L'Etoile de Montreuil

December 24, 2002 - 3:30 p.m.

Various men sit in this section, each one alone. With me it makes five, but I am the only one writing. The other four are just sitting, mostly looking out the windows. One wears a black hat and has orange peel on the table in front of him. One is smoking. One has his arms crossed, and the last is wearing a cap.

A Christmas tree sprouts out of a wooden "X" next to a Miko ice cream cabinet. The flipper clicks of a pinball machine can be heard, though it is hidden behind a large column. There are at least four neon stars about the place, three blue at the top of the rectangular columns and a larger yellow star above the bar counter.

The red plastic ashtray on the table next to me is filled with ash, cigarette butts and empty powdered sugar tubes. My two powdered sugar tubes remain unopened on my espresso saucer. It sounds like Brittany Spears on the radio, or else one of her ilk. The windows and mirrors of the café are painted for the season with brightly-colored designs and wishes of happy holidays and a happy new year.

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L'Etoile de Montreuil
1, Avenue P. Montreuil
Metro: Porte de Montreuil
Phone: 01 43 73 07 14

Price of an espresso: 1.80 euros
Sugar: two tubes of powdered sugar

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