Tiki Goes Under the Old Bridge
On the other side of the Old Bridge boys and girls are singing in bad English, “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder, more like supastzion. I laugh at them.
From the terrace Tiki can see and hear better than me. She has many super powers. “I see their high heels and sneakers. I hear the ice cubes and kisses. Let’s go.” “It’s late,” I say. “I’m sure it’ll all be over soon, before we can cross the bridge. Plus, the Old Goats, can you see them?” Tiki sighs. She keeps her ears on the kisses, adjusts her X-Ray Specs and scans the opposite bank of the river for the Old Goats.
(The horns of the Old Goats are no longer visible owning to time and the wind. To everyone else they must look like jolly old men. Tiki hasn’t seen their faces because she never crosses the Old Bridge. I have.)
“Are they on the bench? Do you see their hats boots thread-worn sweaters? Their farmers-brown cloven hands?”
“You’re having another episode.” Tiki is bored by my mania. “I don’t see them. I’ve never even seen the backs of their heads. I question their existence.”
The music stops. So does the ice and kissing. Or it does not. I don’t know. Maybe the band will play another set, long enough for me to put on shoes and lip gloss. “Tiki, we’ve enough time to cross the bridge. What do you think?” Tiki does not answer me because she is already on the bank of the river. The Old Bridge hovers as it has since 1439. I can’t see it now because Tiki.
The inky night and golden glow of Silves are muted by her shinning. A naked Tiki walks down the slope of the shallow, still Arade and steps into it. The river wakes itself up from winter. Hundreds of tiny silver fish circle around Tiki in a diamond tornado. “Is it cold?” I ask telepathically. “Yes, but not as cold as sitting alone on that terrace with you.”