‘My name is Sunshine.’
‘Sunny, you look truly amazing.’
‘Did you hear that Anabel followed him all the way to the Museum of Modern Arts?’
‘Who is he?
Ivan, Peter’s brother. He is a painter as well. That’s him sitting over there.
By now we’ve got used to Sunshine. She gossips most of the time, but she is a good friend, has a beautiful voice and in a way, keeps us together.
She seated her tiny body in a wooden chair between Giuseppe and myself. I hate when people move a chair without lifting it.
‘I like your dress.’ – By now I was familiar with Giuseppe’s voice when it sounds somewhat unnatural.
‘Green and purple are the colours of madness.’
She lifts her head and lets her look rise towards the entrance.
I look at Giuseppe’s and he looks at mine. We maintain faceless expressions, signifying the importance of the moment.
I hear them talking. Without looking at each other. My short-term memory seems to be still functional. I remember calling her gorgeous. That is enough to meet my daily need for social interaction.
I wonder what is the best way to entertain my fingers. They are restless.
‘There she is.’
Most likely Sunshine told that to us.
An aged face in snow-white dress, with long golden hair whirling down below shoulders, walks beside table without a sigh of acknowledgment.
‘She is in heaven.’
Peter, the painter and lecturer at the nearby University, talks to his friends.
‘I haven’t decided what to do with my hands?’
‘Have you heard of Vincent van Gogh? – Giuseppe finally gets her attention.
‘That’s the guy who bit his own ear.’
Whenever she giggles its cheerful and loud. Her voice is less loud when she turns her head away from. She is trying to see what Anabel is doing.
‘I need to go.’
Giuseppe dropped his pen on the floor as he was trying to get up by squeezing his body between the chair and the table without shifting the chair backwards. He succeeds, but we laugh at him. He always adjusts the black hat with one hand whilst throwing the end of the white scarf behind with the other. What a genius.
We hear his silhouette breezing through the entrance. His figure is reducing its size as he walks away from us.
‘What do you mean? How would you bite your own ear?’
‘Bite or cut. Same thing. Stop picking on details.’
‘Do I look like a dumb arse who is picky on insignificant and blind for important?’
‘Sometimes. You are a bit moody today. I will go to talk with her.’
Sunshine pushes her char with the same noise and pools her twisted dress down.
‘What is madness?’
There is no voice. It’s me thinking.
‘Our brain creates thoughts which are what we think that we think.’
‘At times, something of a different nature bubbles from a distance in tiny glimpses. As if these thoughts belong to someone else. They appear from imagination and are loaded with feelings.’
‘Simple people would not pay attention to that. But I am not simple and I am intrigued with workings of the brain?‘
‘Maybe our inspiration is a leakage of ideas from somewhere else?’
‘What a blind man can see? Probably the same what I see when I think. I see my thoughts.’
‘It might not be conventional, but its more interesting than taking dog for a walk and watching it poo-dropping and bum-sniffing.’
‘Is that insanity? Or capturing messages dispatched from subconsciousness.’
‘This is starting to make sense. And I don’t like it. The fun part is asking questions.’
She sits a few tables away. Drinks from a wine glass. Without lifting her head.
There is no one else in the restaurant. She turns towards me as if I called her. We smile.
‘Let’s sit together. Do you mind?’
I get up and walk towards her.
‘My name is Anabel. Do you often come here?’
‘After work. It’s on my way home.’
‘I like white wine.’
‘I like to drink.’
‘Do you work?’
‘No. Mostly I drink. But whenever I am in trouble, my brothers are always there for me.’
‘Do you live nearby?’
‘Serving last drinks,’ a female voice announced.
‘One more for the road?’
She smiles attempting to stand up and walk towards the bar.
‘Let me fix it.’
The body is numb. It’s fun to move in a slow motion. I walk and talk, then carry two small glasses through the air towards the eternity. I remember looking far ahead to ensure I don’t spill the liquid.
We drink fast as most chairs have already reached the table tops.
‘Shell we go?’
‘It’s time to leave.’
I stand at the door and she turns back to greet the hosts.
Not much traffic on the street. A few swinging street-lights. Enough to scare you to the bone. I walk next to her. She stops. I keep walking then turn around.
‘What do you want?’ – her voice asked.
That is true. Exactly how I feel. She starts walking. I can hear her one step behind me. We arrive to the intersection. I wait. She leads the way.’
‘There used to be an old butcher shop.’ – she points to a construction site.
‘I live on the other side. That’s my house.’
We stop, walk across, then stop again.
‘Would you like to come in?’
What else can I say. I am not sure if the breeze is cuddling my cheeks. Or might be alcohol sharing the effort with the breeze.
‘There are only my cat and myself. She needs to be fed.’
‘Thank you, I better go.’
‘You can stay here overnight, if you wish.’
‘I get up early.’
‘I can setup the alarm clock and you can go to work from here.’
‘Good night,’ she walks in.
‘Good night,’ I walk down the street pleased that I behaved like a gentleman.