South of North Uist

The Belarusian dilettante lives in a comfortable home on the Scottish island of South Uist.

Diligently indolent, Piatro Dashkevich sits in his cozy courtyard, which is his fantasy central, and reads Keats while idly dreaming of debaucheries with the Slavonic beauty heʼd met at the Royal Society for Asian Affairs.

Alas, his mind betrays him and she steps into the mist to take up with a visiting scholar at the London School of Jewish Studies who has a jolly sense of humor.

Piatro walks on stepping stones to the sea, feeling vaguely unsettled. Suddenly, a rowboat appears out of the fog and a lovely lass steps ashore accompanied by a terrier.

 

Old-books

His extensive library gives Piatro much pleasure.

 

“My name is Hyampom,” she says. “I feared for my safety. I was chased by a unicorn.”

Piatro, taking a moment to ponder this, replies, “Life doesnʼt always turn out as we plan.

”They walk indoors so she can warm up. As they stand in the sitting room, she accepts the coffee he serves her and pours it into a bowl to cool.

She is a calculating woman, and she considers her situation as she gazes about the pleasant home.

“London is home only to goats and fools,” Hyampom says.

They fall silent and examine a stunning giclee print of an old Devon sheep pen. It hangs from a ribbon pinned to a wall.

“You are a polished gentleman, a man of action. You are not the you that thinks it is you. I could love you for who you really are.”

“With change comes uncertainty,” he finally says. “I have been long alone. I am comfortable browsing through my books. I am an accomplished musician and find it calming to play my violin as the sun descends.”

“There are cycles to life,” she says. “When thereʼs a knock at the door, answer it. You will get to experience new things.”

He made pasta and they sat down to dinner.