They have painted over the swastika on the wall outside the cafe – a single coat of white emulsion shrouds it like a veil.
A double mobility scooter hums slowly by followed soon after by a woman in dark sunglasses pushing a tiny dog in a pram against the breeze.
The patio chairs are comfortable but the mug of Nescafe is still too hot even under the violent flutterings of St George’s bunting.
A nipple slips out unannounced into the night, bounced unceremoniously from a brassiere by a bucking bronco. In the other corner of the same bar, a 47 year-old divorcee from Halifax struggles to remove a pair of boxer shorts from the unsteady ankles of a 23 year-old plasterer from the Wirral, his elongated foreskin tracing the wrinkles of her forearm with effortless precision.
With his stained tracksuit and weather-beaten and bleached baseball cap, he comes in. Lank grey hair, dark with grease, yellowing teeth and clothes hanging off him like the excess flesh of a fat person now thin, here he comes again.
The Midget Stripper is on at 1:30 am or as soon as they have wiped down after the live sex show. The lube makes the stage an ice rink, a bleedin’ death trap.
Two men with their tops off wrestle in the sand: the angry redness slapped and stinging on their backs beneath thick black hair, bleeds through like a sunset in a pine forest.
The Taiwanese man emerges grin-first from his shop. He has so many things for sale: Perhaps a pair of fake tits for the gentleman? A pink straw hat for the lady?
The wind is blowing hard, palm trees buckle and bow beyond the balcony and the smell of fry up and 20 Mayfair pours through the air conditioning vents.
Toni Braxton’s Unbreak My Heart plays on repeat as the stripper lies on her back on the stage looking in need of a nap. Misinterpreting from across the room, a man-child dressed as a superhero takes the far away slumber-seeking orbs as come-hither eyes and stumbles towards the gently undulating flesh of her breasts.
The punch machines are getting a pounding tonight – you better believe it! Gareth’s chubby mallets have smashed the shit out of the bag, good and proper.
She is old enough to be his mother. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Grandmother, more like. Ha ha. The older of the two has recently taken several lungfuls of nitrous oxide from a sagging yellow balloon deep into her sagging yellow body. She is explaining to her friend in detail how to inhale as much gas as possible without hyperventilating as the Irish man, young enough to be their grandson fills another balloon.
Slumped against a poster for a Meatloaf tribute act, he tries to capture the brown scab of kebab meat that allusively curls away from his guppy-lips.