Thursday, 10 April 2014

One Doorway

It’s noon, an hour or two before lunch, morning still. Deep in the routines of the day, a man leans out his doorway, elbows resting on a half-door, hands clasped. He’s watching three men—their faces, what they wear, how they speak and walk, what’s in their hands—load scrap wood and metal onto a truck. Like some neutral recording device, he turns, no change of expression, to whatever next sounds or appears. As do I. As does the white mutt lying in the sun across from the man. Who wouldn’t?

Three of us, then, observe the downhill woman in the uncertain jacket on this day that might turn hot, like recent days, or remain cool, like other recent days; and another woman, driving a Citroën, who arrives, backs up, parks, tests all her doors for locked, and disappears; and another woman, a local, who greets the man, greets the dog, even offers a silent smile to me on her way down the steps behind us.

We take no notice of the laundry hanging in view—towels, shorts, t-shirts and other items we can’t identify, let alone notice.

Here come two tourists who, judging by their flushed faces, have been busy all morning. “Down here, or?” says one. “Down here, yes. It probably joins up with this one.”

Finally, for the man in the one doorway, interior fancies reach up and pull him from those of the world outside. The dog and I lose sight of him.


The dog's still there.
Me too.

1 comment:

Bernadette said...

That is a great opening sentence!