Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" is playing on the radio, and someone is whistling along with it. Right next to me is a Flintstones pinball game that, thankfully, no one has decided to invest two euros in. On the other side of the bar-island is an Addams Family game. On the outside of my plain white coffee cup are the stains of drips; an unused sugar tube sits on the plain white saucer. A plain black plastic ashtray sits on my smooth brown square table. The chairs are brown, too, and wooden. A young, dark-haired woman in a black shirt and tight black jeans comes by to clean up and make sure every table has its black ashtray. Her black shirt is partly zipped down, showing a red shirt underneath.
Because I was partly obscured from the bar's view by the hulking pinball game next to me, it was quite a while before someone asked me what I wanted to order. Outside a man is painting brown the corrosion at the bottom of the signal light pole -- he has just ran off to the other side of the street. In front of me, past the acute windowed corner of the café is a giant roundabout. A small forest sits in the center, or a circle of significantly-sized trees at least.
What else have we heard on the radio here? Cyndi Lauper with "Time After Time," Wham! with "Careless Whispers." Enya is singing at the moment. The sun has gone away and dark clouds threaten; the wind looks cold. The waiter who does not look like a waiter in his glasses and tan sportcoat energetically takes orders and barks them to the man behind the bar. Could it be Fabien, the place's namesake? Earlier, when he finally noticed me and asked me if I had already been served, I hesitated, because he looked more like a high school chemistry teacher than someone who had the power to deliver my daily dose of espresso. But he came through, and my thirst for the energizing black liquid was subsequently quenched.
NOTE: Fabien turned out to be the name of the nearby metro stop, not the man who served me my coffee.
Copyright © 2002 David Sadegh.
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