Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Little Boats

Little Boats

Looking over the people sitting in the outdoor café enjoying their meals and their conversations I marvel at how they are all so seemingly intent on enjoying one of the first beautiful spring days on tables under trees with green leaves just beginning to sprout – a promise of new era. The tables spread about like little happy boats swaying on playful waves under a big blue sky and unbelievable happy sun while I sit and fester aboard a damp cargo ship. The fact is, I was more prepared for anger then tears, but if I give him a moment it should subside then I can finish my drink pat him on the arm and be on my way. Taking a long slow sip I brace myself and think of a suitable approach to comfort him, when the busy waitress squats to our table level to take the order over the restaurant noise. “I’m afraid we are not ready yet”, I say motioning discreetly with slight irritation towards Jake with my martini.

Jake wipe his eyes slowly and looks at her, finally able see the cold exterior everyone always cautioned him about. Her eyes monitoring the crowd of diners around us worried about their reaction to my emotions. Her perfect weather forecaster hairstyle irreproachably impersonal and always perfectly the same like a wig or an antennae or something fabricated to remain constant under any condition. The restaurant, the weather and the happy dinners indifference to our table is like a slap in the face. The tears slowly make there way down his face again but he can’t help but stare and remain slightly in awe of her facial expression which remains proudly raised with a small smile as if listening to an amusing anecdote.

The waitress crouches down once more letting her arms lean slightly onto their table, holding her much battered Bick pen over her small blue pad which suddenly feels to her like the pretext of a prop in a play made to legitimize her role. She cautiously look at the handsome man. “Are you ready?” she asks. “I’m sorry”, the woman says in a voice that shows she clearly isn’t, “we won’t be staying for lunch.” “I’m not leaving” he says, straitening up and wiping his face. The waitress pulls out a receipt for the blond, handing it to her face down and places a blue page with a phone number in front of the man. He looks up stunned and questioning. She shows him the back of her hand, “do you see the white line on my ring finger, it use to be an engagement ring from my fiancé who was having an affair with my friend and whose honeymoon I should now be on. So maybe it’s about finding the wrong guys at the right time and knowing when to grab the right guy at the wrong time.”

I couldn’t believe it. I just sat there with the blue page and the number between us, Jake’s fingers holding it down against the table as if a breeze might pass.

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