Beats Per Minute: Beautiful and Cruel

Well, this is it, as close as I get to ‘erotic’ writing (along with Italian Girlfriend) and named after No-Man’s song – God knows what Tim ‘neither Steve Davis or Benedict Cumberbatch’  Bowness will think of this (or for that matter Steven ‘Pantene Pro V’ Wilson), anyway without further ado I give you…


A rainy Cardiff night was not the only depression unfolding. A woman as moody as the Autumn itself passed me by. Through the drizzle, I caught her face by streetlight before the dark consumed her. She thought me pathetic and didn’t look back. 

This time the girl was no stranger, well not so much as I knew her name. She worked with me but alas employment became a cruel crucible. Like a film where the central characters never meet, lovers that were never meant to be, the work set up involved a similar scenario. Inside/outside the roulette wheel spun; nothing but a game of chance for those holding the right cards, even if she was on the opposite side of the same door.  

Sara was young, possibly half my age and so stunningly beautiful she left me dumbstruck. The duplex of her mother and sister adding a further twist in their attendance and that she was happy to tell all of her elder admirer including the other guys made me uneasy, angry and further frustrated. The only time we saw each other was from a distance or in the staffroom, by stark contrast to my previous role, a hot room full of women, where the fan rotated but the climate stayed constant as the flame. 

While some exuded approachable warmth, Sara’s long mahogany hair draped across her shoulders like an Autumn canopy, and her moist hazel eyes, smooth latté skin and scarlet lips kept an equivocal grace that gave nothing away. Her glacial serenity was like waiting for a hairline crack to appear in the face of a Caravaggio masterpiece. 

She wore deepest red and her short skirt exposed slender legs wrapped in pale tights, sometimes dark, which she crossed to my manly discomfort. The need to take this girl somewhere private and transcend the boundaries of physical pleasure seemed an understatement. 

I felt the urge to run down the street after her and make something of the moment. Was there any point? Was she even single? Would she think me a dirty old man as the rain had drenched my coat to the state my appearance resembled a dishevelled streetwalker in pursuit of virgin flesh. Could she really be? The enigma was anyone’s guess. By the time we met again she might be taken, if I couldn’t find the words then the sheets would remain barren. 

The mother smiled, the sister smirked but Sara didn’t swoon and with the drowning moon obscured by cloud I felt the downward spiral of love lost swirl around me once more. Still, I watched her glide by, and in the paralysis of those incendiary seconds passing like dew drops falling from the vine imagined us lovemaking and how good it would feel to have her warm body purring beneath me; her legs binding me to position, locking me in the groove of sexual transmission until our sweltering bodies jerked and shuddered to spasmodic conclusion in the sheltered state of beautiful collision. 

As my thoughts morphed to the slow pulse of traffic lights blinking red, amber, green, the silver rain fell from the sodden night in suspended animation – lit by patches of white heat streetlight, and in the moment of her passing she held her black umbrella high; slipping quietly through the fallen leaves on the tree-lined boulevard, gradually blurring from view in the increasingly heavy downpour.

Thanks for reading here, should you be interested in my work; principally writing, photography, and teaching, check out the MEDIA page, and/or the UNIVERSITY page for my teaching ethos.

Meanwhile, stay tuned with things here via THE ATLAS or on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram where you can see some of my photos from around the world.

Beautiful and Cruel – no-man


One thought on “Beats Per Minute: Beautiful and Cruel

  1. Pingback: Beats Per Minute: Press Release | kelvin hayes global

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