The boy stayed in the shadows as he peered into the window, noting the half-empty whisky bottle and the last century headphones and the old man’s arms waving, and the wooden spoon in hand and the closed eyes and the knitted brow.
On the side table sat an ashtray full of forbidden butts, an empty glass, a tattered paperback with a chocolate wrapper as a bookmark and a filing cabinet wallet.
On the floor, a half-eaten bowl of pasta sat, congealing, with a sprinkling of tobacco ash.
The boy slid silently through the always unlocked door of yesteryear, emptied the wallet of all its cash, bar twenty dollars, and padded, in his stolen Nikes, into the welcoming night and the beginning of his journey.
As Bach’s ‘Toccata and Fugue in D Minor’ faded into the applause of The Proms audience, the old man stirred, re-filled his glass, lit a cigarette, and hoped the boy would spend some of it on food.
He made his way to the turntable, and though his gait was unsteady, he carefully changed the record to Saint-Saens’ Organ Symphony, returned to his chair, closed his eyes and raised his wooden spoon to the ready position.