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One Night In June

Nick left the table and went upstairs to the washroom. Above the urinal on a dark blue wall a guy had written 'I was the shadow of the waxwing slain', the start of Nabokov's great 'Pale Fire'.

Beneath it another guy had written 'people criticized me when I started dating the woman who drove my brother to suicide but I knew what I was doing. Bang!'

He shook off and zipped up. Downstairs his friends were sitting at an outdoor table under a linden tree in front of the café. It was 7:30 maybe 8 and everybody's face was awash in gold.

A waiter came by. He had no shirt on, just the apron that covered his chest and went around his neck. The white straps crisscrossed his black back. Somebody said sure why not and the good-looking guy with the Rasta locks came back with a tray. Drops on the glasses picked up all colors of light.

Nick went back upstairs. This time he had a marker. He stood at the same urinal and drew an arrow after 'slain' that pointed to plain blue wall where he wrote 'by the false azure of the windowpane.'

Story by:

Charles Pinch

5 June 2014