After a close and personal encounter with a rattle snake, putting out a small kitchen fire and finding an entire bag of marshmallow down my toilet, I decided to celebrate survival this morning with a healing meal of pure junk.
The cafe is already buzzing with people when S, a neighbor and I walk in, yet no one seems to be eating anything. Not the pair of teenagers who got up early to neck in the corner; nor the young mother watching her toddlers hanging upside down from the booth; or the thirty something clean shaven guy in full business attires pecking on his computer; and certainly not the older yet distinguished looking gentleman in neat polo shirt and gray slacks reading the morning news. Though the warm sunshine made everyone look soft and radiant, happy and glowing, they also looked a bit hungry, maybe even emaciated.
I order my usual chocolate croissant plus a caramel mocha. Then my eyes caught an unfamiliar shape in the display case, a miniature chocolate cake, named chocolate banana surprise. I order it without asking what the surprise was. It turns out to be a dollop of banana cream in the center but the best part was the chocolate layer outside. Smooth, rich and thick, it was bittersweet and perfect in between sips of my mocha and bites of the croissant. S stares at me in disbelief, but she dives into a danish and a latte with an equal abandon. We let crumbs drop and coffee mustaches form, enjoying the sensation of waking up every cell to that first shot of caffeine and sugar.
But of course the morning wasn't complete without the chance meeting of another friend H who implored us to stay longer and, have another "snack". We oblige and I order an old fashioned chocolate covered donut because I love its slightly crunch texture, and S getting a muffin. We each get a refill on our drinks as well. It is becoming like a little party with all the food spreading out in front of us and extra chatter flying away from us like a little cloud of roasting marshmallows fumes or the smoke rising from a little kitchen fire, carrying away anxieties and an occasional giggle or two with it.
As we head out the door to go about our errands or sugar comas for the rest of the day, we get another refill and a snack for the road. Everything is starting to seem pretty hilarious at this point and while goodbyes were said dozens of times, we struggled to find ways to actually stop talking, as the conversations had a tendency to speed up rather than slow down whenever an urgency to wrap up the parting process increased.
It is a sweet sorrow indeed, sometimes.