‘ There is no reason to wear a hat at night, but I did. The yellow-white neon light was just too much for my eyes. It shone on me, right on my eyes. I had to pull the rim down lower…better…much better. Hopefully the screaming headache will pacify soon. Its that light, that’s making my head burn. I am awfully thirsty. On the opposite wall, the clock struggled to strike one.
I sat on one of the tools, by the cheap wooden counter, sweating under my suits.
I need a drink, hah! I already had a drink, a lot more than just one! Isn’t that why I am at a ice-cream parlor. Why am I here really? So late in the night. I do have a home, had a home, now I have a house. Three months ago I used to go home early. Afterwards there would be screamings. Now, I don’t bother going home. no one screams there anymore. Is it possible to hire a screamer, someone to complain and nag about the day once I put my briefcase down. They say money can buy anything!
“Which one sir?’ the blonde guy was asking. Nice looking bloke, sharp nose, fair skin, thin, hollowed cheeks. ‘Why are you here?’ I want to ask ‘Vanilla’ I reply instead. Ice cream guy looks at me, nah measures me. Why? Cant a person want a midnight ice cream? Honestly, I am too drunk, too old, too boring, too angry, too tired to even try and see what other flavors they have. Vanilla, good old vanilla, nice, steady, comfortable vanilla.
‘Cup o cone mister?’ he smiled at me. Not a nice smile, or may be its me, may be I smell of whisky. I do not like smiling blokes. I feel like punching his teeth out.
‘Cup’ I say.
‘Sure n you ma’am?’
On the opposite counter, by the street a brunette stood, in a red dress, or a blouse, not sure. Angry, she was angry and breathtaking. ‘Have coffee?’ she asked, deep voice, deep as the red on her lips, deep as those brown eyes, deep and angry.
‘Cappuccino, two’ she sat down on one of those tools without waiting for an answer. The ice cream guy did not smile at her but he ran to the coffee machine.
Beside her was the tall guy. Taller than me, head capped in a hat, strong nose jutting out over thin lips pale blue eyes. The moment I looked at him, he looked back at me. I darted my glance, to the lonely empty streets behind him. Closed shops, empty shop windows. The street was bathed in dull green light. Streetlamps. Reminding you more of failure.
Their coffee mugs turned up first. I sat beating my fingers against the cherrywood counter. She was sad. The way she poured over her coffee, her long lashes never let me see the color of those eyes. My ice cream, almost frozen to hard ice arrived soon after. This is better, the cold ice cream, against my hot dry thirsty tongue. On our very first date, we had vanilla ice cream. Cones. Walked for hours after that.
I steal a glance at the man. Hiding under his hat, he was looking at her, taking her in. This empty sidewalk, this dark useless, lifeless night. The city smell, of cars and petrol, of us, of boredom. I wanted to laugh. I am old, boring, tired, angry but I can still recognize it anywhere, ANYWHERE.
It is the look of love. That ugly man, with rude face, stubborn eyes, he loves her…