The afternoon that belongs to everyone when they are coming and going and the moon is coming, the sun is going but for the hour, they’ll both share the shore and the sky. It’s the villager’s afternoon. Though we are not at the village, we are at the coast. It’s not a coastal town, but third village meets the sea. And the sky is buzzing with seagulls and street lights flickering on, as if each standing seagull acted as a censor.
The barista at the cafe is gorgeous, but shewd. His longish brown hair is tousled by the salt-drenched air and his face is covered with stubble and his eyes are hazel and his skin is tanned and he keeps his pants up with braces, buckled over his loose checkered shirt. The people sit at the cafe, finishing up or just arriving for a pre-dinner drink. Those who arrive, order; and secretly nibble strawberries packed away in their bag. The barista is gorgeous, but shrewd and he brings one coffee, then runs next door to buy a pastry for his eight year old sun and next door, he greets his friend, the patissieur, and orders two biscuits for the old woman by the door. She’s confused, and wonders why you cannot buy coffee and cake from the same store. And the barista gives the pastry to his son, and when he’s done he goes back to the kitchen to bring out the other coffee and his son takes a bite of rhubarb pastry then closes the cardboard box and skates off to the pier. The patisseur brings over the biscuits for the lady at the door and charges the price to the tab of the cafe. Meanwhile the arrivers sink spoons in affogatos enjoying the hot/cold sensation as the warm afternoon cools.
The evening, it belongs to everyone when they are coming and going and the sun is coming and going and they all meet here in the eve. It’s the citydweller’s evening and they line up to take their knives and forks from their named boxes, as whipped cattle eager to get their meal. The restauranteur is a caricature, a character who jumped out of the pages at the artists square at place du tertre. He’s welcoming them; “un, deux”, a table for “deux, quatre”. And the rush in, not as fold but as a flock of pigeons eager for good, cheap, french food. And the restauranteur could easily present a spectacle at the Moulin Rouge; his cheekbones are sharp and high, his eyes are clear, blue and clearly outlined. His suit is oversized and his belly pokes out as does his roman nose. He welcomes them as they take their cutlery from their pigeon holes, follow the restauranteur to their table and slide their bags on the racks above the heads, imagining what little rodents might come and nibble at their sacks if they’d left them on the floor as the bite their own meals, enjoying the rich strong smells mix with a sip too many of red wine and the evening begins to fade.