samedi 14 août 2010

Un Café avec Sophie

Time: 9:00 AM EST. Mm-mm! Bells don’t lie.

I (Fernando), my Moleskine (one of the perks of having a French friend), a Patrick Modiano's book, my Nexus One, coffee and croissant conveniently ordered and served before seating outside of the Hungarian Cafe located at the corner of Amsterdam Avenue and 111Th St in Manhattan.

I got to the Cafe 5 minutes earlier and there was only one table available with two chairs right on the sidewalk in front of the cafe. Who’d want to sit down inside? Come on! It’s a Summer day on a Saturday morning! Of course everybody would prefer to be outside taking advantage of the beautiful day. I asked the lovely waitress (she deserves the credit for taking two of the pictures showing here) what do I have to do if I wanted to be on that exclusive area and she told me I only have to order inside and she or another one will bring the service back to the table. What to do then if there was a line of customers in front of me and I was sure at least one of then would prefer that one, the same table as me. In milliseconds an idea came to my mind. I grabbed my book and Moleskine and put them on top of it (what a big risk I took but so is life!), so my reservation had been made. When I came back to the line I heard a tall and strong old guy saying to the person taking the orders: “service outside”. And immediately he went to the outside right to the table he thought was waiting for him just to discover with disconcert, it had been taken away. I was so embarrassed to look at the guy's face through the corner of my eyes!. He then came right back and I could hear telling the same person again in his disheartened tone of voice “now service inside”. Oh god! I was so sorry for the poor guy. But I was not ready to be ashamed at all of myself. This is the land of opportunities. But if you don’t take them fast somebody else will.

A couple of blocks away at 116Th  the big an immense Columbia University’s campus formed by a complex of buildings interconnected with each other and spanning various streets and avenues. I’m amazed at how I’m capable of describing what is around this area because one of the things that happen to you or at least has happened to me once I blended in with the city was the fact that I became blind to everything visitors were interested in.

On the other side of Amsterdam, between 110Th and 113Th Streets to be precise, the Cathedral of Saint John the divine.

And speaking of the devil, right there, a bus just arrived full of tourists discharging its content in front of the stairs of Saint John. Looks like the church just opened their doors because they’re flocking like birds and running up those steps like there’s not tomorrow, and maybe they’re right: there’s not time to waste...

Oh boy!, But I’m sorry.., I’m forgetting to say why I’m here and haven’t introduced yet the precious invitee that is with me this lovely morning.
–You see across the table an empty chair? Yes, exactly, right there!. In reality if you observe closely that chair is not empty. It may look at first though, but the truth is that it’s occupied for a young lady. If you think hard you can easily see who’s there. Maybe you have to close your eyes and that’d help a lot. If I’m not mistaken and that is not uncommon I read long time ago (that’s the reason of my forgetfulness and not yet the dreaded Alzheimer), in order to see some things you have to use your heart instead of your eyes. That’s right. And because I’m not using my eyes I can see clearly that the young lady I’m referring to is not other than Sophie. And she’s my guest or I’m hers! Who knows who’s whose...

But wait, what’s going on? I forgot to tell you that the whole purpose of being here was to share a coffee together: me with her/she with me.  I know it sounds crazy but yes. We both agreed on having this meeting today at this time even if the Atlantic ocean was still in the middle, between NY and Paris. But why did I mention the word ‘crazy’ if the other day I paid 10 Dollars to watch a movie in which people was just dreaming that they were dreaming another person's dream. And the things they were doing on those dreams. You want something more absurd? Why can’t I or can’t we do something more useful, credible and original if we want? And we don’t have to be sleeping. Only using the might of our gray cells fueled by some caffeine and some purposely - direct - imagination.

Perfect weather today makes things easier. 72° F, sunny and blue skies mixed with some clouds and there’s wonderful people around here. Not because they’re beautiful and some really are but because they are in such good moods and they look very educated, no wonder we’re in Columbia territory...and I need another refill of black coffee. To get the trance going!...

This morning I woke up at 7:15 AM. That was late considering that after a change of my work schedule I’m usually up at around 6:00 or 6:30 on weekdays. I had to rush with the shower: Hey! You know you have to be presentable if you are going to meet with a lady. Much more if that lady is Ms Sophie. But the Demons never stop working. Even on a Saturday. My god! I had to resist the temptation to go and see what was going on after a big sound, a BOOM, following screeching tires just a block and a half away. Sirens, did I hear people crying?

How come! Time really flies. I have already an hour here? The bells from the church don’t lie again. They now say it’s 10:00 AM already (3:00 PM UTC or 4:00 PM in Paris) and Sophie is such a good girl! What a delight to have her at the other end of the tunnel! Because that chair where she’s seated at elongates the same like in those mirrors that reflects on themselves forming some kind of a tunnel. At the other end there she is: It’s afternoon on the other side. It’s puzzling that the mornings, the afternoons and the nights are all happening at the same time. Somewhere and now. Just do your pick and you can experience it. Remember not to watch with your eyes or you can do it but looking inside not outside and you can see the same as I...

Oh no! It’s time to wake up... this imagination of mine! Either I feed the meter to avoid the ticket or it is time to go somewhere else. Don’t forget, this is NY. These cops don’t play games!

Streets deliciously empty, a delight to cross those green lights and thanks to the gods, I could make it on time for my first coffee with Sophie (and nobody was badly hurt in that freaking and scary accident).

Oh now, I’m looking forward to the next one!

Aucun commentaire:

Enregistrer un commentaire