“Why howl at the moon?”
“Why not?” replied Sable, circumventing the street rubbish.
“I don’t get it,” said Ben.
His voice carried through the crowd despite its gloomy timbre. And what a crowd. Mount Street thronged with people. Sable, in a summer skirt and winter boots, had to step onto the road. She jogged past a pack of tourists and hopped back onto the footpath, waiting for Ben to catch up. Ben moped right through them, muttering apologies. The wind caught his coat, whipping it into a grey frenzy. Sable fancied it was trying to escape. She let him pass then fell in behind. He was her battering ram.
Sable gestured across the street. Night clubs always looked forlorn and abandoned during the day. Blacked out windows and locked doors gave the impression of a building people would rather forget, along with how much they’d drank in it.
“It’s a night club,” said Ben.
“I know. Look at the doors.”
Ben peered closer.
She swatted the back of his head lightly “The senses! The eyes, the nose. It’s what I’ve been talking about. What we perceive, that’s what matters.”
He considered it for a while. “We took a twenty minute detour to see a door.”
Sable started back the way they came “It’s the experience that counts.”
They walked up near the quays, passing the theatre.
“Seen Morgan lately?” asked Ben.
Sable’s eyes were on the posters. Ben tapped her shoulder.
“Sorry. When was the last time you saw a stage show?”
“Oh, well Smock Alley put on Waiting for Godot last year.”
A business man with earphones slammed into Sable. He murmured something like sorry before taking off again. She brushed down her jacket looking sour. “Why are the banksters always such jerks?”
“He was probably in his own world. Most people are.”
“Being knocked down is something you should only try once.”
Sable finished dealing with imaginary dirt and Ben fell into line behind her. His original question came back as she dodged oncoming pedestrians.
“I saw Morgan last Friday. Frankly I’m glad he broke up with Felicity.”
Sable paused at the entrance to the Maldron Hotel. She hadn’t been in it since it was done up. Its great glass maw opened to admit an elderly couple. Ben was looking at her.
“I really don’t see the point,” he said helplessly. She stepped inside.
The glass ran right down the side, the architect having thought a view of the car park worth showing. Massive plant pots dominated the hallway, otherwise taken up with the front desk. A grand wooden staircase led the way up to some sort of lounge. Sable floated up those stairs, drinking in the texture. Carpet ran to the walls, edges just beginning to fray. The tables were pine, sleek modern chique that clashed with the antique lamps. Behind the bar a bored tender examined a glass. The only other occupants were two business men, laughing at a joke. Sable stood there, long enough to draw notice
Ben appeared behind her. “Oh, they put in a bar.”
Sable turned to him wagging a finger “She’s a complete social climber you know. she just wanted an invite to the Gala.”
Ben stared at the ceiling “I enjoy wasting my life on these meaningless detours.”
She blinked, then frowned at him, then cursed “The library, right. We’ll go there immediately.”
Ben had his doubts.