Friday, March 9

A Colleague Last Of All / Untitled In A Café

in safe p.a. hollow the
white of mine friday life;
sat brew’n the socket an
archaic station; out come

I from 30pence toilet
to scenes crying and swum
of scenes romantic one

just her
(and fella) arguin’—

so just her—disastrous
lover with runnin eye makeup;
man so intense as to crack
pavements strewn with
other blood— soon

she straddled platform 16
bench, knee too young to
invent line nor threat,
swollen buttocks dress-
ed in red with eyes say’n
‘I am, yes, sometimes, alone;

heels-four-inch-small (as
a slogan); bees come to feedin’
off the mascara; she confessed
to me in utmost nudity the
love she nurtured like a starfish
nurture the ocean floor—I

not seen no one that nude before
IF SHE WANTED to get out of the office—which she did—then that was fine by me. I, too, had to get out of there (as I do every lunchtime) and had some things to take care of. She wanted to come along. I had tried very hard to forget about her in the beginning of December, when the months are getting colder and so on. I had forgotten about her. We went out and it was cold there and windy so that our hair blew about. I had to pick up my watch from the jewellers; the battery had been replaced for the first time since I had received it as a gift (eighteen); and it cost eighteen-pounds-ninety. ‘Let’s get a coffee’, she told me. But I know that she does not drink coffee, preferring hot chocolate to run all over her sweet teeth that the dentist, apparently, tells her are perfect teeth; I am inclined to agree—white with a comfortable amount of space between. We laughed in the jewellers and then I took her round the back of the station to a café I thought might be quiet, however it wasn’t. So we took a tour of all the places to buy coffee I know; all were full, for it was Tuesday lunchtime and everyone is scrambling about. We walked further afield to somewhere I had not taken her before, as I am in the habit of dragging her all over the city until she becomes so lost that she needs me to get back. A food van was stood in the middle of some square—‘Oh, look at this,’ says I—‘Ah, but it’s just fish. Fuck it.’ ‘I don’t like fish.’ ‘What about prawns?’ ‘No. It lives in the sea. It’s fish.’ ‘My mum makes a great prawn curry.’ The café was quiet. I told her—‘Go take that seat by the window and I’ll get your order . . . hot chocolate? . . . OK, go sit there.’ ‘OK!’ Everyone looks best when they think that nobody is looking at them. She sat in front of the big wide open window. The light from the window went all over her like spilled milk. I took my black filter and her hot chocolate and bought us some biscuits to share. I sat beside her. ‘People watching is my favourite,’ she says. ‘Me too. I do it a lot. Sit outside a café, drink coffee, smoke, and people watch.’ ‘You do it all the time?’ ‘Oh, all the time! You can’t stop me!’ She laughed and I chuckled. Our seat was in front of the big wide open window and on the other side of the big wide open window was the square (and fish van) and then a pathway past us to some more offices. We sat there, drank our drinks, and discussed the people walking past. We discussed other matters, too, but mainly we watched the people come and go. It was nothing, it was really nothing, but that, right there and then, felt so good. People live their whole lives and never experience something so small and meaningless as that, but I had it and was there when it happened and it was lovely, so lovely that I cannot put it into words. You were not there, but maybe you have been there. Those who haven’t should be jealous of us.

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