The sunlight glaring from the table is piercing. The September air still warm, although constantly changing. I am dining alfresco in a central Bristol bistro. Adjacent two girls play ping-pong, whilst a stilted lady wanders through the floor mounted fountains. Waiters continually check if "the food is to standard" and tiring of such interruptions it is decided that no service shall be paid.
Mid course, I find I am staring, perhaps too hard, at the woman opposite. White dress shirt, tucked into black 501 jeans. Large sunglasses, with large hooped earrings, silver. Toking her fourth cigarette. Someone at our table says something I don't hear,whilst another speaks a soft reply. And I'm thinking. About the time of year. Not listening. The turn of the trees. The September sunlight. Where the summer went. A short stay at my parents. Last night. My bank account, it's lack of funds. The house I rented near London. The tree lined streets that followed the roads. My bike. A Golf, British racing green. Three large leather sofas. Where the summer went. Pinto wine. The mold on the shower walls. Where robins go in cold springs. The west end. The broken washer/dryer. How warm the wine is. That semester, that five thou invoice. 2007.
That house. That September air. The rain. Where the summer went.
And I am pulled back to our table by the conversation on the other side of the courtyard. Where someone is asking a french guest, patronisingly, 'Did you buy anything...did you purchase...pr-che-se'. And I wave the busboy away, and throw my Visa onto the table.