the damp


The streetlamps in the courtyard flickered on to accommodate the changing sky. Pausing for a moment, I watched the mist filter across the uneven light, causing it to waver and flow like a river of light through the space before my eyes. Gradually it filtered down to the ground, and I paused, my spotlight, my moment in the sun on one of the days more grey in the season.

I expressed gratitude for little things, the deepness of my pockets, the short walk across the courtyard, and then a jumping through a few puddles in the alley to meet friends at the bar. The fact I had friends. The fact there was a bar so close to my home. Although maybe there was a drawback to that as well, people swelling forth from the bar at unseemly hours and bringing noise into the quiet little courtyard.

Yet for now the quiet seeped over me, and I dabbed my toe in and out of the spotlight, a move I thought of which Gypsy Rose Lee might approve.

“Singing in the rain, again?” Brian gave me a wink as I entered the bar. Pain in the ass. In the arse, really, because although he nearly lost his accent a long time ago, he took on a huge affectation for his customers.

“I’m gutted,” I told him, “you get me every time.” I gave myself a fake stab to the chest and leaned backward, grasping at the air behind me.

But the air gave way to a thick, woolen coat attached to a sturdy chest and a strand of scarf. I turned around to see someone new to the bar, new to me at least. All I noticed at first was the grey green of his eyes against the tint of his scarf. The edge of which I was clutching onto, to keep from falling over.

“Why’d you travel from one damp part of the world to our hemisphere, Brian?” The stranger asked, “Just to harass the young ladies?”

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