A rich and modest square of François Pralus Cuba is starting to melt under the impatient tongue. I had to get out and pedal thirty minutes each way to get a bar. The day is tormented by rain and snow, they alternate first, then merge, land angrily on the skin. But I don't mind, have grown used to this.
I gather speed -- I'll lose it in a minute to the next gust of wind. I only passed four or five blocks and I already feel my shirt slowly starting to dissolve in sweat on my back. I cross a traffic-laden road, the green light disappears quickly in the thick spew of hail. I wear mittens, but the skin on my hands feels raw, it burns.
Neat, elegant stacks of chocolate bars, thin as ballerina's ribs. The eye stops at each, sends the mind reeling, wanting, in a free fall. I pull a Cuba off the shelf, my favourite. I habitually run my fingers across its wrapper, the paper feels grainier under the wet skin. But I know well what's underneath it: a taste of cigar smoke and rum, not direct, but rather plucked from somebody's lips. Before going back I decide to have a cup of coffee, an espresso. It comes thick as crude oil. The woman across the counter compliments the colour of my lipstick, she would like to know the name of the hue. I say it's dark wine, Merlot. I reach into my coat pocket for change to find a crumpled piece of writing paper, both damp from rain.
I looked up, it was dark. The night was through, over, down to the last note in my pockets, each spent on wine. I alone must have had a bottle of young red, French, too. It knowingly blazed through the blood and softened the limbs. The phone buzzed and buzzed. I took a piece of paper out of my handbag, still blank but already folded, straightened it and wrote: Remember how you spilled wine over my dress (good it was black) as we stumbled in a dance and we laughed at it and at our ourselves louder than everybody else combined. Then I looked down at it and crumpled it up. The arthritic tree tops span overhead as I was unlocking my bike. I looked up, my head started to spin too, the stomach feeling dangerously close to the throat.
The tongue gives in to the slow dark buttery melt, becomes sedated, hypnotized by it.