‘Hey pretty girl. Look at me.’ So says Joe. This beautiful young girl framed by the ocean, the blue sky, the shimmering beach. ‘If the boss says there’s no job, I’ll find you a job. Eh, Brad,’ he says, turning to his friend who’s back inside the kiosk, cleaning down the surfaces. ‘We can find plenty of work for pretty girls like you. Thursday, that’s your name, yeah? Even though today’s Tuesday. Thursday all week. Every day.’ Joe pauses, leans forward, stares at the side of the girl’s face. This girl who stands there, looking away. ‘Don’t like me already?’ he continues. ‘They say I look like Al Pacino … You wanna be an actress, don’t you? The boss showed us your resume … another wanna-be from film school. I can act … Look … “You looking at me?” … or was it the other guy … Robert de Niro?’ Down the beach Thursday sees an old woman walking a dog. It’s sunny and she wears a floppy hat. She’s tall, dressed in a pastel green jacket and matching skirt. And white shoes with a pointed heel that might look out of place on a beach, but the woman has panache. A presence. Her dog is a full-sized poodle. Black with a pink collar and a white bow tied in the hair between its droopy ears. The dog’s diamante-studded lead sparkles in the morning sun. As the woman approaches she seems to grow more elegant, more assured, more spectacular. Even without seeing her eyes, shaded by silver-rimmed sunglasses, Thursday senses an aura of greatness around this
old woman with a dog that glides by her side. A star from the golden days of the studios? A leading lady. Kissed and feted. Adored and adorned. The old lady stops. No more than twenty feet from where Thursday stands. Majestically, almost in slow motion, her dog sits by her side, without the hint of a command. She brings her gloved hand to her forehead, a salute almost, to shield her already shielded eyes from the low-lying sun. Thursday follows the old lady’s line of vision. There on the horizon of the Atlantic Ocean is a fifty-foot yacht, fulsomely sailed, racing with the wind. The old lady, the diva, the goddess, watches it progress. What memories, wonders Thursday? Of Cannes? Monte Carlo? The Isle of Capri? ‘Hey, wanna-be-actress-girl,’ says Joe, breaking the magic. ‘Just called the boss. He’s not coming in today. Or tomorrow. Tell her come back Thursday, he said ... hey, that’d be good luck. Thursday’s child is full of grace … hey … maybe you can be Grace Kelly, the one who died in the car crash. Just like that Mansfield chick, but with her head still attached …’ Thursday carries on ignoring this Joe from the kiosk. She hears some more of the words … “beauty queen” … “pumping gas” … “Miami vice” … but she is entranced, beguiled, by this elegant lady who looks out to sea. And the marvellous white-sailed yacht, licking the wind, forging its course through the crystal clear waters.