He took my hand when the lights went out. My traveling companion and I had just decided to leave the disco and go back to our hotel to a room we’d been sharing with three others, but those three others had gone home. We wanted to stay at The Black Sea for one more day. A village on The Black Sea is difficult to leave no matter who you’re with.
The lights went out everywhere. We couldn’t see the ground. We couldn’t see each other. We could hear the screams and clattering glasses from the disco and few blocks away we could hear the sea. The cracked, pocked pavement tripped us both, and as we were drunk, we laughed because we were lost. Without light, we lost all sense of direction.
As always, of course, my traveling took the lead. “I think the center of town is this way,” he said. The thing about this village on The Black Sea is that there are cliffs. The sea sounded so close to me, but alcohol had scattered my sense of distance. I kept running into him, and he put his arm around my waist to keep me steady. Only in this country by The Black Sea have I experienced such darkness.
We thought we’d gone the wrong direction when the village lights came back. We were standing under a street light and the suddenness of the light made us both jump. We were a block from our hotel and from our room we’d been sharing with others but would now have to ourselves.
I knew then that my traveling companion would barely speak to me once we got on the train the next day, but this village on The Black Sea was my favorite place in the world and I lied to myself–that I could make it his favorite place too.
Where is your favorite novel set? How much does setting influence your writing or your selection in what to read? Do you want another Paris novel or perhaps some L.A. noir?
My stories are set in specific places but I have a terrible time figuring out how or where to describe those places. My descriptions often cut into action and seemed forced–obligatory description goes here now! But leave it out and readers say they had no sense of where they were. And then the setting has a particular mood to convey, where it is light and where it is dark…
How difficult is setting for you?