soft focus on a rainy night

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Wien, December 5.

Stefansdom. 0045. Pretty much any year.

The cathedral doors are closing now, the orchestra disbanded, audience spreading across Stefansplatz, gathering in small groups or walking homeward. Figures emerge from shadows, dissipate again beyond the pools of sprinkled streetlight. Passing, turning into Schulerstrasse,  past the Mozarthaus and through these quietening hours, we walk with ghosts. The stones around Stefansdom still seem to reflect the last notes of the Requiem, unheeding of our passage, as we drift by, brief shadows in the life of the city.

In the warmth of the Alt Wien we sit, in an alcove, and order wine. Here, under old photographs and posters, stained by age and nicotine, cloaked in the perfumes of beer and smoke, the night moves beyond windows brightened with mortality.

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We offer a toast, “Freundschaft!” Sipping in this moment, we recall the concert, the living history of this place. Our voices combine with others, build the indefinable symphony of an early morning bar. And the clock moves, glasses empty, fill and in the ebbing blood of the last glass a moments silence, and, a call for schnapps for the road. Warmed we return to the street, less steady, louder, we wind our strand into the fabric of Wien’s night, setting off for Bane’s. Continue reading “Wien, December 5.”