the early risers
his baby. Rufina had said she couldn't have children. Due in four months. Relationship up the spout, and Uncle Lucas directing the band.
Having allowed so much time for the traffic, he was 25 minutes early. He located the clinic, then looked for somewhere open to get a coffee. The streets early, wet underfoot and friendly. Few people. A sense of friendship.
The day Lucas was born, his father was arrested. He had been at the store and his basket, with vegetables, was returned to the new mother several days later. It wasn't the police who brought it though. They asked the notary Manolo.
What time of year? Lucas' birthday, he thought, was in February. They were winter vegetables.
He waited by the cash-till. The bar was empty but there were lively voices in the kitchen. After a minute a young woman came out and smiled at him.
I'll just have a small, white coffee? he said uncertainly, as if submitting a blueprint.
Oh, yes, a cortado, he beamed. This was more like it!
He left his briefcase and went to the toilet. Everywhere was empty, he had the whole establishment to himself. He soaped his hands with blackcurrant soap and pressed the tap many times to get enough water. Clanking ecology spanned virtine. Vitrine. Is that the wipe? Clean hands now, at any rate.
He took out the phone, but he couldn't be bothered with it. Two men came in and got something to take out. Croissants. He glanced at them. When did he ever catch sight of someone he thought he recognized?
It was as if. Young tendrils shooting from a wizened stock, he had noticed coming up from the lake. The brass instruments lined the underneath of the coach, accessed by a hatch. Sling 'em aboard!
He felt euphoric. He no longer wanted to run over bigots, he wanted to put them in gated communities in sunshine, in other words what they'd already done to themselves. He accepted everything. He'd bring them snow-cooled sherbets. In a thermos. He'd seek their peculiar wisdom.