All entries for May 2010
May 01, 2010
She drops the latch, pockets the key.
Mrs. Benson twitches the necessary. “She hasn’t smiled in weeks.”
Mr. Benson stirs his tea.
She turns the corner, crosses the road.
Across the park to the bus stop, checks her watch, waits.
“Morning love.” The Postman waves.
She taps her foot. I am not your love, I do not love you.
The bus is late. The sky is clouding over. I am not prepared.
The bus arrives. It takes her twenty minutes to get into the city, to walk to through the small streets, to find her cafe. The drops are starting as she ducks under the awning, peers through the steamed windows. He is late, she thinks, and I am a fool for being on time. I am always the fool.
She had spent twenty minutes longer on her hair and face, etching the kohl into the corners of her eyes gently smudging it with her finger, defining with mascara.
Entering, she sits, orders coffee which comes strong and hot, scalding her spine with her first mouthful.
When I reach ten he will arrive.
When I reach twenty five he will arrive.
When I reach seventy he will have arrived.
She finishes her cup, orders another.
The waitress holds the mug under the steamer watching the froth build until almost overflowing. I have seen her before, she thinks, I have seen her before but where? Lining mugs on her tray she is serving table nine when the door opens letting in cold air from the morning outside. It bangs shut. He is removing his scarf as she places the mug on the table, taking his order at the same time. Back at the machine she notices his height and the shade of his skin, the dark of his eyes.
“I’m sorry I’m late.”
“I’m sorry I’m a fool.”
“I’m sorry you are too.”
“Have you been here long?”
“So what do you have to say.”
“Not much. I have your book.”
“That’s everything. Nothing else is left.”
“Can you not speak more?”
“Can you not speak more?”
“But your coffee...”
“You have it,” drops three coins on the table. “I should be somewhere else.”
He wraps his scarf around his neck and the cold air the door lets in quickly warms.
The waitress brings the coffee over. “I can take it back?”
She wraps her hands around it. “No it’s fine. I am fine.”
Later, walking home, sleet begins to fall, cutting into her face and upper arms. The kohl is now rubbed away, her hair has lost its shape. She pulls her coat up further.
The house is cold. She lights a fire, picks up the book and throws it in. The flames grow.
The waitress leaving work heads into the tube and grips the bar as the train rattles beneath the streets. There is a smudge of coffee on her face, her back is sore and she has a burn on her wrist.
I know that girl, she thinks, I have seen her before.
The light in her living room is broken; she uses lamps to create a warm glow, boils the kettle, makes toast. Her eyes avoid the pile of books and clothes by the sofa, the ripped up photos, the half burnt letters in the grate. She sits in a chair, lifts her feet onto a small table.
I have seen that girl before.