Tuesday, March 24, 2020

the last book I ever read (Night Boat to Tangier: A Novel by Kevin Barry, excerpt two)

from Night Boat to Tangier: A Novel by Kevin Barry:

At the Café Central, in the Plaza de la Constitución, he drank café solo and waited. Around him there was the ceaseless hum of the old Andalusians’ talk. They balled up their napkins and threw them to the tiled floor. The old men spat, narrowing their faces. Their skins of almond shade. The air was blue with cigarette smoke that rose in slow drifts. The old ladies wore ankle-length fur coats for the winter sun. They had high comical arched eyebrows painted on and looked perpetually startled. The coffee machines laughed and spat also. The patrons drank café solo and con leche and cortado and hot chocolate, and ate sugary lengths of long, twisted churros. A woeful fat man from Birmingham arrived just a few minutes late. He had a look of high moral injury as he took a seat opposite Maurice Hearne. His great, fleshy frame came to rest in a soft stack of complaint.

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