Calm down days and pink suspender clips, yesterdays news strewn along the street gutters and clips of Mafioso’s grandstanding in chains. The city sparkled emerald for tourists but dulled in the eyes of those cultured locals, belts fat and shoes measured in hands. It’s easy to get lost in Rue Victor Hugo with a few trees drunk on imports like the women looking for play dates. The street narrows and consumes, then widens like a snakes jaw only to bottleneck again.
“Hello, have you seen my dog?”
“No. You lost your puppy?”
“Yeah. I’ve, my missus and me, looked down there. There. Oh, all over the place.”
“What does he look like?”
“Thanks mister. It’s a she.”
“Well, she’s a short, fat thing. Pink fur. Distinctive.”
“Oui. And she has a flat, round face, more like a snout, and a cute, curly tail. Has a weird bark, more like an oink, and answers to the name Peggy Sue. Have you seen her?”
“Monsieur, it sounds like you have lost your pig.”
The evirato’s final recording bellows through Victor Hugo, vinyl crackles pinging century old walls, vibrating sagged wallpaper corners patterned with grapevines. Loose connections are revived between granddaughters and nieces. Long-gone sisters visit the family home, their husbands both succumbing during the year. The city yawns to a trot in the early hours as those with beds in other towns seek light shrubbery to slide their hands under.