, I had the good fortune to behold sixty-
eight revelations of Woman. The statistic provoked her shock and
amusement. She was not a woman who had known many lovers, so I
was to learn. There was much paradox in her passion, for her desire
had never yet been fully born in her body of woman — it hovered in
the limbo of her immaturity. Ava could be rabid in her desire, once
she knew what it was, but she was shy of desiring. Although she was
voracious and totally uninhibited in bed, she was not promiscuous.
And neither was I, though I had been sexually explorative all my life.
It was, for one thing, the predilection of my generation. Most of the
women I had enjoyed were of my own age, but there were a couple of
exceptions. At thirty-one, I had a three-year affair with a woman
fourteen years older then me, and around the same time I had an af-
ternoon delight with a girl of seventeen. Apart from those two in-
stances, the women I had known intimately had all been of my gen-
eration, and closely matched to me in body and mind. Until now, I
had never contemplated a woman from such a perspective in time: I
was sixty-two, Ava thirty-four.
Honeysuckle in the bedroom window box drenched us with its
florid emanations. Framed in the window were the rolling hills of a
valley north of Ronda, Spain. It was March, about three weeks before
the spring equinox.
I had not expected to end up in bed with Ava that afternoon.
the first occasion of being alone with her, and only the second
time I had ever seen her. I had arrived at her house at eleven, care-
ful to expect nothing in the way of a sexual rush. Ava, too, seemed
to hold her expectations suspended, although she was clearly as ex-
hilirated as I was.
Riding off into the hills in her silver-gray four- wheel-drive Mitsubishi,
we both played it light, keeping our excitement muted, uncertain of the
moves or moods to come. She was eager
to give me a tour of some places around Ronda, an area she knew like
the back of her hand, having lived there on her own for nine years.
I had triggered the idea of a tour by asking if she knew of any
megalithic sites the north of town. In a conversation on the tele-
phone, three weeks earlier, right after we were introduced by a mu-
tual friend, I briefly described my studies of ancient earthworks,
closely related to my writings on myth and star lore. Ava seemed to
be mildly fascinated by the arcane nature of my career interests. On
the phone, I told her that the Guardiaro valley south of Ronda has
the form of a woman prone on her back, with her legs spread open.
Her thighs are formed by the Sierra de Libar on one side, and facing
that range, the high ridge where a spectacular road ran from Ronda
to Guerra, the small Andalucian town close to where I lived. I said
that the Cueva de la Pileta, a deep cave decorated with neolithic rock
at, stood at the very point where the thighs joined. I wondered what
megalithic wonders might have been constructed in the same region.
Would she be so kind as to show me around?
When I called a second time to arrange a meeting, Ava said
she had been thinking about my analogy and how fitting it was. The
sexual innuendo was-well, hardly an innuendo. But she really did
seem to be genuinely intrigued by the notion that a landscape she
knew so well could resemble a woman in erotic repose. Or perhaps in-
trigued by the man who would view it in such a way. It was a pretty
strong opening rap, I admit, but I wasn’t going to push it. I did not
want to intrude or impose or be inappropriate in any way with this
young woman. Besides, I had no idea how to sexually approach a
woman so much younger than myself.
The megalithic structure above the white town of El Gastor was a
stone-lined pit that scholars call a passage grave, assuming it was
used for burial purposes, although remains are rarely found in such
places. It was of modest proportions, about four feet wide by fourteen
feet long, nicely proportioned, with an inviting feel to it. The large
flat gray granite blocks were intact, except for one covering stone
that had been removed. The dolmen commanded a magnificent view
of almost three-sixty degrees, taking in many landmark points of the
mountain ranges around Ronda.
We stood with shoulders touching, our feet on the edge of the
main recess, looking down in silence for a moment. “This dolmen
could be six or seven thousand years old.” I recalled a quote from
Cicero that Robert Graves used in the chapter on Orpheus in The
Greek Myths: “Walk where we will, we tread upon some story.” I was
doubtful how scholarly I ought to be with this young woman, so I
kept the allusion to myself.
“What were they made for anyway?” She asked, reaching for me
hand to steady her as she drop gingerly into the crypt. Ground level
came just above the height of her high perky breasts.
“Not for burying people, that’s for sure. Although most scholars
would argue otherwise. They call it a passage grave, which is not en-
tirely a wrong term. The key word is passage, not grave. No one was
buried in these sacred sites.” I jumped down beside her and we exam-
ined the careful placement of the stone together for a moment.
“Structures like this were used in rites of passage, rituals of death
and rebirth. They are actually tools for shamanic ritual, chambers of
initiation. They were used by shamans to move from one dimension
“By shamans you mean witches and wizards,” she said, tracing
her hand over an upright stone.
“Yes, exactly. Merlin was a shaman, a wizard who could cast
spells and do other weird things like shape-shifting. You probably
know the story, since it belongs to English folk-lore.” She looked at
me with a quizzical air, but said nothing. “Well, Merlin finally got
done in by a powerful female shaman, Vivian.”
“Good name for a witch.” Her eyes widened with a glimmer of
“Isn’t it.” I beckoned her to kneel down and sight through the
narrow east-facing passageway of the structure. “So, anyway, as I
was saying, dolmens are gates to the Otherworld, the hidden side of
this world. Which includes the realm of the dead, the Underworld,
but mainly it’s a place of hidden treasures and rare knowledge. They
were also sophisticated astronomical clocks, designed to keep track of
the seasons and the movements of stars.” I knelt beside her and eyed
the passage. “I would say this one was aligned to the spring equinox,
which would have risen right over that ridge. At dawn of that day,
the first ray of sun would have come straight through this narrow
alignment of rocks and struck the stone back there, the big upright at
the head of the dolmen. Spring, the moment of rebirth. You see?”
