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the queue at rakuu

Lunch at rakuu is  two tempura prawns plus a small tub of ginger take-away every day from Tuesday to Friday, it’s in the blood, irresistible, has to be done and sometimes there’s a queue waiting on counter service, today a couple of young blokes, one with no shirt and shorts slung so low a man could only look away .. his friends equally casual dresswise, behind them, in front of me a young lady awash in perfume, her companion equally attractive in the fashion of the day and covered from neck to knees in unintelligible tattoos. I mean seriously, surely they are there to be read, no? .. and over there sitting at a table against the wall a middle-aged gent with no hair and bulging eyes is staring at me, fixedly. I resist the juvenile urge to walk over and ask him the question that was responsible for so many of my lost challenges .. as in “Who are you looking’ at?”

We wait.

The lady being served is accompanied by a very small child of about two years old and as is in the way of small kiddies this child is observant; they like to look around, see what this world they have been born into has to offer .. like me, standing there right behind her mother.

Sometimes you know when someone is staring at you and I’m not talking about the gent previously mentioned, this time the gaze was emanating from someone standing beneath my  knees.

I look down.

We see each other.

And the child lets escape a smile.

Such innocent eyes. Hers into mine.

And I’m not pretty.

Two seconds.

I look away.

Best not to frighten the little ones.

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