Chiaroscuro

I sit at the bar at the back end of the restaurant that has become the solid embodiment of the real weekend – the last waking hours of Sunday.

I had started sitting at the bar out of kindness to strangers and respecting the fact that their social life is of greater value to mine – on account that theirs actually exists

Yet as time went by the experience proved superior to sitting at any one table there; for due to the design of the establishment, it just so happens that the bar is positioned exactly like the bridge tower on a supertanker allowing one to gaze at the entire body of its clientelle spread out in front of it

I wonder sometimes whether people notice me doing just that, looking at them in what I believe is the same kind of look I give to museum exhibits.

Maybe this what other people mean to me now – something so distant and indecipherable that they could just as well be statues of ancient deities, not the model-like effigies of classical Greece or Rome but the ominus forms of gods worshipped by civilisations of which no trace remains but this, a mess of teeth and stretched animal parts cast in stone.

Tonight appears to be a couples night, so much so that upon entering I entertained the notion that I had travelled forwards in time to Valentine’s day; given how dizzyingly fast the festive season seems to have passed, that thought did not appear as outlandish as you may thik

All the women in the room were bestowed with beauty of varying degrees, an occurance which did not help in breaking the spell.

I was eventually shaken from my Twilight Zone stupor when a family came in, their screaming kids as good a wakeup call as any. In what appeared to be moments after, the place got full and noisy, the transition as sudden as the breaking of a mirror reflecting a scene from a baroque painting.

One can only have so much luck

Just before leaving I had a vision of this place being my own personal purgatory, a local version of Hotel California where as soon as I walk out the door or try to move towards the tables I will find myself sitting on the same exact stool, with my plate magically refilled with food and the wine again glistening in the glass

And I would still

Still

Not have a clue what my sins are nor what I should do to atone for them

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