I woke up on a Saturday morning with a bulbul exchanging flatteries and compliments with its own reflection on the window. The sun rays were barely warming up the walls but I could already smell the scent of tea and cinnamon from three floors below.
I felt inexplicably indolent that morning, and decided to indulge in the aroma of Marie’s breakfast while eavesdropping on the bird’s monologue and watching it pounce around the windowsill, amused at itself. I felt inclined, however, to leave the bed when a whiff of bagels blended into the mix.
“Well hello there Missy!” I greeted her, 15 minutes later, still looking dishevelled.
“Why hello back to you!” Marie said, just after finishing her sip of tea. She placed the cup on a saucer full of breadcrumbs. The woman beat me to the bagels.
“I see you did not wait for me today,” I said with a failed attempt to hide my dismay.
“Nothing to mourn about dear,” she said, as she grabbed a paper bag next to her, “I am not particularly following the doctor’s advice today!”
“Oh you’re naughty..” She handed me an olive-encrusted bagel, split a sesame one in half, one of which she took and the other placed in another bag.
“For the birds,” she explained.
“So the one on my windowsill was asking me to let it in, I suppose.” I was a mouthful, by then, and poured tea into a cup.
“They have souls dear, they’re a he and a she,” she smiled as she nibbled on her bagel. “So tell me, how’s your “anti establishment” going? Any job offers?”
“Dreadful,” I replied, shying away from her eyes. My stubble started to itch, feeling discomfort with the conversation. “I honestly believe I was not made for an office. I should be out there, every day, on the streets, in different cafés and observing people.”
“You have been blowing around like a leaf for a while now, I think it is time to settle.” She eyed me for a minute and understood I was in no mood to talk about whatever career I was being indecisive about. “But I do have good news for you.”
“Which is?” I freed myself from crumbs and positioned myself like a keen student observing the curvatures of his school teacher. I tried not to.
“There is a lady who moved in next door and I hear she will be opening a café just at the end of this road!”
“Isn’t that where the deli is?”
“Yes! It will be great news as they will be providing the ingredients, but that is for your ears only!”
“That woman does have taste, I presume, then.” I had finished my cup of tea, though I felt inclined to have another cup with another bagel. “Do the rumours tell what will it be called?”
“Indeed! Mich Café.”