/ Fluorescent Vests

Out the back of Kings Cross there are very few street lights and I can’t see where the restaurant is. I’m standing in the middle of a piece of grey pavement, watching others pass me by. They’re listening to music, talking to friends, typing on phones. They disappear confidently into the shadows.

I see two fluorescent vests talking together, SECURITY written across their backs. I tap my way over and ask them if they know where the restaurant might be. They’re both taller than me, and one is extending a heavy arm, pointing into the dark.

‘Will you know where to go?’ he asks.

I tell him yes, and set off. After a few steps a road appears. This was unexpected. I take out my phone and squint at the map. I’m here, the blue dot tells me, the road is next to me, and the restaurant is there, centimetres away, but — I look up from the bright screen and across the road — a featureless wall.

Movement behind me. The fluorescent vests again.

‘Would you like us to take you there?’ one asks.

‘Yes please,’ I say.

We cross the road, head into the void.

‘Stairs ahead,’ one says.

My cane finds them and up we go. ‘It’s dark here, right?’ I say.

The vests agree, and then the restaurant is in front of us. There are plants in long raised beds, tables and chairs, warm lights. Inside, while I wait for Fi to arrive, I’m very well looked after. They have Moritz beer, which reminds me of Barcelona, and the waiter helps me read the menu; I let him, even though I don’t really need him to.


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