A Moment (in the former French Concession)

Sitting under a tree on the sidewalk at night in the French Concession, the Italian women, who work for a designer, dressed in heels , bright red lipstick, laugh loudly, smoke cigarettes from small silver cases, tell us about their friend who is getting married, how they are taking her away for the weekend even though it will rain. They are mesmerising, we are mesmerised, surprised ourselves to be sitting amongst them, and I am too conscious of my flat shoes, my flat hair, my flat voice and I listen, take in the night, the smell of smoke, the laughter, I smile, catch the eye of the Danish writer, she smiles too, knowing just as I know, how clear nights can unexpectedly emerge from the clouds, how these are the moments that can be pinned down later in history, trapped flutterings of nostalgia when every moment is perfect.
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