Little round dark wooden tables everywhere, too small to be formally set for lunch, thankfully, seeing as how I will be writing through the lunch rush without ordering anything other than my one espresso.
There is a green plastic Heineken ashtray on my table. I would have to say that Heineken has established itself as the "king of ashtrays," for whatever it's worth. Actually, I'm not at all certain that if I were to run a beer company I would want people to associate my name with cigarette ash receptacles, but to each his own, I guess. My cup and saucer are plain white, and I was given two blue "Lavazza" tubes of granulated sugar. There is some pop dance music playing at a reasonable volume here. The window-doors are all open, though it is a little cooler today than it has been. Clouds threaten and then turn to patches of blue, and then threaten again. Right now the blue seems to be getting the upper hand.
A crazy, unruly relatively well-dressed French man with a tall can of beer in his hand tried to enter the place and cause some trouble and was immediately physically pushed out by the two men who work here, and they flanked the inside of the door until he left, though he had a few more things to say before he went on down the street. What he was upset about, I don't know, but if he really wanted to come in, he had plenty of points of entry since the whole front and side of the bar is open to the world. Across the street is the Gare du Nord, and a string of immigrant-looking women carrying babies just walked by, possibly on their way into the train station to harass people for money. Or maybe they are on their way to their Saturday afternoon bridge game, I don't know.
On the wall behind the bar seems to be a large collection of paper money. Next to the counter is an Acapulco bumper game, which seems to be turned off. The clouds are coming back.
Copyright © 2002 David Sadegh.
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