The Beggars' Banquet
Now the dust has settled and our thirst is slaked for the time being, we can turn our attention back on our hero. He has taken himself here in search of quiet and inspiration. He has a tale, and for now, his tale is ours. We shall walk the path with him, for a little way at least. Until we see some promising attraction, up a side street maybe. Does everyone have a drink? Because I think happy hour may be drawing to a close.
How often have we mislaid a loved one in the confusion of the city? We try and think. Concentrate. What was she wearing? Oh yes, that old red anorak and blue jeans, well that shouldn’t be too hard to spot…and immediately we see them, miles away through the crowd, and the funny thing is, they’re not wearing red at all, or jeans for that matter.
No, we recognise them by their totality. Their height, the way they move on the street, their habit of weaving, or whatever it might be.
So it is that our man recognises a figure from his past moving in the crowd. Moving up the hill towards this very inn. A figure it has to be said, that he’d hoped never to see again.
It is undoubtedly Max, for no matter what disguise he employs and today it appears to be ‘tee shirted holidaymaker’, to our hero’s eyes, he always has the look of a lost man in a suit. Our hero’s eyes, as we shall see, have been well sharpened.
He watches as the tourist wanders up the road, taking his time, looking in the windows, smiling, ever the sightseer. This display he knows, is not for his benefit. This performance is for others who may be watching. To our hero, that thought alone is enough to chill him, even in this heat.
With his heart beating now, he watches as the tourist wanders past the entrance, strolls up the street and suddenly stops. He watches as the tourist apparently decides that he will have that drink after all, and meanders all the way back to the tavern. His eyes never leave the tourist as he walks straight up to his table and drops with a sigh into the seat opposite.