Things to Do in Prague

by Magdalen Powers

Why not just sit in the hotel restaurant and get drunk? Okay. The plan is to match glass for glass of Moravian red wine with the local fizzy water. We will thank God (as we have may times already) that there is an elevator. We will thank God for a great many other things besides. We will stop begging saints for things that not one of them, evidently, sees fit to give us. We will stop risking whiplash every time some thin, dark, doe-eyed boy rushes past the window. We will consider poking ourselves hard with pins until we stop behaving in this insane manner (since kneeling on stones for long periods of time is just not doing the trick). We will go back to the States. We will get a job, an apartment, and a dog. We will, perhaps, write a Romeo and Juliet retelling that is not obvious as such until after Our Heroine fakes her own death. Then it will turn into something like Lolita, maybe, when Our Heroine marries some soldier or police officer (preferably one who rescues her after she leaps into some famous river) and lives not-uncontentedly ever after.
       We were going to have to pointedly ignore “California Dreamin' ” on the radio, but now it is over. We will, however, pointedly ignore “Comfortably Numb.” We will consider, then decide against, putting on glasses, because we think we look better without them.
       We are not doing a good job of ignoring Pink Floyd. We are also not doing a good job of refusing to look up every time a door opens.
       We will note here, before we forget, that Slavic women all seem to have very small chins. They are perfect, like dolls.
       We don't feel quite so full of wrath en ce moment, and we are not quite sure why. We would feel bad about taking up a five-person table and having our head down writing, writing, writing, but goddammit, we want to sit near the window. Besides, the four people at the next table are leaving. Which is actually too bad: they are older, they are French, they are mellifluous. And don't worry, payment will be made. However, it will be small, as, according to what we can make of today's exchange rate, each glass of this astonishingly inoffensive wine costs about a dollar fifty. Au revoir, mesdames et monsieurs.
       We really must stop looking at train timetables. See? These are the things that necessitate the poking with pins. (We have commenced mentally listing his faults. We list them slowly, because, aside from his absence, there are so few.)
       Oh dear. We have finished four glasses of wine and, at most, three sips of water. That Is Dreadful. Nazareth is singing “Love Hurts” on the radio. The waitresses are looking at us and whispering to one another in a conspicuous fashion. We will go. We are going. We've gone.