Raven’s Run 72

Chapter Twenty

Susyn and I waited in Salzburg for a week. There had been no hope of finding them in any of the lesser towns they might have gone through; there were dozens of routes from Montreaux to Salzburg. We divided duties as before; Susyn went to the authorities and I went to the youth hostel, the campground, and the street.

You don’t find many street musicians in Salzburg. Whatever their musical tastes might normally be, when tourists visit Salzburg, they have only Mozart on their minds. Salzburg lives on Mozart, from the museum they have made of his birthplace, to the the unending cascade of Mozart memorabilia, to the silly Mozart chocolates, the entire city is a shrine to the commercialization of his name. Every summer, productions of his operas are staged, bringing in the finest talents in the world and drawing on a worldwide clientele. The book and record stores in the old city are a classical music aficionado’s heaven. There is even a puppet opera – not a watered down children’s version of the operas, but a staged in the ancient European tradition of fine art marionettes, set to the music recorded during the previous year’s live productions.

After the first day, our routine became established. We stayed in adjoining rooms in a small hotel across from the old town. Once a day, Susyn would stop in at the police headquarters to ask if anything had been found, and to remind them that we were still there. I called Will every evening, and made the rounds of the hostel, campground, and cheap hotels. During the day, Susyn and I played tourist, wandering about Salzburg on the off chance of seeing them on the street.

Salzburg is a lovely small city, and the first two days were enjoyable. Susyn was a lively companion. The tourist’s were a cut above the ordinary. Beyond their obvious snobbery, there was a sense of intellectual curiosity about them that made them interesting even in casual encounters. But after two days we had seen what was there to be seen, and I was going crazy. Somewhere out there, Raven and Eric were in danger and did not know it. And somewhere out there, Raven was with Eric, instead of with me.

We walked the city, sat for hours in street cafes watching people go by, attended the puppet opera and a real one, and went to the park where the Sound of Music was filmed. And all day, every day, I played the game of “what went wrong?” No matter how many times I replayed my time with Raven, the crux of our relationship always came down to that day on the beach outside Marseille. A game of one-upmanship that revealed a depth of striving against each other. I had won that day; and in winning, I had lost Raven.

To Eric. That was a big piece of the puzzle. Why Eric? Beneath that friendly-dog expression there had been an essential uncertainty; a lack of intensity. It had put me off. Within five minutes I had known that we might be friendly, but we could never become friends. Had Raven been drawn to the same thing that repulsed me? Had she gone with him precisely because he was my opposite? more tomorrow

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