An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Still life with nicotine

It's half past five on a February afternoon. The light has begun to fade, It has been raining on and off all day. The temperature has hovered around 5ÂșC all day and is now falling. I am sitting beneath a balcony outside a cafe in Como. Beside me two elderly ladies in fur coats are deep in conversation around another table chainsmoking. Beyond them a solitary middle aged man sits sipping a cappuccino - fingerless gloves - he grasps a cigarette and draws heavily - his wife and young child sit inside the cafe in the warmth - the only customers inside the cavernous cafe. They have a young male employee who mans the till as their only company - the rest of the staff are out here with us - the smokers. They too are grabbing a quick smoke. The rains continues to fall. The temperature continues to fall. A mist rolls in from the lake. The smokers persist - taking their outlawed pleasure where they might while they can. Across the way in an open air annex to the Duomo the homeless crouch together for warmth - they are smoking too.

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