In the hotel dining room a small dance floor of linoleum made to look like wood and no bigger than a lily pond. The jazz trio includes a saxophone, a guitar who alternates between bass and rhythm, and a drummer with just a snare and two cymbals which he plays with brushes, his head bobbing like a dashboard toy.
There is an older couple dancing. They move as one, he dipping her, turning her on his arm, cradling her cheek against his; she lifting a foot after a spin which lifts the hem of her skirt just slightly, closing her eyes when their cheeks meet. In between dances they return to their table and toast each other with champagne.
They waltz with ineffable sweetness, the drummer watching them intently, taking his beat from them, the saxophone sound thick and sweet as figs.
At first it was disturbing to think that he would have to put up with the trio and the dancers as he ate his supper. After awhile he did not want to leave and ordered more coffee and another of the sweet licorice-flavored liqueur.
There was a man who took souvenir photographs of guests in the dining room for a fee. He stopped only at tables where there were couples. A dark man, probably a Turk, passed among the patrons selling roses, he too stopping only at the tables with couples.
The trio played "Take the A Train."
A young woman drew the angles of intersecting stories on the grass, making four ( two forward, two back, doubled), brackets or elbows, four more like spokes of a wheel.