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Her words drift through the cigarette smoke, rising from fingers held in midair over the red cafe table where she sits with a friend. She had used these words before to weave the smoke strands into coherent conversations. Words move through the gray-white air in the nearly empty cafe, devoid of nightlife, just a few customers eating and breathing. The television is on. The video plays a Beatles documentary. Coffee cups resonate spoon stirs. She stops her well spoken words and turns her head toward the couple in the booth across the dusty aisle. Stirring stops and sipping begins. She brings her head back into her conversation, looks for an ashtray, and finds one near his "bottomless coffee cup" as the French waiter calls it. Pouring without asking, coming by without being called.

The word weaving continues for the duration of four cigarettes, three beers, two cups of coffee and -- "a hard days night." She hadn't noticed that her friend held her other hand with his. The hand that wasn't being used for the drinks. He stroked the suntanned soft skin between her knuckles as the smoke wandered up and up, swirled about their table and nowhere else. Words and random sentences hung on smoke curls, dropped from her mouth and meandered across the table. He ran the back of his fingernails along her wrist and up her forearm as she blended words and phrases into paragraphs full of purpose, coated with concern. The cafe had cleared of customers. The waiter returned to clear the table then left again.

She looked over to the opposite side of the table and noticed his hand on hers for the first time and smiled. The staff disappeared into the back kitchen. The quiet grew deeper and it was then that he noticed that she was naked. She was sitting at the table in the nude and no one had noticed. He saw her in the red glow of the wall lamp that hung between them just above the napkin dispenser. Her eyes said everything. They were robin's egg enchanting. Her breasts rested on the table as she leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek and ran her fingers through his hair. Her hand moved softly down his face as she slid along the leather cafe seat toward the aisle and stood up. She gathered the wafts of smoke and the words and phrases in her bare arms, stepped up onto the table top and walked into the painting above the place where they sat. She strolled across the acrylic field and sat in the shade of the acrylic tree with half her body covered in shade, the other by sunshine, not far from a blue acrylic pond.

He brought his fingers to his lips and closed his eyes for a second. "Last call," yelled the waiter from behind the kitchen door. The juke box and the TV were turned off. He emptied his glass for the last time and walked along the acrylic tiled floor and stood in front of the acrylic door of "The Empty Cafe."


WayneRay 13:47, 2 December 2007 (UTC)WayneRay

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