I'm in the window-enclosed front section of the café; the windows above me are still speckled with raindrops, though no new rain seems to be falling. I came in at the end of the lunch rush, and the waitress asked me if I wanted lunch. I said no, just a coffee, and she seemed to be satisfied with that answer and let me sit down.
John Lennon is singing "Imagine" on the radio. My table is square, light-colored with a design that makes it look like a topographical map of the Badlands. The waitress brought me a blue packet of sugar cubes on my espresso saucer and deposited an extra packet of sugar cubes directly on the table itself, though that's a little too much sugar for me.
The windows are painted with winter designs and the words "Happy holidays" in French, but there are also some large stickers in places, such as the Disney chipmunk on the upper part of the window next to me. The tree branch he is standing on has been hand-painted. "Hotel California" has started playing, and the window decorations on the far side of the café are a mix of painted snowflakes and an invitation to "Taste Our Oysters."
Metro: Alexandre Dumas
Copyright © 2002 David Sadegh.
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