One of those cheap-looking places where the tobacco counter is much more prominant than the initial café section (although the back end deepens into a nicer dining area). Oddly, an old white radiator sits perpendicular to the wall in the middle of the floor, blocking off one of the seats of the table in front of me. There was an Asian man sitting in the other chair of that table a little while ago, head bent down over his lottery ticket as if the act of deciding on what numbers to pick involved complex mathematical formulas. It must have taken him fifteen minutes to fill out that ticket.
A steady stream of cigarette customers ensures the perpetual existance of the line at the counter. A little thin dog, mostly white with black patches, stands next to the woman at the front of the line -- the dog is shivering as if it is either cold or has a nervous condition. Nearby, a red neon Coca-Cola sign glows above the three-spouted espresso machine.
My table is brown and of indeterminate makeup with a thin fake wood panel fastened to the top. I was given a packet of sugar cubes with my espresso. The ashtray is a shallow, dark gray, miniature dog dish that says "CLAN" three times around the sides and whose interior is imprinted with the image of a stone eagle head-symbol-thing. There is no music here. The curly-haired woman at the tabac counter pushes her glases up with a serious air in between accomodating the neighborhood's nicotine needs.
136 ave d'Italie
Metro: Maison Blanche
Phone: 01 45 80 54 51
Sugar: packet of sugar cubes
Copyright © 2002 David Sadegh.
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