It’s midnight by the Heineken clock and I’m sitting at the base of the O’Connell monument, eating a McDonald’s, when I hear somebody cursing and muttering above me.
I look up from my phone to find that April has that hurt expression on her face. It’s an expression I’ve been seeing more and more, lately. She said something. A question? What did she say?
Lionel watched discreetly in the edges of his vision as a bald man in an orange gown walked across the crowded waiting area.
Snow had been cleared from the street and formed into a knee-high mountain range in the gutter. It was dirty and embedded with scraps of litter. I walked alongside the peaks and valleys, my backpack heavy with cans of beer.
I hammer on the front door with my fist and press the doorbell three times. Somebody is coming down the stairs. A dark male shape behind the nineteen-eighties frosted glass. A muttered curse and a key turning in the lock.
Earth. Have you heard of it? It’s the blue planet. Blue, because there’s so much water. So much water that it falls out of the sky and drenches my fur. So much water that I throw back my head and catch the drops on my tongue.
I had less patience than usual for Woodley’s twaddle. With hindsight, I can see that I was being a little unfair. He had agreed to meet me very late in the evening. Most people would not be so understanding of my foibles.
The venetian blind clacked against the window frame and waited, trembling, for the breeze to lift it again. When it did, shadows bunched and rippled along Simone’s legs, lingered at the hem of her skirt, and fell back to her ankles. A tide, rushing up a beach, and retreating.