The café is very nice, looking out on the Place de la Republique, separated from the sidewalk by a short wall of green plants. The café is connected to a hotel lobby and behind me people are lounging on comfortable lobby couches. Cars pass by endlessly, almost noiselessly except for the occasional emergency vehicle.
I sat down at a table that had not yet been cleared from the last occupants and could have gotten away with not ordering anything, though I did order my usual espresso anyway. The people at the table next to me have left, one of them abandoning half a glass of Coke and it's a crying shame.
The tables are round with fake dark wood tops and silver metal rings around the edges. The chairs are wicker with off-white plastic caning. The floor is unfinished hardwood, rather scuffed in spots. Hanging from the upper, angled windows is a row of glass lampshades surrounding large egg-shaped light bulbs. The sun has already gone down.
My ashtray is clear round glass. The glass of water is in a short narrow tumbler. The sugar is powdered and sequestered within a splotchy pink and yellow tube that twice shows a yoghurt cup, a strawberry, and a glass of orange liquid, all with motion lines as if a minor earthquake is taking place. Obviously they are all agitated because they want powdered sugar poured on them, but it's interesting to note that there is not a little cup of espresso among them.
Sugar: tube of powdered sugar
Copyright © 2002 David Sadegh.
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