Sun. Not a cloud in the sky.
Forty degrees in the shade, ninety percent humidity, blackout.
I sit motionless. Avoid movement, even a blink.
The waiters stand like sculptures.
It looks like the waters of life have evaporated and everyone turned into wax dolls.
It’s been like this for over an hour.
Then, the door opens.
A tall man enters. He is dressed in leather with fringes, a coat from gray fur and matching boots. I shut my eyes, try to block the immense heat that emanates from him, peek carefully, he is there. Passing idly from table to table, directs an inspective gaze, checks the faces of all the sweaty maidens.
He is familiar. Hot.
The thoughts run and scatter. Hot.
A picture slowly flits through my mind, all white and shining, and fades before I catch any of its details. After a minute I hear the distant echo of a murmuring sound, and then that is gone too.
The man continues to move lightly, approaches my table, inspects and inquires smiles and sits.
For a moment a character emerges out of “Ella Carie the Girl from Lapland” and when it disappears I recognize. “Meneh Meneh” I whisper to him. He answers in a mixture of syllables that fail to form into coherent words.
The memories slowly coagulate into pieces of pictures: twelve dogs race, pulling an ancient wooden sleigh behind them. A reindeer watches me with glassy eyes. Meneh Meneh roars hoarsely and a white vista reverberates and answers in a bass voice. A variety of flashes join these first two: abandoned huts, blue smoke, flickering flames. Wallowing in the deep soft snow. Piles of furs, piles of desires.
He watches me patiently as I wake the ghosts. He lingers a while till things become clear. Waits another minute till the blushing subsides. And then, when I’m already pale, he pulls out a gold pen and draws a circle of small animals on a napkin, like the prehistoric drawings found in caves. In the center sits a splendid shaman armed with feathers, dressed in a cloak full of beads and bells.
With an arrow he signals at a rectangular jewel with one side that slides and rounds. I open the bracket and return the green jewel to him. He rises, kisses me on the forehead, presses his palms and nine fingers to each other, bows, turns and leaves. Then the door closes and the air conditioner starts to cool.