Scenes from Jerez #1: The autumn of life

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a scene as peaceful as this: an ageing couple seated in a café next to a window – outside the rain pouring down, inside the chatter pouring all round them – both of them nodding off and occasionally returning to consciousness to note the rain or reposition their bobbing heads; never really awake but never really asleep. I was in the café only to escape the rain, anxious to go home as soon as it subsided, but these two must have forgotten what anxiety was, what it is to rush, what the flow of time itself feels like. Neither of them spoke a single word during the half an hour or more that I was there observing them: I laughed a little to myself, but then began thinking of the inner peace, the comfort, that you would need to do this; to sleep, next to your soul-mate, in a café for an hour or so, indifferent to any thing or any one around you. I couldn’t do it, not now, but I hope to live to an age where I can; to live through my own autumn of life.

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