Monday, April 06, 2009
Charlie lived on Gillespie Road just past Plimsoll Road, so I walked from Trafalger Square where she and I had gone separate ways, leaning heavily on my cane, and made my way, indirectly, in the direction of the tube stop at Leicester Square.
Portuguese university students struggled to film the traffic. A frustrated man chased late leavers from the portico of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and loudly clanged the gates shut and locked them with chains. A gaggle of Irish women, Newry if my accent-tracker was working, rushed past gushing about Judi Dench in the play they had just seen. Outside the Coliseum two French twenty-somethings appeared on the verge of orgasm even if they remained mostly clothed.
Near New Row I paused, exhausted, pain spreading from my leg through my body, and I stumbled toward the door of The Angel and Crown, while reaching with my free hand for the small box of meds in my pocket. A barman held the door for me. "Need a pint?" "And perhaps food." "Can you make it upstairs?" "Slowly." We went through to the back and up the narrow stair. I sat between two groups of French students, the pint in front of me, the West End Saturday night playing out beyond the window I turned toward. It began to rain.
She appeared in the doorway with wet hair. "That was just dumb," she announced to the room. "Buy me dinner?" I nodded toward the chair next to me. She sat down. "You know I'd rather sleep on Charlie's couch with you than in Alex's guest suite alone." "I'd love that." "You just piss me off sometimes." "Sometimes?" "Sometimes."
Later, I limped down the stairs toward the Piccadilly Line. She guarded my back from the flow of people. The train toward Cockfosters was crowded as expected. Two young men gave us their seats. I closed my eyes. Her head fell on my shoulder. "You can make the walk from the station?" she asked. "Oh yeah," I told her.
copyright 2009 by Ira David Socol