Left bank at midnight, Sabbath wanted me to sit alone to see who would talk to me. More closer to the truth, she really wanted to see how I would act, possibly hear some lines.
She added all kinds of extra conditions, new rules of seduction. While I sat there I could not read, since a raised book, bent head, was too much a shield. I could drink and smoke though, both being part of a greater social ritual.
The only person who gave me a glance, the only person not blatantly on the hunt, Sabine.
In Bulgaria her father had been a lion tamer and she had Asthma. She used both these things, wielding them like an expert for free drinks, while living at the cafes.
She and Sabbath hated each other, because their names were similar, their nature too.
Just as a bite back at Sabbath for making me play when I had writing to do, I invited her to sit with me. As she sat, I casually looked for Sabbath, her look, my victory. I did not see her, but knew she was around, otherwise the game would have no point.
It's ok, stay hidden, my cafe chameleon. Was she drinking a Chartreuse while she watched? No, something red?
We move to an outside table, I think this may make her reveal her position, shifting to keep the scene in view. No. No?
Now outside to drink down the rest of the night. The moon is a murderous secret all who are left here choose to ignore.
One of my pet theories, dawn offers up new chances, fresh starts if you are ready for it. Where was she? I had never put my theory into practice, held back by the part of me that knew better.
Sabine leans forward, eyes darting to the side, each kiss a secret she tries so hard to keep. Finally, we sit. Her voice was the perfect flutter, as caught, she said hello.
The scent of tobacco and apples now in my head. Her. A simple thing, her place, she will take me, I'll go.
"You look distracted."
"I have another story idea."
When we first met, she wanted to smoke opium with me, then let me write. A rainy afternoon, gobs of sticky stuff which gave off a cloying Myrrh-like scent. For two days after I had a headache, alternating with a clenched stomach.
We talk, I am now able to give her my full attention, which will drive Sabbath crazy. I watch, over the course of several rounds her face goes from arousal to fatigue.
Finally, obeying the rules, it is time to go home. I lay some bills down, hoping she will leave some for the waiter, and walk down the street humming Purcell's funeral march for Queen Anne.
Image - The Prophecy by Wayne Wolfson
FICTION & POETRY ARCHIVE