In the evening, I take Harry for a walk in St. James Park. I went later than usual and the park was suspended in that moment between dusk and dark, a time during which all existence is heightened and something momentous seems about to happen.
A fine, quiet rain fell straight out of the sky. The black gas lamps were lit and a feint soft light crept out from the glass enclosures. Each lamppost was numbered and if you looked with some care, the flame seemed to flare around each bulb with a blue haze. A little noise issued from each lamp, like a light whisper that kept speaking whenever the lamps were lit and during the whole night, whispering and speaking and flaring until they were snuffed out by the gas-man in the early hours of the morning.
The dripping leaves, the green iron railings and the feint pools of yellow light cast by each lamp on the path ahead, pointed to the coming delights. But the peace was broken by a rough chant. The sound grew louder and the swaying figures came slowly into view. 'Polska, Polski, Polska, Polski' were the only words that I understood. The one man drew near, left his companion, and walked beside me, chanting to catch my attention.
It was a double chant, the one man cried out, while the other gave reply, and they alternated, in a sort of chorus, one in front and one behind. I looked straight ahead, maintained my pace, and met the encounter with a feigned indifference.
We locked together, then split apart for the odd pedestrian, who turned around and looked back curiously. Then he drew near, raised his voice higher and higher until it cracked, in a sort of falsetto..
Then he retreated into the mist. Judging by his footfall, and the profane bray of the voices, he had just regained his companion. Their voices retreated and they vanished into the mist, just as quickly as they had appeared.
The poor dog was beside himself. He stopped, the slack came out of the leash and he disappeared into the mist. By then, the prospect of a pleasant walk dashed, I turned back home dejectedly and felt my foot sink into my own dogturd.
© Copyright 2016 brinsley. All rights reserved.
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