An evening in Amsterdam
The wind is blowing so hard. The umbrella throws up its arms in despair, It is done.
We are left in the dark, rain growing heavier with every passing moment. Our coats are no longer protecting us but instead have become like sponges, holding each drop in and pressing it against our skin. Hairs on the back of my neck and hands stand like stalagmites.
There is a cafe not 10 metres away and the low, ochre light looks warm and welcoming. Battling through the oncoming waves of thick, cold air we pull open the wooden doors. As though willing us inside the wind blows another mighty gust and holding the doors open any longer than is absolutely necessary becomes an impossibility.
Your hair is plastered against the sides of your face like brown paint strokes and small drops of water sit across the delicate ends of your eyelashes. Your sodden, gloved hand rises and wipes away all signs of the outside and you are immediately at comfort in these warming surroundings.
We sit at a small table by the window so that we can see people, who until minutes ago were us, battling, flailing against the onslaught of weather. Now, a dull tap of rain and the barely audible whistle of wind belie the truth that swirls outside.
A black cat sits on the windowsill next to you, having removed your coat and gloves you stroke it's ear and it moves it's head very slightly in a show of appreciation.
I order two wheat beers from a waitress who looks as though she did not read the weather forecast before she came to work this morning. She wears blue, three quarter length jeans and a strappy, white top with a red bandana in a bow through her hair. Her demeanour is friendly yet efficient as she deals with what would appear to be the rarity of a full bar and the wind blowing through the door which she now locks. I believe this is to minimise the encroaching weather, rather than to stop anyone leaving, because why would anyone want to?
We talk and drink for what feels like and indeed is, hours, wheat beer after wheat beer fuel our ever more in depth conversation. From tales of old school friends to the red light district and the various moral questions it raises and then onto things like telling you how I believe we should live together. How could I not? As the candlelight plays against your wide open, brown eyes I am mesmerised.
After about four beers and a shot of jaeger (which you sneakily ordered whilst I went for my second pee of the night) we notice that the wind has died down and the bar has somewhat emptied. A few other couples still murmur to one another across the candlelight but it is unclear if they were there when we arrived or have since joined the quiet party.