I consider carving this moment into a poem. In the half-closed eye of the storm: a still life. Trees and peace and water, a sweet sunlight. I wonder if it was really Monet’s failing eyesight that gave birth to his impressions. I wonder if I should go to Giverny.
Two men stroll past, hand-in-hand, wearing lumberjack shirts and an each-other ease: the grace of God. An Asian couple suck the life out of reeking fags, spark images of Gitanes-posing at a Gordon Road disco and the ignominy of The Last Dance. I hear Bach; I watch brightly-coloured plastic dragons bob on the lake, holding fire as the pretty Polish girl ties them up for the winter. The smell of bacon does its damnedest, ducks squawk, families walk and the mumumumum of a baby mocks my sudden broodiness.
And the People’s Palace watches it all: serene, pragmatic. I can see it from the top of my road, did you know that? There, it looks misty and magical, offers up music and a kind of rhyme. Here, it breathes safety, something quite certain, something quite prosaic.
The pregnant woman at the next table whispers on her phone. I have no thought, no feeling. There is, abruptly, silence. I consider carving this moment into a poem.