“To me, a dolmen like this one represents the womb of the god-
dess, a place of death and regeneration. See how it’s shaped like a
womb and then narrows down to the birth canal in the part oriented
toward the east? That’s the passage.”
“The sunbeam streams into the cunt of the goddess,” she said,
almost as if musing to herself. I noticed that she used the word “cunt”
in a completely uncharged manner. Innocently, as if she were talking
about anything else in the natural world.
I consulted my pocket compass and scanned the horizon. “This
place would have been used for rites of passage, death and rebirth, or
rites of departure for shamanic purposes. I suspect this one is aligned
to the sun at the summer solstice. The sun rises over there and the
first ray of light will shine directly through that narrow passage and
his these rocks.”
“I know the man over there, an Italian. He keeps horses at the
big ranch you can just see.” She pointed it out, then she traced a
mark on the stone with her finger. “Look, someone had etched a cross
here, a circle with an extending cross.”
“Yes, that’s exactly where the sun’s ray would hit. Dolmens like
this are precision instruments of time. Aligned to the sun, moon, and
the stars. It would have been entirely covered, but one flat block has
“That’s good because we can lay in it and look up at the stars.
Oh let’s do that? I want to do that, come back here and sleep in the
dolmen? Can we, can we?” She clapped her hands excitedly like a
“Sure. The key moment to come would be the equinox. That’s
next week on wednesday.”
I climbed up to ground level and pulled her up beside me. We
lingered in the sunny warmth. She stood in front of me, then stepped
back and pressed her willowy body against mine. I put my hands
around her tummy and she sank into me with a sigh. My hands
moved over her light cotton shirt, touching her breasts. My fingers
played on her throat and ventured into the heavy shock of pale
bronze hair that hung on the left side of her head. She sighed and
seemed to let her weight go. Instead of supporting her, I felt our bod-
ies merge. Her dropped her head back, nestling it along my jaw, then
lifting herself on her toes, turned and presented me her mouth, lips
warmed by the sun. I tightened my grip over her tummy and brought
my mouth to hers.
The soft electric tingle of the kiss pulsed through my entire
body, sinking down to my feet and into rock slab below us; then it
pulsed back again, charged by the currents of the earth. We were re-
vitted on the place, vibrating together in the same sweet flux of cur-
“Oh god, I’m melting. Hold me up. I’ve lost my knees.” She
pressed closely into my body.
“Your kiss feels like butter melting in the sun,” I said. Her
whole body felt like butter melting in the sun, the taste of her mouth
rose like sun-kissed honey butter to my lips.
“So tingly,” she whispered as her lips sought the corner of my
mouth. We held our tongues back, demurely offering the corners and
contours of our lips to each other.
The dolmen kiss kept us floating in mild delirium for the rest of the
afternoon. Ava insisted that she drive to another place and take a
long walk into what she called the Hidden Valley. We were both oddly
shy of going totally wild with the incipient passion we felt, so we
trudged along for a couple of hours, as if to wear off the spell.
Now we, total strangers, were sprawled on her bed, clearly rav-
enous for each other and fairly pulsating with lust. The first dive into
passion was by her invitation. When we returned from tour around
five, we sat in her front room and shared a pot of tea. By the second
cup, small talk seemed out of place. The room went suddenly quiet.
“What are you thinking?” she asked.
“I’m thinking that I’m not sure about sex but I am sure that I
want nothing more in this world right now than to hold you in my
She flashed a smile and jumped up from the banco opposite me.
Taking my hand, she pulled me to my feet. “Well, com ‘on, then.”
We tore off are clothes and collided with hungry kisses and
frantic caresses, rolling and thrashing on her bed. The daisy-fresh
smell of her nubile body swept over me like a magic spell.
“Your kiss makes me so wet,” she whispered, dropping one hand
between her legs. I smelled a subtle, plum-like emanation that over-
whelmed the sweet odor of the honeysuckle. Ava was in total de-
light with me, her ripe body exuding its sexual nectar. I slid down
and ate her voraciously, delirious at the taste. She trembled, holding
her pelvis up to my mouth. “Oh god yes that, eat me. Like that yes.
Oh yes that is so good.”
As excited as I was, I couldn’t get into her then and there. I did
not even had the inkling of an erection. When we were quiet for a
while, cradled together, she made her tacit declaration: “I like it
“I don’t do hard,” I said. “That’s not my style. I do strong, not
hard. But sometimes strong can be hard, too. At moments, it can.”
“Hmm, interesting. You will show me, of course.”
We stayed in bed until twilight, floating in a wash of erotic delirium.
As darkness fell, she lit a candle and then, to my surprise, cuddled
into my arms and fell asleep. I could not believe how beautiful she
looked with her blonde head tucked neatly into the crook of my arm.
Some strands from her shock of pale bronze hair nestled in my ear.
Gazing at her, I felt a surge of adoration pour over me like surf. It
was an emotion unlike any I had felt for a very long time. I found
myself silently reciting some lines from Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus:
And it was almost a girl and she emerged
out of this singular bliss of sound and lyric,
and shone luminously through her veil of youth,
and made herself a bed inside my ear.
And slept there. And her sleep was everything:
the awesome trees, the distances I had sensed
so deeply that I could touch them, meadows in spring:
all the wonders that had ever captured my heart.