The Age of Mauve


Keo sat in front of a white table-cloth, in a café by the sea. The sun had just set; the sky was a ruddy violet. She was wearing an Oxford blue jacket, over a gray sweater vest.

The wind rushed out to the water, ruffling the red cloth awning. Keo set down her the china tea-cup and looked out to the last vestiges of the day.

She went to the discothèque – flashing lights, darkened room, the entire dance floor flooded with people. Keo sipped a cognac glass of brandy and watched the throng surge to and fro, the lines from the bar, the enthusiastic music lovers surrounding the DJ booth. Keo let the neon waves of light and sound wash over her.

While the party was still at its peak, she took a taxi home, silent cab winding through the cobblestone streets. She woke the next morning, under her white sheets, in a quaint second-floor apartment, with windows that let in the early morning heat.

Once dressed, and armed with a cup of coffee, she looked out onto the balcony, with cars passing below, and vendors hawking fruits and vegetables, from wicker baskets.

The next weekend, she leaned against the wall, watching lavender light sweep through the club. Another woman, in a buttoned-up shirt approached her, and asked in her ear, over the volume of the music, “You don’t dance?”

“I do dance,” Keo yelled back, over the Mediterranean EDM. They did a shy two-step to the remixed pop song and escaped back out into the cool night, to Keo’s favorite café.

“Do you come here often?” the other woman, with a short-cropped, brunette haircut said, gesturing to the coffeehouse and bistro.

“Yes,” Keo said, “The seafood during the day is quite good. Not far from here, you can also take a ferry out to the forested islands.”

“Sounds mysterious.”

“There’s a large park on one of them. Full of marble fountains and swans.”

“Must be magical,” the woman smiled, leaning over her coffee.

“It’s actually quite ordinary,” Keo said, stirring her own cup, “But that’s what makes it magical.”

They stopped to listen to the splash of the oars of a small boat, being rowed out, onto the black waves.

day time