A woman with long, dark hair leans seductively over a pool table in the picture on the side of the "Shootout" pinball game. After several hours of rain today, the clouds have all mysteriously evaporated; the sun shines in through the window, and I am hot in my sweater.
I'm sitting in a little corner where the end of the bar meets the windows that encircle the place. There is no waiter for this section, apparently, so I am forced to flag down the woman at the bar (over a man standing and reading a newspaper, who has interposed himself in an attempt to fully isolate me from the rest of the café). She finally sees me and performs a little gymnastic maneuver to pass me my coffee over the man's newspaper. The saucer includes a packet of sugar cubes and the perennial spoon with which to stir them in.
Just behind the bar is a ceramic vase filled with stalks of wheat; little elephants encirle the bottom of the vase, trunks raised and mouths open as if they were about to say something, or to sneeze perhaps. On the end of the bar is the price card, upright and held standing by a red fire extinguisher or, as the French say, "extincteur."
The place has been decorated for Halloween with various orange and black accordian-type cylinders hanging from several of the lights and a string of white ghosts suspended above the far side of the café. Even farther away, in the opposite corner of the place, is a banner of flat paper pumpkins with a three-dimensional orange crêpe paper bell in the middle.
Copyright © 2002 David Sadegh.
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