Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Memories are made of this 1

The elderly couple stood awkwardly just inside the entrance to the Le Coq d’Or and waited for a waiter to seat them. Eventually the bistro’s proprietress came out from the kitchen, with a small sigh of exasperation, to see why they were clogging up the doorway and not seating themselves as patrons were expected to.

The man began flapping his arms and grunting at her. Eventually she realised he was talking to her in execrable French. She put them all out of their misery with a terse, “I speak English, Monsieur.”

“Our usual table, please, Madame!” he beamed.

“George!” his wife nudged him affectionately, and explained to the waiting Frenchwoman, “We used to come here regularly. A long time ago.”

“We met here, Madame,” the old man added. “You would have been a baby.”

The proprietress relaxed into a welcoming smile and ushered them through the lunchtime throng towards a tiny table beside a radiator, with a partial view of the window.

They seemed delighted, nodding to each other as they struggled out of their coats and into the tiny space. “Nothing’s changed!” his wife said to him.

He took her hand, “No, love. Absolutely nothing.”

He looked up to the proprietress, “I came to be a poet. But we met, right here, and I came to my senses.”

They stuck to the menu du jour. When they weren’t eating they were holding hands, looking around them and evidently swapping fond memories.

The proprietress watched them leave, hand in hand. To her certain knowledge the place had only existed for ten years. Her husband had wrangled permission out of the Prefecture, then, to erect it on the site of a dilapidated public urinal that dated back before the Franco-Prussian War. She doubted Les Anglais had met up in that.


dodo said...

What a lovely story, it made me smile!

A friend of mine discovered the value of shared memories for a couple while on a trip away from her husband; she talked to him about it when she came back and he offered to do the dishes every evening. ;-)

Oscar Grillo said...

I drew this laughing loud also, Dodo!

No One In Particular said...

How lovely...who says Alzheimer's is all bad?

No One In Particular said...

And Oscar, I love the proprietress...what a hunk of woman!

Gigi said...

We met at nine.
We met at eight.
I was on time.
No, you were late.
Ah, yes, I remember it well.
We dined with friends.
We dined alone.
A tenor sang.
A baritone.
Ah yes I remember it well.

Oscar Grillo said...

The day they invented champagne....

Patricia said...

What can be more romantic than to share mistaken memories? What a good story, public urinal and all!

Mamerto Tetto said...

Osqui, si te moves a "no one in particular" y te acercas hasta mi domicilio dentro de las 48 hs posteriores a haberlo hecho, te como el rosquete y te baƱo la verga en farruca para snifeartela toda.

Oscar Grillo said...

Esperame que ya mismo me pongo en camino, Tetto.