I am sitting at a bar, the equivalent of a Northern English local, on the Canal. My glasses are rained on, I am waiting for them to dry as the bartender did not understand that I needed a napkin to wipe them clean. Through the window I can see a blurry dance of candlelight and shadows at a window in a building on the other side of the Canal.
I put on my glasses. The window belongs to a flat. Large window, the room must be cold. The glass pane is all clouded from the inside. The shadow dance is of a piece of cloth, like a partial curtain, against the flickering of two candles or, perhaps, a fireplace. The shadows themselves are non-distinct and coloured.
I am standing near the entrance of the great België bar. A couple is embracing standing next to me. A Santa Claus figure walks into the bar. He walks straight towards me and with his two thumbs he lifts up the edges of my tight downward pointing smile. “Better now”, he says in English (?) and disappears inside the establishment. The couple next to me talk softly to each other in Compatridese.