Another Saturday night … one of the 52 nights all men get off from their lovers..responsibilities and abodes. Another night to roam the streets for a stranger’s waist, a discussion over a pint of beer, an argument about which girl is the prettiest, or how to bring the war to an end?
A night for fighting, another for adventure; the various haunts of man. Some go to the nearest club, pub or cafe. While others roam the streets for a quick satisfaction.
Some just leave their rooms, loved ones, familiar neighborhood and venture into a land of their own. A land of their own. A land of dreams..of tales..fantasies and imaginations.
Where can one get a decent cup of tea in this forsaken town, a steaming cup after midnight on Saturday night..a steamy foggy mug of high quality tea in an Atlantic port. A traditional cup of tea..a strong Irish breakfast; dark..ebony..morning glory tea. I know it is night, a night more suitable for other beverages; gin, whisky, beer or the odd cocktail. Something to dampen the soul, slow down your facilities, distort reality and usher you to a world of your own.
Yet I want some strong tea, not from a lukewarm pot..no I want something fresh..a pot releasing fog from a silver kettle, whistling in melodies; Beethoven so passe for my ears, wouldn’t mind a catchy disco tune from the kettle. The musical teakettle..my invention..fantasy on a Saturday night.
A quiet street paved with houses, multi-coloured..old. Victorian establishments almost a century and half old. Establishments that withstood the effect of time, the changes in the Empire, the flux of immigrants, or the harsh weather in this corner of the globe. Multi-coloured homes; bright red, vibrant yellow, lime green, electric blue, lavender, peach, plum or just angelic white. A quick remedy to SAD, depression or the occasional blue days when the ground is as white as milk.
“What happens in the Cartwell House I thought’
What really happens behind the doors of those homes, any one of them.Those Victorian homes riddled with secrets, intrigues, scandals, tales of bloody feuds. One does wonder , what would the walls say if they were able to speak and spill the history of this city. Would scandals , words, seep from the walls and collect into a pool for all of us to see and gaze at our reflection in their clear sheet of water.
I felt like a night voyeurist peeping into the private business of others. An accidental peeping tom on a Saturday night, satisfying an animalistic need, a hidden instinct to chase a scent in the air; flowery yet musky..a scent permeated from the bodies of lovers, victims, and total strangers.
Leaning along the outer wall of the house, under a dim light ..taking in the silence of the night, the old homes surrounding me. The deathly sound of silence. A park stretches before my eyes just across the street..deserted, abandoned at this ungodly hour. Do I imagine the laughter of two children playing by the rusty swings.. Are they laughing? Are they crying? Did they lose their path and ended up in the east section of town.
Get the hell out of here shouted some man in a wife beater, a few days growth on his face..he looks at me again and shouts I’d call 911 now you creep.
I am not a creep; my pants are up..secured by a thick black leather belt..should i fight back, retaliate, transform into a machine asking for a death wish..fight till I bleed, break a bone..shatter some glass, smash a bottle against his head..soft skull..brain matter..a fleeting thought..flight or fight.. I am a pacifist..the former won.
A church bell …ringing as I make my escape..the Basilica of St. Stephen..a bleeding statue with arrows..a martyr…a victim of oppression and prejudice.
A funeral hearst at the middle of the night.
i have no hat to raise.
a caravan of black cars invading the silence of the night. Never seen a funeral at midnight..white horses dashing by..a solemn smile from the driver…white oleander covering the dark wood casket..the light of a spotlight lonely shining on it.
The innocent laugh of those children still ringing in the air..a childish giggle..are they enjoying a cone of soft ice cream from the ice cream parlour nearby.
Midnight children in black..bereavement in its noble state..innocent..fragile..a carnival to celebrate a life..moments spent on Earth..seconds..minutes..hours..days..weeks..months..years..playful moments..minute memories..fragments held together by an invisible thread, a thread that was threaded the moment a cry shattered the silence of the maternity ward of a hospital.
Thoughts of death..life..at midnight. the two faces of life..the Janus of life..Janus; that two-faced god.
What a dangerous mind that I have ..that needs some strong tea to settle down..slow the pace..join the crowd..act its age..be normal for one night.