Busy, crowded pubs were doing a brisk business, serving pint after pint to businessmen and travelers as music thudded through the windows, finally fading as we kept walking. I was surprised to look up and see a star peeking through the purplish glow that always seems to sit over the busier parts of The City. Immediately I thought of home: night skies filled with hundreds of stars, where I would sit, all bundled up, on my dock, feeling content and at peace. Where frogs and crickets would sing, and the lake would quietly lap against the shore and docks, adding music of its own. In that moment, I had never felt so far away from that place.
As sad as this sounds, I'm getting used to this feeling, and the desire to return just made me wistful, and then determined to have one of those nights that I'll remember (wistfully?) when I'm back on my dock, listening to the lake's music again.
Bouncers stood at doors, taking IDs and cracking jokes with one another about the crowds. Some of them looked at potential customers with disdain. "There is no way this guy is getting in HERE. He's wearing trainers for fuck's sake".
We kept on walking.
I should have realized that I was guiding us back towards the sound of an acoustic guitar (I tend to gravitate towards music), closer to the crowds then we wanted, but still quiet enough to hear the strains of old rock ballads echoing through hundred year old buildings. In the middle of the square was a restaurant that served food both in and outside.
We grabbed a table outside, not caring that it was winter and really too cold to consider having dinner under the stars. There were huge heat lamps, glowing orange and warm, that made sitting in the square, where we could hear the guitar, very pleasant.
People wandered around those of us sitting with our warm food or coffees, as the sound of espresso brewing, people asking for the specials or the bill, conversations about the state of the world or where to go 'after this' surrounded us.
Familiar chords filled the cold air, immediately drawing my attention. As the musican sang "Imagine there's no heaven, it's easy if you try" the other sounds faded away. I sipped my drink and listened to the song, looking at the pretty, old buildings in Covent Garden and thinking suddenly that this was a moment I would always remember. Dinner under the stars in February, celebrating 4 years with Jeremy in a place I never imagined I would be.
In that moment, I was content.