At the top of the stairs of my hotel there's a sliding metal gate that I tap a coin on to get the girl's attention at the desk so she will come round and let me in when I return from the day's doing and need to go home with my stuff, groceries and so on weighing me down and adding to the desire for a sit down and gaze at the misty sky, often, as I discovered, flecked with a fine dust from the desert that this city sits on. I see mist everywhere, the sky speckled with pigeons and over-sized crows that look like small vultures. As the girl opens the gate I climb in and go to the rooftop to catch the setting sun, not a sunset but a darkness descending on the city. From the rooftop the sliding door sounds rolling in its metal track like a distant roar of a crowd of football fans cheering. Another homecoming.
I pass by the stadium
sometimes in the course of my day, but I don't involve myself with local
affairs very often. It's not important to me whether the hometown team
performs well or otherwise. I'm just passing through, and the team is
not my concern.
Today I sat sipping coffee on the rooftop in the milky
sunshine at my usual dust covered table and a grey pigeon landed nearby
on the wall at the street side, his black wings sporting red polka-dots.
That is new to me. A strange looking bird. Ordinary like all pigeons,
but odd. The sun set and he flew away. Two cheers as the door opened and
closed, and I was left sitting briefly in the coming chill.