In the evening, I take Harry for a walk in St. James Park. A fine, quiet rain falls from the sky. The gas lamps are on and a feint soft light creeps out of the glass enclosures, piercing the mist
and casting feint pools of yellow light on the pavement. The lamps make a little noise, a feint whisper that continues the whole night, until the gas man snuffs them out in the morning.
I reach the park right after dusk, in that peculiar moment of heightened existence, as if some portent were in the air.
My sense of peace is soon disturbed by a rough chant — or so it seemed. It was hard to tell because the sound passed through the mist to reach me. As the sound grew louder, three swaying figures come into view.
"Polska, Polski, Polska, Polski ".
Were the only words I understood. One man leaves his companions, and walks next to me, trying to command my attention. The chant was double, one man cried out, the others gave reply; they alternated, front and back, in a chorus of sorts.
For some time, we are locked in a war of wills. We split apart only for the odd pedestrian, who looks back, then hurries past. He draws closer and raises his voice, until it cracks in a sort of falsetto, which provokes his companions into an orgy of laughter and heckling.
After a while, he falls away. Judging by the sound of his footfall, and the profane bray of the voices, he has regained his estranged companions.
Of course poor Harry is beside himself. He lagged behind and he even stops, for what seems a long time. The prospect of a pleasant walk dashed, I turn toward home and feel, with horror, my foot sink into a pile of feces.
© Copyright 2017 brinsley. All rights reserved.
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