Charming Little Town

I found you down by the bay, curled up.
You’d dyed your hair black.
You said you’d taken up weights.

You asked me if I would carry you.
Your shopping bags were heavier than you
and as I carried you home

they kept slipping off my wrists.
I was bursting to tell you about the new
restaurant with a club and bar downstairs.

I wanted to take you there.
But whatever you were on
made you want to sleep.

‘Emotion,’ I thought it was called.
I’d had a hand in designing the restaurant.
I was responsible for the mural on the back wall.

I’d said it should be that big.
It should take up the whole wall.
It was called ‘Charming Little Town.’

It showed people doing ordinary things
in a small town, with a school, a shop, a hall
and open spaces to walk and meet.
It was a place perhaps like where we lived.

They were still looking for one more investor
to finish the project.
They could have accommodation on the premises.

It was all about service.
There was a reception desk in the restaurant.
It was permanently manned.

And there were doormen
for men’s and women’s cloakrooms
which led into the club.

These even had showers.
You could’ve practically lived there.
Your bags were sent down and

ramps opened in the floor
into the separate cloakrooms.
There you found your bag

with your things already arranged.
You could have a shower before
or after dancing at the club

and drinking at the bar,
where you were able to stay all night,
and then you could go up for breakfast

at the restaurant. It was open 24 hours.
The design and style were all about
colour and imagination.

The furnishings were often brightly coloured
against the more muted tones of the mural.
The chairs at the main table were pea-green,

their backs rose into branches,
suggesting trees or antlers.
Accessories were everywhere.

There were cubes with touch screens
to connect you to the internet
and designer objects on white shelves

all around the eating area.
It was bright and fresh and airy
and the staff were excited to be there

and interested in all the new toys the boss
brought in. He seemed to come in every day
with new things to show off.

I was thinking ‘Hetero’ would be a good name,
because it meant diverse, and included homo,
and ‘Doxa’ for the club and bar downstairs.