At the top of the cliffs stood a small flat building that had been renovated and refurbished into a small café. It sat around seventy people indoors and out and though the food was nothing to shout about it was the breathtaking arena into which the café faced that brought so many through its doors.
There is a strange point to bear in mind when one see’s a marvellous view. The point is that more than often we are in motion when we see the view and so the welcome static resting point of tables and chairs and refreshments enabled one to really breathe in the view and sense the grandeur of the scene in its true glory.
I sat at a table enjoying myself picking out various ships and boats that dotted the English Channel when I was most rudely interrupted by a tap on my shoulder.
I turned to behold a mousy haired middle-aged woman of a dark skinned complexion with a large backpack on her shoulders.
I gazed at her in slight confusion wondering why she had just disturbed my thoughts when she suddenly spoke, moving her hands quickly in an example of trying to almost shape her words.
“Can I borrow a quid?”
There was nobody else sat outside but I could hear the chit chat of customers inside the café. A seagull squawked loudly above as it headed out to sea. She was watching my face. I looked directly into her deep brown eyes.
“What do you want it for?”
She smiled showing stained teeth and ironically a gold filled canine tooth that stuck out conspicuously. I couldn’t help but stare at it.
“What dya fink I wan it for?”
It was a rhetorical question.
“Tea silly, I want a cuppa tea”.
“Oh” I said and pulled out a pound coin.
She nodded her thanks when I placed it in her hand and I thought that was that and turned my eyes towards the sea again.
After a few minutes I was aware of somebody close by and I turned to see her with a mug in her hand stood behind me.
“Don’t mind a bit of company do yer?” she said quite amiably and sat down next to me at the table.
I was considering introducing myself but before I could do so she said.
“You born in December?”
I wasn’t sure if it was a question or a statement.
“Erm actually yes I am”.
“What about you?” I responded.
“Ah well, ye see the fing is that you could knows a lot about me if you was looking properly like, y’know watching for the signs like”.
“Oh” I said, “what signs exactly do you mean?”
She swilled the liquid in her mug around, it was nearly empty.
She must have been very thirsty I considered.
“Well we all's has these ways ye see, the ways that define us for what we are, you’s a bit of a thinker and you’re wearin’ blue (I had my navy blue sweater and a pair of blue jeans on) so that means that you have a certain way about you”
“Are you an astrologer” I asked her
“No just a watcher like”
She pointed to a couple who had just arrived at the café entrance.
“You see that fella there?” (she was pointing at a tall fair haired man dressed in light chords and a yellow sweater).
I nodded that I had.
“I bet you a quid that he’s a Simba” she said confidently, her eyes squinting in what seemed to be a sense of pleasure.
“What do you mean by that” I asked feeling rather confused.
“Y’know, king of the jungle” and she held her hands up in a mock tearing fashion as though she had born claws from her fingers.
The couple walked inside and I wondered about the odd wisdom of this strange character sat beside me.
How close is that line between a person of genius and madness?
I wasn’t an upper class prig but I always felt I seemed to meet the mad ones.
I put my hand into my pocket and felt for a pound coin. I would give it to her before she left, the tea had been drunk and anyway I felt it was time to go, my own silent reveries felt diminished by the visitor.
She stood up suddenly.
“Times for me to be off then” she said with a funny smile on her face.
My fingers felt around the edges of the coin in my pocket.
“Where are you headed for?” I asked her.
“Oh, nowhere’s and everywhere’s, life never was a destination dint ya know”
She hefted the backpack on her shoulders and forcibly adjusting it she accidentally knocked over her mug. There was no sign of any tea ever being in there and I realised she had pocketed the pound coin I had already given her and just pretended to drink tea while it must have been water all along.
She seemed to sense my sense of disappointment and taking my hand she gently placed a sea-shell in it. I looked at her in a bemused fashion.
“Give and you shall receive” she chuckled and with a pat on my shoulder she started off towards the steps that ran up to the cliff road.
Just before she got to the last step I called out “Where are you from?”
She stopped and turned round to look at me. She was smiling with that strange mischievous squint in her eyes again.
“From the same place as you’re from” she shouted down to me.
“Earth” and with that she was gone.
I sat for a while longer pondering the visitor and I supposed we had such very different lives. But the more I considered it the more I could see that every single person had a claim to be a visitor while they were living life. And perhaps she was right, that there was no real destination but only the journey. The seagull returned from its journey, flying above me headed inland. We are all in transit really I concluded, we just have different ways of explaining it. I got up from the bench feeling the shell still in my hand. I turned it over. On the inside of it there was a crude name scratched. It read “Christopher”. I never knew how she managed to know my name. It was odd, but it got even stranger as I passed the café entrance and heard the woman say to the fair haired man...
“You’re starting to bore me darling, you know you really are such a predictable Leo”.
Author Notes: This is a piece of pure fiction, neither do I condone Astrology nor credit it as a relevant source of wisdom or teaching. Unfortunately in these extreme times of irrepressible new-age theories and ideologies the ease of fashionable familiarity that is promoted towards new-age practices such as Astrology, Numerology, etc, have (in this Authors opinion) arguably become modern day epidemics of confused and misguided novelty. Astrology does however make interesting subject matter for 'fiction'.