Nice Cup of Tea

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I could see him through the drizzle

‘This is the man you are going to marry. You mark my words’ whispered into one of my ears

 

‘Oh, I remember when you two first met, when you first met Alex’ said another friend only recently

‘You two sitting on the swings

Gently swinging

Gazing into each other’s eyes’

 

The rain came down as we first kissed 

in the middle of the football field

But then made way for a clear sky sunset as we later kissed on the Thames Path near The Angel

Could I quite believe that I had found mine?

‘Did you see the smile on his face?’ said a friend when Alex said goodbye ‘How happy was he’

‘Yes’, happy me replied

Alex’s smile kept me smiling the rest of the night

And all the way into the following morning as I got the 453 for our first date

Packed onto the bus like sardines

Sweat not just from the heat but from my anticipation in seeing him again

And there he was just before midday as planned

sitting in Little Italy Café just off Leicester Square

smoking a cigarette and drinking a cup of tea

 

New memories about to be made in spaces so familiar and historied to me

Reconfigured and reimagined through cups of tea

 

First to The Poetry Cafe on Betterton Street

for a nice cup of tea

Then to Foyles Cafe on Charing Cross Road

for another cup of tea

Walking down The Mall holding each other’s hand

Our first photo of us together on the grass in Green Park

 

Then to The Retro Bar, George Court off The Strand

for a final cup of tea

Sitting together in the black two-seater sofa

in the late afternoon as a welcome cool breeze

came through the open front door

The bar was half empty but for me was full of memories

as the bar I had been too many times drunk in

disco danced in

smoked roll-ups (when smoking was allowed inside) in

had my heartbroken three or more times in

had a date where the guy spent most of the time talking

about washing powder in

and where another guy with tattoos of stars on his arms

was the one who had got away in

as I could not see what was in front in me

This bar that I self-reflected in

in amongst the jukebox playing New Order

and fairy lights wrapped around the portraits of pop stars spread across the walls like a salon of the electro-pop elite

 

And now, here I was in the bar again

The smoky haze

of past drunken nights and morning after hungover days

replaced by an indescribable feeling of self-peace

just by being with Alex sharing a nice cup of tea

Comments

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Tom

Tue 28th Sep 2021 11:04

I really enjoyed this one Lee. A great sense of location and memory. I particularly liked the line "New memories about to be made in spaces so familiar and historied to me'

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Martin Elder

Mon 27th Sep 2021 11:50

Very good. I love this
Thanks for posting

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M.C. Newberry

Thu 23rd Sep 2021 14:46

I feel like a guest - along for the walk. Pleasing evocations of
time and place, described in a way that E.M Forster might go
along with if invited by the likes of John Betjeman..

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