What do you feel when you fall in love with someone? Assuming, of course, there’s a coherent feeling and not just an adrenaline rush slinging out of your spine. What exactly are you loving in that person?
Ariadne moved briskly to the front door of the bus, which came to a slow halt. As the tires aligned perfectly with the raised platform, the glass door parted automatically, allowing Ariadne to get off without pausing in her step. She adjusted her long black leather overcoat and her heels and walked across St.Patricks avenue. The refreshing aroma of the freshly brewed coffee beans, from a nearby Café, piqued her interest, as soon as she stepped up the pavement on crossing over. She could mentally visualize herself feeling the beans in her hand, the textures, and the beats, and perhaps even postponing one or two activities of her agenda for the day. She and Coffee, they had a history. As if she was programmed to it. Resigning to the overwhelming pull, she stepped inside the shop. She browsed the catalogs placed on a small stool, showing various blends of coffee available with the Cafe. The Cafe itself looked like an ethnic mix of east European architecture, albeit with mellow colors and standard furniture, with some Asiatic fusion colors for the drapes added too.
‘Care for some coffee?’, An apron-clad man in his mid-thirties, greeted Ariadne, almost about startling her. She scanned him, and a neatly tied apron and a ceramic jug clasped in his hand registered in her memory. She was an observer. A meticulous one at that. No one knew why she was what she was. She was just different in the way she processed things around her. Perhaps, this is what defined her.
‘Errmm, I was looking for something in Caramel?’, Ariadne managed to blurt out. She remembered some coffee with Caramel in it, on the starting pages of the menu. The man gave out a broad smile.
‘We have Ugandan fusion, which is raw coffee and caramel or, you could go for Deep Drink Coffee, which has caramel dices sprinkled in it?’, The man spoke clearly and quickly. Ariadne blinked twice, and said ‘Deep Drink, I’ll have it with a cookie, yeah, thank you !’. The man nodded, asked her to take a seat in the gallery and excused himself to get to the kitchen behind the counter.
The Memories for the most parts isn’t it? A string of moments, wound up to form a gauntlet of memories, associated with a person?Perhaps, that’s what we love about him or her. The idea. Fictionally derived and created, though we know somewhere deep inside, that this Person, isn’t just defined by our ideas. Maybe the person is someone you never knew. What about then? What are you loving then? The person or yourself?
Ariadne walked past, neatly arranged round two-seater tables, across the garden, generously placed all over it. She saw an old couple talking animatedly about something in one corner, a man looking down to a book with a pen in his hand on another table, a woman staring at her mobile phone on yet another. The lazy winter afternoons sprinkled with cold winds, made people mellowed down and at times deeply thoughtful. At least in the case of Ariadne, her thoughts made absolutely no sense to her. Which was mildly amusing about her? She took the table, placed near the fountain. She placed her bearings on the adjacent chair, and rubbed her palms, watching the fountain rise and fall. Her thoughts. Was a wonderful place to be. Randomly her thoughts, as she folded her hands and examined the series of art frames on the wall beside her, went back to the man she just met. There was something clear about him. A resonating calmness in his demeanor, she thought, as her fingers habitually brushed her hair behind her ear. Her nail pure black nail color was chipping, and she mentally made a note to tend to that as soon as she went home. Again the man popped up in her mind. He reminded her of someone she knew but couldn’t place. One of the artworks was an orange dabbling sunset, which particularly attracted her. She stared at it, wanting to find an inner meaning to the simplicity. There was always something that one did not see. And sometimes, there just wasn’t anything. The trick lay in identifying them. As she was lost in her thoughts, the man appeared at the door leading into the garden gallery.
We associate, don’t we? We decode things, for what we think they are? But, does Love work like that. Can you analyze it to mean anything else? Perhaps, you can. Thinkers all through, have hung Love, need, and convenience in the same cabinet. We wear them interchangeably. Associating one with each other. But, then what are we feeling great about. The need fulfillment. Maybe. Maybe.
