How my nous works:
We’re sitting at a café, of course. I’ve got my treasured foamy blend casting tones of creams and espresso into the air. The haze we sit in is heavy. And we’re fully engaged in dialogue. See, normally I’d be deeply buried in the chanter of the tidy sum of people around us…but not today. Today, I’m set on the show-and-tell your stories illustrate and the company of a good friend I haven’t seen for some while now. The steam-filled mug you carry slowly empties with each new topic we dabble in, and you find yourself creating a light tympan with the steady drumming of your fingers against the hollowing dermitasse. Nothing new to me. I familiarly welcome it with the slightest smile.
The lissome of our conversation is owed to the years of clangour we have already made on days like these. You bring up having gone to the farmer’s market again last Sunday, how perfectly ripe the tomatoes were for the bruschetta you made, and how tired you’ve grown of longing for a rooftop garden in the city. I’ve at this point finished my latte. “Maybe it’s time for a change,” I press. We both know it’s overdue and, in jest, you sprawl your fingers outward and widen your eyes. “I know!” The percussion has stopped at this point. I’m told it’s “not that easy,” and that “someday” you’ll open up that little bistro on the corner of 4th and Welch Ave. We move past these whims as a passerby has made a silent compliment. And we laugh in-between the word of the neighboring tables.
This is succeeded by a stop over at a smallish bookstore to pick up No. 36 on my personal list of 100 classics I must read before I’m 30. Almost sounds like “Seasons” by Bellafea is faintly playing. But I’m just not sure. Either way, I’m enthralled. And in making my way past clustered shelves, I casually drop the deferred. “So, what exactly is the difference between buffalo and bison, and is ‘the wildebeest’ considered its second cousin twice removed?” She isn’t surprised by the asynergy in discourse I’ve committed in bringing this up but doesn’t hesitate to trend her brows. “What?!?” Shit. I quickly grab a book on African metropolitan architecture to pacify the response. “You know…the animals over on the Serengeti…far away from this stuff.” “Geez, Janette, I don’t know. You’re so random sometimes.” And the sound of “Seasons” fades out.
Little does she know it’s been on my mind since I was two-thirds into my soy-laced drink. Tomatoes that easily made their way from locally-grown to into the condiment basket. Heinz solemnly takes a backseat to the taste of ranch on my French fries. (I wish ranch came readily-equipped in these baskets.) If you’re lucky, you’ll find a Frank’s Red Hot in lieu of Tabasco. Much better than the buffalo variety, in my opinion. (Wait…which one was the buffalo, again?) It’s really just a useless piece of information I harbor now—the answer to which is entirely owed to a conversation shared with a friend over coffee, the staple to a beautiful bruschetta, and my gawky catalogue of thoughts.