The chairs here are soft, upholstered purple with pink edges. The curtains are purple also, with brass rigs to hold them in their corners. The floor is big square beige tiles. The table is round, black. I am sitting at the only one that wasn't set for lunch when I came in. The place is filled with people eating lunch now, but I have been left alone with my small, empty coffee cup even though I have been here for quite some time. Three men sat down at one of the tables outside a few minutes ago, but something the waitress said caused them to give up on the place and go next door. The sky is quite cloudy and no one is sitting outside right now.
I was given a small glass of water with my espresso, and two delightfully unused blue granulated sugar tubes. The spoon with which I was to stir this sweetening into my cup is quite small and delicate and perched upon the white saucer as clean as it was when it was given to me. The menu stands hugging a heavy gray Martini ashtray. The menu looks like a cheap computer printout and there are exactly ten food items -- everything else listed is a beverage.
The dark reddish cloth-covered lights hang down on giant springs. The trim on the windows is painted black, and the wicker chairs outside have black mesh backs and seats. In other words, the place is obviously meant to be a haven for intellectuals, though it doesn't seem to be doing all that well and is closed most of the times I walk by.
Earlier, a large group of people at the table next to me were jovially discussing the presidential election. Somewhere else in the place pieces of an English conversation could be overheard, "...technology is the future of business...," etc. Ah well, the lunch rush seems to be dying down. Outside, trains and buses pass by at regular intervals, the trains on their aerial tracks sometimes passing over the buses which are fitted with advertisements for fashionable sunglasses. A woman in a long black leather coat is now walking her thin black dog across the busy intersection. On the other side of the street is a restaurant named after a hippopotamus, and on the street corner is a flagpole, shorter than a streetlamp, carrying the French colors. On the same pole is a poster for the latest Jim Carey movie. Behind the flagpole and the entrance to the metro is a large, incredibly ugly "modern" building that looks like it is covered in bathroom tile.
Copyright © 2002 David Sadegh.
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