Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
Yet there’s no place for us, my dear, there’s no place
Once we had a country and we thought it fair,
Look in the atlas and you’ll find it there:
We can not go there now, my dear, we can not go there
(W.H. Auden: Refugee Blues)
Here they are: the so-called small hours. I’ve always loved that expression. Here are the almost visible, misty small hours of the sixteenth of November. I smile at them from my roof, the top of my Battersea skyscraper. So, it is today. It is Miša Grišin’s fake birthday.
I remember the date because six months ago, in May, as we were saying goodbye somewhere in Cheyne Walk, Miša stretched his arm through the rolled-down car window, and offered me a Visa card that looked as if it were made of gold.
‘Take it, Millie,’ he said. ‘Treat yourself to some nice clothes or something. Pin is sixteen-eleven. My date of birth. I was born on November sixteen, nineteen sixty-one. Old man, no?’
‘No,’ I said. ‘You will never be old.’
I didn’t take his card. Instead, I decided to think of a pleasant surprise for him. But what kind of a pleasant surprise does a girl give to a man who would let her use his golden Visa card?
Something physical, I concluded, some acrobatics clad in synthetics pretending to be lace. Yes, a gift of performance was on foolish Millie’s mind back then, only six months ago.