the paint on the walls flaked onto the worn black and white tiled floor, and the shutters above were speckled with pigeon droppings.
the lovely ceiling frescoes, painted by a monsieur chassériau, had acquired a dull patina of age and neglect.
yet le gardien du temps perdu was still hiding in there somewhere...
perhaps amongst the haphazard window displays of nonchalent objets d'art.
a shy marble nude turned away from a regretful red-caped cardinal.
the café de l'epoque sitting empty, a little wistful for that other era when it was all fresh and new,
and monsieur le gardien could stroll proudly down this sparkling passage
in search of that particular lady with the pink feathers in her hat...
or the other one with the soft green eyes and long russet hair...
'le gardien' by g. verster