She came rushing up to the coffee house tables clicking boot heels on cobble stones and a black overcoat like wings.
“Be a good chap and piss off, won’t you?”
She put her hand on the metal chair back as if to help him out.
He looked startled. The woman across from him covered her smile with a pale square hand. She wouldn’t bring her blue eyes up to meet his.
Black overcoat shook the back of his chair. “No really, piss off.”
He stood up completely flummoxed. Such a nice looking man too, in a navy cashmere sweater and dark jeans but, “shoo shoo”
Overcoat took his seat. It was barely warm the guy hadn’t been sitting there long. She leaned over and took a pale hand in her dark one.
“God Faye,” the woman giggled. “You’re so rude.”
“What? That guy? He’ll be fine. He’ll go home and forget all about it in the arms of some little girl. But not in your arms.”
She squeezed her hand. “How are you?”
A waiter came outside and Faye ordered a cappuccino and Marlo got a refill of her coffee. The brightly colored metal tables reflected the overhead lights as night surrounded the sky. As the sun lost it’s hold on the day.
The cobblestones dappled gray and black with shadows that seemed born from Faye’s great black overcoat.
The worn cuffs and missing few buttons didn’t detract from the presence of the thing. How the coat seemed to wrap around Faye with a measure of aliveness through the shoulders. The dry rustle of feathers a barely known thing. More like a feeling.
Marlo’s blue eyes met Faye’s and it was as if the sun rose in a tiny diorama there. As if you could see a far away hill with flowers and clouds and children playing there so small and very far away.
“It’s ok Faye really. I’m doing ok. I have a hard time holding on to what I’m doing here, to who I am. You know?”
She stared down at the thick ceramic mug in front of her. The lacquered yellow of the table bounced a bit of incandescence into her shadows.
“ It’s not bad,” she said. “It’s painful, but it can be quite beautiful. And there are cute men like that guy in cashmere”. She smiled, “those are always entertaining. And the rain falls and leaves glistening drops to sparkle on leaves. It’s not bad. That’s the problem. It’s too distracting.”
“ Yeah, said Faye. “I know what you mean. This place has a way of insinuating itself into your skin, into your senses. As Agent Smith said in The Matrix, ‘it’s the smell’.” She took a deep sniff, her wide nostrils flaring wider as she inhaled the coffee steam, the sweetly rotten smell of the garbage cans just behind the door, and the musky cologne of the kid who had sat here before. “It really is the smell. Those Wachowski’s really know their stuff don’t they?”
Marlo laughed, “Yes. They do have a bit of the reality of it, don’t they? Do they remember too? Or are they talking to someone that does? Or is it just coming in their dreams, filtering in.”