The Café New Orleans
It was the kind of morning that I love, the sky, a mix of cold greys and steely blues, a chill in the air and the smell of rain. I was sitting at the counter reading a newspaper, one of the last ones still in publication. I was waiting for you, without a worry of my own in the world. Glancing out the windows now and then, I knew that the light, the overcast colors and the coolness, would last all day.
The café was on the corner of One Hundred and Twelfth Street and Chapel Avenue. The morning hustle of the city in full swing. I caught sight of you making your way around the intersection at the corners. There was no mistaking your easy stride. I could not take my eyes off you, your hands cupped at your mouth, seeking the warmth of your own breath, a package wrapped in plain, brown, paper, tucked under your arm. I couldn’t help smiling. You looked up and smiled back at me in that crooked, cock-eyed way of yours. You held my gaze until you were inside the café.
We exchanged a quick embrace before taking up residence in a window booth. The waitress took our breakfast order. You unwrapped the package. It was a book, hardbound, white cover, the title, The Knights of Stolen Roses embossed in red. We were giddy, like little kids with a secret too good to keep, as we flipped through the pages recalling the moments that went into them.
I was so in love with love you, so happy there…
…Then I was pulling back from it, like a long shot in a movie, I was watching myself with you there, so happy, at The Café New Orleans, somewhere, in my dreams.
From “Red Line Wine”