Snapshots of a birthday.
Her arrival at the apartment, the same time as a hamper from Elmo. The finest cheeses available to humanity, here and now, crackers and biscuits and smoked salmon and ham. Her with a suitcase ("You needn't worry, I'm not moving in!") and stuff for the day that she'd taken off work. My back turned towards the making of coffee and back around for more presents.
The DART out to Dún Laoghaire, switching seats so she could be seaside.
Two pairs of cold hands walking along the pier, two lunatics out in the weather. Her mother wouldn't have let her if she knew. Sitting on the benches when we reached the end, the waves coming to catch us out.
Stumbling on the footpath, her worried face. "I'm fine, not a bother."
The Queen's pub in Dalkey and our own private cranny, an overposh lounge girl who spoke of smowked salmon and tomat-ow soup, two barely stifled laughs and the VH1 Christmas Countdown. No Shakin' Stevens.
"What are you looking at?"
A text from Fitzbollix, finding Leffe in the fridge.
A medicinal Hoegaarden, a shower, a fix up, a clean shirt and out again.
Pichet and a seat by the window, looking back and looking forward, remembering my cock-up on the first first date and all the stuff that managed to happen anyway.
Coffee in a throwback hotel, earlier in the day, and a covered up pool table.
The corner snug in The Stag's Head and a toast to the end of Movember, the barman Pat doing his best Clark Gable and not quite managing the effect.
Sleepiness, hers, and headblogging, mine.