Time: twenty two hours, five minutes and forty-eight seconds.
Red is seated on a stool working on a mobile phone, occasionally looking up at Grey, who is seated on an opposite stool and talking incessantly.
Observer is caught looking at Red, who looks up from the phone and catches Observer’s eye.
Observer looks away quickly, and Red drops their gaze back down to the phone simultaneously.
Observer watches Red eating small dishes of food, in quick succession: fried aubergine, grilled sardines, chicken croquettes, octopus rings, a stick of grilled prawns, etcetera.
While Grey sips at a small beer and talks incessantly.
Red drinks blood red wine and is now almost at the bottom of glass number three.
Red looks up and the eyes of Observer and Red meet and hold for three seconds.
Red now seems to have finished eating and drinking. Grey has finished their beer. Grey dismounts from their stool and pays at the bar.
As they leave, Red looks back at Observer and their eyes meet and hold for an eternal flash of time.
Grey and Red disappear into the whirling crowd of evening strollers in the street of the warm, black night.
In another life, Observer tells self, smiles a small self-conscious smile.
Time: Twenty two hours, twenty five minutes and twenty four seconds.
Born in 1944, Nigel F. Ford wrote his first radio play aged 14 (refused). Jobs include reporter for The Daily Times, Lagos, Nigeria, travel writer for Sun Publishing, London, English teacher for Berlitz, Hamburg, copy writer for Ted Bates, Stockholm. Had a hand in starting the Brighton Fringe in 1967. He started painting etc. in 1983 and has regularly exhibited in Sweden and on the Internet in various publication. In addition, several magazines in UK and US have been kind enough to publish his writing. Such as Nexus, Outposts, Encounter, New Spokes, Inkshed, The Crazy Oik, Weyfarers, Acumen, Critical Quarterly, Staple, T.O.P.S, The North, Foolscap, Iota, Poetry Nottingham, Tears in the Fence etc. He is now trying to produce & direct one of his stage plays.