Friday morning 3 a.m. (or maybe the middle of the beginning or the end of the middle)

That first night ended too soon, they always do, but beyond the minutes and hours of days tripping into nights and falling again they found themselves in the same room with no space. They left the building and walked, with that mild ringing in their ears and the gig sweats in full cascade – hot and cold but neither.

He took her to the park, it was dawn, the preceding hours had flowed swiftly before and beyond them and now they only had each other and the morning sun and the mist as it rose above the boating lake. He wanted to whistle, but quietly sang ‘Strawberry Wine.’ “Misty morning in the springtime…these lips will find strawberry wine.” A little obvious but hand fitted glove and the harmonies rose with the tide. She had two t-shirts on only, above her leggings and baby doll dress and German paratroopers boots daubed with circled A’s. Gig shirt over other band shirt (you never wore the shirt of the band you were seeing to the gig, no-one knew why, but no-one did; only newbies maybe) and she started to shiver lightly.

Should he put his arm around her? Fitz wasn’t wearing a jacket, he had left his 1960’s pin stripe suit jacket, (the one he had appropriated from someone’s party somewhere, at some insignificant point) somewhere. He had never felt the cold, well not like other people seemed to. There was no-one else there, the ducks were wherever they go, and the late night lovers, policemen, and thieves were clearly about their business elsewhere. It was just them, the mist, the sun, the lake.

“You know Killing and Arab?” He would have added by The Cure, but it didn’t need saying. She nodded and said, “What about it? I was thinking about it and the scene from L’Etranger and Robert Smith and the fascists who didn’t get it, and it is just us and the elements; we are indivisible from them and they form us and right here, laid out before us there is the immutability of love, and life, and death. Right now, anything is possible…Sorry, what were you saying about the song?” Fitz had thought that he had something to say and it was something like Gwenno had just said, but it wouldn’t have touched it, so he said, “This, here, us, is everything.” “You say it much better than me!” “I wish I could.”

Pause, breathe, release, feel the freedom.

“Have you got any hot chocolate at your house, I’m cold? Where do you live? Is it close by?” Gwenno again. She had put her arm through his and into his pocket.

“Just up the road past the crossroads and the Trustees Saving Bank, I’ve got coffee and cocoa and bread and a toaster and Marmite.” Pause. Breathe. Release. “Are you coming back to mine?” Fitz looked ahead across the water.

“How could I refuse marmite and toast? Is it real coffee?”

“Isn’t all coffee real?” Fitz said, his gaze remaining above the horizon.

You know what I mean,” Gwenno said.

“I really don’t.” Fitz thought.

“It doesn’t matter. I’m coming back, now in a minute, but let’s just sit here for a few more minutes. Have you got any tabs?” Gwenno asked feeling for her pockets.

“Cigarettes or acid?” Fitz asked. It wasn’t trip Friday. He’d forgotten what day it was.

“Either, but I could do with a smoke. Got any gig fags?” she asked, having long given up her own search.

Rhodri reached into the left front pocket of his shorts and pulled out a crushed soft pack that once had 20 pristine Marlboro Lights, he’d nicked them off a table at the gig when he had first got there (from each according to his something to me according to my need or something is what he sometimes said and often thought). They were American with white filter tips. He indexfinger-flicked the bottom and two crushed broken cigarettes flew up, the next two the same and the next one. He’d use them later. The next two were bent out of shape, but whole, he put both in his mouth and flicked his Zippo (fake from Kensington Market) into life by squeezing top and bottom simultaneously, and then clicking his middle finger over the wheel. He inhaled deeply on both and then handed the one on the left to his left and between Gwenno’s glistening lips. He tried not to bum suck it, she probably would have said if it had. He didn’t know. They sat and smoked and watched the light play on the water and around it, diffused through the plumes of grey-blue smoke billowing lightly in the four a.m. breeze. Rhodri feared silence and wanted to break it, but for once he couldn’t. He finished his first, his throat was dry, Gwenno flicked ash on his trainer and inhaled so slightly and exhaled so slowly, it could hardly be called smoking.

Half way through, his long since stubbed, Gwenno asked, “Can I have another?”

He wanted to go, but knew he couldn’t say it. “Any time,” not as lightly as he had hoped.

“No, let’s go back now, I have seen tomorrow now. Let’s go.”


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