A warm evening and the door is ajar. It’s the end of trading here on Kokusai Dori, as the sisters get ready to close. Sao Paolo 1961. It used to be a stucco-walled, split-level, somewhat shabby, Showa-era remnant. Not now. Is this a lament? No view? It’s not as if the old place had windows. But the old place was a window. A noir novel could have happened here. The private eye meets the canary behind a veil of smoke. And then earlier this year Dad rebuilt everything including their apartment upstairs. They kept the chairs and video poker-table, the light fittings and the painting. The menu is unchanged, Spaghetti Napolitana with its ketchup sauce. The girls say, It has been fairly quiet since we renovated. It’s rather small. It’s no smoking in the afternoons. But smoking when Dad’s on in the mornings. The cable radio soundtrack seems the same. Good night, Sao Paolo.

SP return counterSP return wall