Near a Window
by Justin Dobbs

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In the evening we passed into a house in which some tea was being served on a candlelit table that was near a large window which overlooked a canyon of trees, and the principle employee, a waitress who was clothed in the fashion of the village, had apparently been waiting for some time behind a standing table beside the bar.

At our own table we shared a glass of which had been waiting for us or else had appeared on the table at a time in which we had looked out the window, or into our eyes, our hands touching, and this whispering soul, which we couldn’t see but could feel outside as it approached, as we knew that its pursuit of us was blind and yet relentless as it was inevitable… but then we ordered a plate of ravioli, which was preceded by a basket of a buttered bread, and behind the bar I thought I caught a glimpse of the gleefully sweating bartender or a cook.

And then our conversation, which in the hushed solitude of the restaurant, was not only a stimulant but a predicator of our insistent love and relaxation, not only that but a defense against the cold, which was that danger with which we knew were barely escaping.


    
***


And then by dawn the colorless expanse of the street had opened up to us, where there was visible not much inside the shops except for the vague movements of the workers as they were setting up the coffee makers and removing buns from ovens that had been baking overnight beneath the candle-like light of the side kitchens. But this sadness of the city, which in ordinary days was the center of our thoughts… well it was no longer something that was vengeful. On the contrary, we found that soon enough the shops were opening, and that people were arriving in their cars and bikes, or walking in from all over the place, even from the hills above the city, and so we strolled over to a youthful looking place that stood on the corner of a main street.

Inside the shop we ordered a couple coffees, drip, a cinnamon bun, and a blueberry scone, then we put our sugar and cream into the coffees and went upstairs to our table behind a young man who was listening to a strange kind of heavy metal on his headphones.