Clara and the painter

When Clara opened the door five years ago and let me in, a man was singing opera in another room. It’s the painter, she said, and said no more.

We sipped coffee from delicate white cups and I wondered what sort of artist would sing as he created. Clara flushed and called me bourgeois, incapable of understanding that even workers could appreciate fine things. He was painting the walls.

My cup tipped in its saucer as I lowered it towards the fine lace mat. I righted it and Clara flushed again. Her grandmother had had the sight and saw the future in the grounds.

You should leave, she said.

I did not see her again until a moment ago outside the pavement café. She was pushing a pram and I raised my cup to salute her. She did not respond. Perhaps she did not see me. I did not stand.

Rest. Sleep. Recover.

Rest.   Sleep.   Recover.
Rest.   Tea.   Sleep.   Recover.
Rest.   Tea.   Sleep.   Coffee.   Recover.
Rest.   Tea.   Cake.   Sleep.   Coffee.   Cake.   Recover.
Rest.   Sleep.   Recover.

And I will be there to hold you.

Changing the guard at the sea

At the Marina bar an hour after sunrise, early sunseekers with their cappuccini and cornetti swirl and eddy around the nightclub exiters, cold water, give me cold water. The two tribes mix like suntan cream and seawater.

An hour later the tattooed late-night swimmers trail up from the rocks, eyes red with salt and sleeplessness, beer bottles half full of cigarette butts and ash. The greatgrandparents distract the children with promises of coloured fish.

Neon sizzle

The neon sizzle from the bar last night is still behind D’s eyes. She has not slept enough; she smiles as she remembers why. The bells through the open window tell her it is Sunday, ten o’clock. She turns over and there is T again. His mouth tastes of coffee.