Spaghetti dans Lamoux- Numero Huit. (8).


Love has eluded me like so many others in Lamoux. It is the one thing that I have never possessed. Now I am what the boys on the street call a Robe. Someone who will employ them for the night, for company, not for the vanquishing of lust. Someone who tells them they can keep their Robe on. I feed them, bathe them, and sit them by the fire, giving them a book to read to me from. This is the sad conclusion of my life.

There is a boy who I like to get when I can. He is a poet and he reads me his words while we drink wine and eat the pistachio nuts that Lamoux imports from the middle east. His fingers play with the shells as his deep voice releases the stanzas, the boy writes of Lamoux- a city that I gather he loves as much as I do. He writes of his life and the things that he has and hasn’t experienced. The choices that he has made. He will sometimes sit there and tell me stories of his youth, of how he became the young man that he is. His cheeks slowly getting warmer and rosier from the claret and the warmth of the fire. Then I always let him sleep in my bed while I, down stairs, type his poems onto lavender coloured paper. His handwriting is consistent without mistakes, which shows he is educated. I wonder at how he became what he is, I wonder at how I became what I am. I wonder who has the sadder life. In the morning I never see him, he always leaves at dawn, taking the bundle of lavender paper, his payment, and a bag of pistachio nuts with him.


There is one day of the year when everybody in Lamoux will go to church. The day of Saint Gideon, our city’s patron saint. It is a holiday here and people will crowd into all the churches to pray for our city’s prosperity. Our prosperity. It is the only day I know of that my Mother and I will visit the church. We go along with all the other locals and sit through the service, praying for Lamoux, or in my case, praying for wings. We arrived today, Mother wearing her best silk scarf, me in a woolen jacket and cap. We sat at the back squeezed in and watched as the padre stood up. There was a silence and then a murmur. It was not Padre Daniel but the very same man who tried to give me a gift in the cafe, not so long ago.

Everyone looked around at one another. I recognised a lot of faces from the cafe, rogues, drunks, gamblers, dancers, the girls from the street, most of them criminals but all at one stage have been good to my mother and I. My mother she stood up, took me by the hand and we left out the side exit. A few others from the Rue d’bloome where leaving also. One of the women called out my mother’s name. She told me to wait in the old cemetery.  I walked through the old gate. and sat on an old grave in the sun. Then I noticed a girl was dancing not far off, it was Annette from the cafe. I called out and said hello. She came over and asked me what I was doing there. I told her about what happened in the church. I told her it was the one eyed man. I told her now he had two eyes. I told her how most of the regulars were acting strange. She replied that rogues never forget their own kind. My mother then came and saw Annette. My mother told her that St Gideon had forsaken Lamoux. It started to rain as Annette told my mother that Lamoux takes care of its children. And I realised I never got to pray for my wings.


I remember when I first bought a bar of soap off my Lorna. I was just a young man. I would see her from my window with a Persian that she was in love with, always with the most beautiful smile and brightest of dresses. I was paralised with despair. I could not wash, I could not go out. But then I no longer saw them. I only saw Lorna walking the streets, or I would see her on the stairs wearing a heavy jacket. Her hair wet and flat with the melted snow. I knew she had had her heart broken. Yet i couldn’t help but be cheered. I finally got the courage up to talk to her so I walked down the steps to her door and I knocked. She opened it and smiled. The most beautiful smell hit me and for the first time in my life I saw the colour of love. I smelt the essence of it. It filled my whole body with an applause, I could hear nothing but a great cheer and whistles and a brass band. Lorna looked at me and asked me if I was there to buy soap as well. She told me that she didn’t expect the word of her soap to travel so fast. I had no idea what to say, I wanted to ask her if she would have champagne with me on the river. I just looked at her as she wrapped up a bar of soap and I asked her how much I was to pay her. She looked at me and told me she had not yet settled on a price so I was to merely just tell her my name. I told her it was Augustus. Lorna laughed and asked me if I had Roman blood, I told her I was indeed a descendent of the Christian Roman. She smiled and told me that she was of Cleopatra’s line. I don’t think either of us believed each other. From that day I have bought a bar of soap every week. My only payment is to tell her my name. Maybe it is too late but one day I will walk down those steps and ask her to have champagne with me on the banks of the river Inkon. And I will tell her my real name.


~ by yesknow on August 16, 2010.

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