Despite having spent an age arranging the blind so that she could sit on the rug with her back to the sofa and watch the morning light dance within their slatted lengths, she found herself under heavy cloud, brewing, quite unable to play. She laid the cold horn on the sofa, scooped up her shades from the busy windowsill and, turning the key first this way, then that, left the building.
The sunlight sparkled in the displays, in the molded metal, in the mirrors and in the wings. It shimmied in the traffic. She turned onto Barutherstrasse, with its spray paint crypts and greening concrete, and behind her shades, beneath the lindens, she walked, revenant, among the living, over the shadows of the pigeons on the paving, and she decided, or remembered suddenly, that this city was a very beautiful place indeed. She came to a street that she recognised from the spring. The pastel cream and vin jaune buildings of Crellestrasse, and at the corner, the little café.
She sat beneath a blue shadow, a wing of canopy, and stirred crystal sugar into a cup with a tiny spoon. As she stirred she watched slowly a slim pickings man appear among the living, straggly and shabby in his rummage charity and pushing a trolley. He heralded his way with proclamations, declarations and admonishments to one and all, or no one, in his path, in his wake. The spoons sang. The sparrows chattered nervously. He stopped at a bin strapped to a lamp post just some feet from her and, to some apparent accompanying rhumba of the morning traffic and the birdsong of the tiny spoons, began to rifle the top layers of detritus. She watched him conjure and if it pleased, he would place the plunder in the trolley, and if it troubled he would shout Jesus! and return the rubbish to the bin and reinter his sleeve to the armpit. After sometime he retrieved a scrap of paper, a receipt or shopping list, to-do list or such. This went immediately into his mouth with a grubby flourish and, performing a surprisingly deft little sashay, he turned at once and threw out his eyes between the crowds and stared directly into her’s. The shades, to some extent, protected her, but a little magic penetrated. A semester passed. She blushed and gazed into her cup and when she looked up again, he was in profile, his eyes followed a woman dressed in a two piece who had just passed him. He denounced her with a litany.
The trumpet lay on the sofa, shining like gold. The bowl of it yawning. She drew the blind and opened the window. The street and the day rushed in like a wave and she breathed in. She picked up the horn and teased out a rather sombre, thoughtful rendition of Smoke On The Water.