Succulent succumbs individuality for universally 

A painful hat, fedora sat on subordinates 

Greasy success, with hazardous guessing inordinate 

Juggling poodles, surgery of noodles in a cave 

I’m a succulent succumbing, individuality for universally 

Align the moon angels, on heat 

Summoning ringside seats, singing plumbers who have fatburgs 

Dying city, with none to morn her 

Gallah pasta salad, for me. What will you have?

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Hammersmith, chapter twelve.

To describe what exactly this feeling was would be to give it a reality that was unborn of its kin. Like a festival held in a swamp, sticking and festering in its entirety while still showing the world its purpose. It’s the kidneys of feelings. The liver of the soul. The fish swim in its streams are not hungry. The insects are fat and bloated. The music of the festival is dark and full of melodrama. Anger was still here but in good company. There was still hope and growth and the beer flows well, the barley is freshly harvested and the food is a culinary adventure but a pleasant one nonetheless.

Darren sat in his apartment living room listening to the next track on the album. Each one tied to a memory of Mary. The next song was a really old Passion in Liverpool cover of a Jethro Tull song called Budapest. We met in Budapest. In a cafe near a Medárch Square in Elizabethtown. The memory came back like a dream.

****
“Hello their handsome.”
Sitting a short distance from Darren Mary is in this cafe. Her short black hair and red dress shining in the mid morning sun.
In his SF uniform Darren had joined pretty much as soon as it formed.
Realizing he didn’t have much better to do, being utterly lost and completely unable to be on time, he sits.
“Hi… I’m Darren, Lieutenant Darren Verne. Do you know where the Budapest Space Force building is?”
Mary took her sunglasses off. “Oh. It’s far from here. You will need a good coffee before you get back on the bus.” Arching her back and sitting up properly Mary isn’t a small woman. Almost six and a half feet, she’s quite elfine.
Darren takes a seat.
“If I’m going to be late, it’s a good thing I get to meet you. I am sure the Space Force needs me to be a pilot, but I can be late for one lesson.”
“They haven’t taken all the rebellion out of you then.”
“The SF? Hah. I’m only in uniform as its day one of my astro course. Tomorrow and the rest of the semester its slacks with band names and a music player if the lecture is dull. I’m don’t even need to be in my uniform today really, but it helps set the mood for me. Gets me ready to learn.”
“I’m cycling round Europe on a break from her medical degree, I’m about a year late for my last lecture!” Mary laughs a choral that fills the air like chimes.
Budapest had been one of the few cities left completely unscathed by those events they now call the Incident.
Mary buys him a coffee to take away and walks with him, then takes the bus with him, then later on she’s standing with her bike and another outside the university building.
She smiles a huge smile at Darren and says “Hey Mr Pilot. Let’s see if those big legs are as good as they look like they are!”

*****
The memory fades as the last flute solo and rock chord play.

Darren presses repeat.

******
The smell of the coffee. Good real coffee. It’s not as hard to come by now. All this an in a hour it’s over. But I have her number, she’s in Budapest for a week. I’m here till I have done my astronavigation course and am ready for the mixed G training. She’s a nurse though maybe she knows something that will help. So halfway though my next lecture I text her.

sure do. Ginger, exercises, inner ear medicine, and vomit bags :p

how did you know that so quick?

they don’t call me Dr. For nothing. My specialty is space medicine.

of course I befriend the space dr on luck 🙂

so we are friends, huh? I thought you might like a date before I leave bud?

I almost yell out in class.
My lecturer, Dr Bova asks. “So you have a strong opinion on my calculations Mr… Uh… Verne?”
“Um no. Sir.” I say apologetically.

just interrupted my class I got so excited! Tonight?
19:30 Blue on the glen. Wear that sexy uniform military boy
yes Ma’am

#####

Then there she is. In a uniform as well!
“Hey there. I’m Lt. Mary Havester, I believe we where scheduled for a date?”

*****

The dream like state goes and music starts to fade.
Tears are streaming down Darren’s face. “No more. I will remember the rest of that night, when I am ready.”