Then she speaks... (non-fiction)

Rakas,” he shakes the near catatonic woman beside him. He is only marginally more sentient than she. It’s only just past noon and this is McDonald’s, it’s family ethos lost the couple.

Then she speaks. It’s sad. Raspy ravaged by alcohol her’s is a voice so hoarse that I feel she must be in pain. She orders him not to touch her, turning away and flicking her dyed black shoulder length hair into his face. He coughs dramatically, as if he’s on a quest for sympathy.

Perhaps if he wasn’t pulling at her, shaking her shoulder repeatedly and demanding something I can’t quite understand I would give him that sympathy. But his grating voice, shaven head and massive shoulders give him a brutish aura and I choose a vantage point from which I can watch unobtrusively. There’s nothing new or astonishing about drunks in a Helsinki McDonald’s, but these two seem to be in love and are an impromptu midday drama.

They’re not as old as they seem, the two drunks in McDonalds. She still cares about her hair, her lipstick is smudged and it’s easy to discern the edge of her too dark foundation that has given her an unnatural brown pallor. He wears a biker jacket that would like me to think he’s the winner of many races and who knows he may have, but I’d guess not recently.

I watch when I dare. Though this may be a minor lovers’ quarrel, it’s probably born of and nurtured in liquor, anything could happen and I’d rather not be watching when it does.

Her back is to him and he sinks his head into his hands as if he wants to cry.

“I’m going to the toilet,” she declares, suddenly alert, and heaves her bag into his lap and marches away, unsteady, meandering, tripping on the second step oblivious to the children screaming and  racing through the restaurant.

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