As I walk past your table, I lift my half-full beer, generally in your direction. I don’t know if you saw, or if I was merely saluting the moon, half a moon, pregnant moon. At least I can claim some comfort dripping the cold brown liquid into my mouth.
Your mouth looks like its chanting, enchanting. You circle your table like a wasp, only whatever stings there are, I can’t make them out. Lit from behind, and now a little below, you’re at the top of the stairs. People crowd those stairs, sitting, smoking, rocking out to the thumps that squeak through the door as someone else goes to refresh themselves.
I take the other set of stairs, a semi-circular brick patio that forces you to acknowledge the taxis, cars, firetrucks making Osborne street wild. Or at least home to a particular beast. These other songs, other laughter, keep interrupting this reverie, but not the view.
I am engaged, now, in conversation. I have been kept from approaching you (and would I, with your friends, surrounded by your discourse?). I have to imagine, I have to make leaps back into the present of things, to respond, reply appropriately; I watch that I don’t stumble, too badly, on the make-up of what you’re talking about.
I see lips moving. That might have been enough, all it took.
J.D. Harms 2020
*Barthes, on love at first sight.