I came here because of the name, and I had about the whole place to myself for a little while. Now a large group of people is standing around near the bar, talking and laughing. One of them is wearing a Superman t-shirt, and when someone went to repark his car across the street, the Superman guy ran out and pretended to push it into place with a silly Superman pantomine.
I'm in the next room, up a few steps, where eight round, light gray tables follow the wall and a continuous gray built-in bench upon which I sit. The bench has red crocodile skin back cushions. On the other side of the tables are metal chairs with seats and back that look like they have been woven out of red licorice. Two of the walls (the walls alternate purple and lime green and raspberry) are empty and the other, facing me, holds a few small, framed photos, black and white head shots of apparently famous people. One of the photos seems to be looking straight at me; he sports a disconcertingly large mole in the center of his forehead. The type under the photo, that would probably tell me who he is, is too small for me to read at this distance. A strand of chili peppers and two loops of sausage hang above the bar. Jazz music is playing on the sound system.
My espresso came in a shot glass that transferred the heat directly to my fingertips, so while I was waiting for it to cool a bit I drank the small curved tumbler of water I was also given. There's a black tube of powdered sugar on the black saucer that holds the espresso glass upon which is written in white a sampling of the different words for coffee around the world. A tall round black plastic ashtray also sits on my table.
Above, small pod-shaped lights hang from zig-zagged, coil-wrapped tan tentacles that emanate from saucers affixed to the ceiling. Five tentacles per saucer, three saucers in all, the lit up pods threatening to open up like space eggs into unfriendly, though miniature, aliens. There are seven playing cards stuck to the rather high ceiling as well: queen of spades, queen of clubs, four of diamonds, five of diamonds, five of hearts, and two five of clubs.
NOTE: Before I left, the Superman guy (who apparently works here) traded shirts with a woman sitting at the bar, and for a little while he pranced around in an undersized woman's top before changing into another t-shirt.
Sugar: tube of powdered sugar
Bonus: small glass of water
Copyright © 2002 David Sadegh.
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