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09.06.07, thursday morning

In Gort, Pauline and I had cappuccinos and cake in the bakery next to the Brazilian grocer where you can get frozen mango, three kinds of chile peppers, and five-kilo bags of black beans.

At neighboring tables, old couples sip tea and nibble on rave coloured fondants, hard tiny croissants at three for a euro, whiskey gateaux, griddle cake. They talk of pills and house prices and cows. The old woman with the dark mustache gripes about all the Brazilian laborers who take up parking in the plaza, waiting for work like the Mexican and South American workers Jimmy and I would see at Home Depot in California.

Pauline rolls her eyes. She is a year older than my mother, who was my age when I was ten. You're thirty going on thirteen. I haven't spoken to my mother in three years.

The day softens, so that even the buildings look kind. The river flows dark under main street and a winding narrow road leads home.


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