From above, an observer contemplates what he sees below.

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People rarely look up.

Sometimes they do if they have a cause to—if they are inclined to gaze upon the night sky and admire the pale beauty of the moon and her many shining children, but I do not see it happen often.

The residents and tourists revolve in a clockwork rotation.

Each man, woman, and child is temporarily a part of the scene until the decision is made to embark upon the next sequence in the day. It is only momentarily that the space these individuals occupied remains vacant. Others appear and take their place.

One man stares despondently at the ripples in the sea. Aside from subtle movements, he is very still. A flesh and blood statue.

Couples converse within a stone courtyard, elbows resting on the gleaming surfaces of metal tables laden with ashtrays and condiments. A break, however brief, from their particular routines. All have their commitments, but at present monotony is replaced with simple pleasures. A glass of wine. A pleasant meal. A few laughs. There is such character in a person’s laughter.

I wonder if this time in their lives will become halcyon.

Their clear contentment is in stark contrast to the young blonde lady sitting opposite. She exhibits anxiety in her every action. Her foot taps. Teeth pierce the soft flesh of her bottom lip. Several strands of hair are wrenched from her skull. She glances at the screen of her phone, briefly scans the faces in the courtyard and those in its vicinity. With trembling hands, she lights a cigarette.

Inhale. Exhale.

Minutes pass that, to her, must seem like hours. She is waiting for someone who has either decided not to arrive or has been detained. A brother? A friend? A lover?

I’ll never know.

Surrounding those previously mentioned are the walkers. I have little to remark upon these collectives that roam the town like cattle in a concrete jungle. They don’t linger long enough for me to process a significant contemplation.

Alone and unseen, peering through the partition that separates me from the world outside, I witness a multitude of chapters from dozens of stories.

The theatre of humanity.

Comedy, tragedy, and all that dwells between.

Ricky Gillies is primarily a poet and occasional short story writer with a fondness for melancholy and alliteration.

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