ON A VAST WILD SEA. Chanan studied Shlomit from afar.

She sat with a man and a child, talking, smiling at least on the man’s part. The child played games on her mother’s iPod. Chanan noted unease in Shlomit’s features, eyes behind spectacles looked at the man, more at the child, whose tiny nimble fingers played on. The man laughed, teased the child, Shlomit eased out uncertain smiles, hand on her coffee cup, other hand in her lap. Chanan took in her sandaled feet, the red painted toenails, the hair pulled into a bun. He watched as she raised the cup to her lips, sipped,

gazed at the man, talked. The man, legs crossed, hands holding a mug of tea, his head to one side, seemingly to enquire, spoke in turn. Chanan over his Earl Grey watched the child at play, the fingers intent on her game, her mother beside her, eyed her, losing interest in the man’s chatter, touched her daughter’s hand. Chanan sipped his tea, looked away, carried his images in mind, set a different scene, of a different kind. The man and child not there, just Shlomit

and he setting sail in a small ship on a vast wild sea.

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