I have gotten in the habit of taking my morning coffee at a coffee shop down the street called Dali. Besides the name and an absurdly large picture of Dali covering a wall of the building, the shop has nothing to do with the artist.
Nikola is a bit offended by the name and wonders if they are allowed to use it. I tell him that it doesn’t matter if they are allowed to or not. This is Bulgaria, and so they will use the name if they like it. Sometimes I appreciate Bulgaria for that attitude. Besides, I have seen enough restaurants here called Hemingway, why shouldn’t there be at least one called Dali? Nikola doesn’t like cafes, anyway, so I can’t imagine why the name would matter to him.
It is supposed to be a restaurant, but it opened this summer (two months later than it claimed it would) as just a cafe. When I ask, the waitress assures me that their kitchen will be finished soon but I have to wonder how many restaurants here open as cafes and never serve a dish before their doors close a year later.
It has a large indoor seating area where the waitresses hang out and a small outdoor seating area where the patrons sip coffee. The outdoor seating is pleasant enough, even if it is a bit too close to the street and I can feel the grime of cars passing by. Near the cafe is a monument made out of old scrap metal. I can’t tell what it is supposed to be, but Peatuk thinks it is a rocket. The monument reminds me of past lives, where I was around artwork and artists and plenty of scrap metal.
I go there in the morning and I order a Viennese coffee and a soda. I sip the coffee and play Pokemon Go absentmindedly while I write down my thoughts or slowly devour the Hemingway book I bought. It has been so long since I bought a paper book, and it feels good beneath my fingers. It feels real and solid and provides just enough friction to slow down the reading process. Or is it Hemingway that provides the friction?
I immerse myself in a world where things like courage and pride mattered. It was a world where the individual was always on display. Where an individual was judged constantly by society, I think it must have been nice to simply be a part of society.
So I go to the cafe in the morning to take my coffee and try to become a part of society. I make eye contact with the strangers, waiting to see if someone repeats. I tip the waitress well, to let her know that I will be back, and each time she welcomes me with a warm smile. She remembers my drink.
This new habit of taking my cafe out in the town has also gotten me into the habit of saying that I “take” my coffee. I don’t take it anywhere. But it sounds more intimate and passive to say I take it, and I like the way it sounds. So, dammit, I take my coffee.
These are the little things that I need right now.
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