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Broad-brimmed black mangled hat. Tangled hair.  Sunken eyes. Bell bottoms. An open shirt revealing a glabrous chest. Tawdry rings adorning every crooked finger.  A weathered antique.  Discount Johnny Depp. Something from another time. 


Nobody listens to records anymore, I’ve heard. 


Hungover.  Shake off the sick.  A tired so tired that the tired don’t sleep. Standing coffee.  A greasy cut nestled between two stale pieces of bread. It’s warmer today.  The slapback of seasoned cowboy boots echoing from the cobblestone and ancient walls that defend their narrow alleyways.  Legs trembling like two torn buttresses barely holding up a crumbling ruin.  Squeezing through train carriage portals with the weapon of choice. Tumbling over travel bags and their rightful owners.  Sitting is divine.  What a wonderful thing it is to be in one’s own thoughts.  A phone call in fragments.  Arrival.  A friendly handshake.  A kiss on each cheek. 


“Sorry, I don’t speak English.” 


Testing…one, two. Sore throat.  Can't imagine why.  Traversing across the charcoal sticky floor.  The familiar smell of urinal cakes attempting to camouflage last night’s devastation.  The local cuisine. A fish from the harbor.  Wine.  A sullen croon overdubbed by idle chatter.  At least one can go inside.  Has it been an hour?  A reluctant cover.  Now they’re listening.  This is the part their phones will remember.  Wine. Hand-me-down conversations. Cigarette smoke. Sleep…one hopes.  Romance on repeat. 

Aaron Brooks photo by Alexey Testov

aaron brooks

photo by Alexey Testov

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