‘Here we go, Ma’am, a deep drink, and a chocolate cookie, with a complimentary strawberry pudding, hope you like it.!’, The man, placed the tray on her table, smoothly. In a practiced motion, he folded the paper napkins into a triangle and adjusted them beside the coffee cup. Ariadne nodded and smiled, as he walked away. The man pulled out a chair and carried it to the poolside, unbuttoned his apron, and sat on it, instantly stretching his legs. The cafe had closed down for the noon break, and this allowed the man to sit back and relax. Ariadne observed him sipping the simmering fusion mix, caramel dices in which a unique flavor to her drink. She decided to talk to this man, who she couldn’t ignore anymore. She picked up her coffee, and went to the table on the poolside, and sat there.
‘This is Good, thank you for, for the suggestion’, She said only so much loud as to overcome the gushing sounds of the fountain. The Man looked back, clearly unaware of her presence.
‘Oh thank you.Shall I bring your cookie here too?’, He said standing up swiftly.
‘No..No…I just…I’ll go back in a while..please sit down’, She said, her lips curving up to make an unsanctioned smile.
‘Thank you. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the view Miss?’, he said his eyes exuding the addictive calmness that was holding her up whenever she looked at him.
‘Ariadne Reed, and you are?’, She said involuntarily extending her hand towards him.
‘I’m Nikola’, he said taking her hand and shaking it with a strong grip. ‘Nice meeting you, Miss Ariadne’
‘Hi…Ermmm, You have some really impressive paintings there’, she said pointing to the wall behind her. Why was she pointing at the wall? Obviously, He knew where the paintings were.
‘Aha, thank you again..the Dance Dans is my favorite one, the third painting from the left’ He said, guiding Ariadne’s gaze to a mural scene of a gathering around a bonfire.
‘Dance Dans? Is that the real name, like, is that what it’s called?’, Ariadne asked turning back to face him. He chuckled with a definite twinkle in his eyes.
‘It’s actually called, Tantsy Dans in Russian, I bought it a few months back in Berlin, Have you been there, Miss Ariadne?’ Nikola spoke with just the appropriate amount of authority.
‘Berlin? No no…I hardly travel, I..know, right? It’s sad actually…But I can’t travel for long’, Ariadne gave out her usual prepared answer to all things traveling.
‘Well, staying in has it’s own charm I think?’, Nikola said folding his sleeves up. Ariadne was a little-taken aback.The initial thought that flagged in her mind, was that of condescension. She knew where that would lead to. Anger and disgust. Nikola felt a little more important than those. Thus, she stuck to finding something else, than the condescending structure of the statement. She gave him a chance.
We look back too, right? Not to the moment of our judgment, but to our judgment of that moment. We create an idea, so powerful that slowly starts to have a heart beat. We synthesize. Our intelligence becomes a vehicle, that we use to carry the idea forward. A tailor made the veil to dress up our thoughts. Perhaps, in that instant we are looking to hide something from her eyes, an object we see, tangible and distinct, but we want to unsee it. Shred it’s existence in our minds. Dusting it away into an ocean of thoughts.
An hour passed, and Ariadne was talking about her father’s winery. He’d already gotten her reason for not traveling far and for long. He was now sitting facing her, his chair a few inches closer, and his eyes a bit keener. She had the history of the cross culture cafe, the upbringing in Moscow, Berlin and Istanbul, Nikola’s passion for painting, and some really great anecdotes ( landing at times with a thick east European accent ) to take away from the hour-long talks. Momentarily, Nikola went back to the kitchen and brought her a different cup of coffee. And this time one for himself.
‘It’s funny, you know, see I’ve never ever tried one myself..They are supposedly enchanting, at least that’s what the retailers say to Papa’, Ariadne was trying the Hazelnut Double dripper now.
‘I think, that’s what makes you not try it, Ariadne, how’s it?’,
‘It’s good actually, the cocoa isn’t it? That’s the difference !’, said Ariadne to a nodding Nikola, ‘And see, ah, well, when you’ve been hearing so much about something, you are afraid to try them out, no?’, she continues.
‘But that’s just being safe. Maybe, you want to discover it by yourself’, Nikola replied
‘It’s possible. Yeah’, Ariadne glanced at the pool behind Nikola, where a kid was playing with the boat he made from a tissue paper. She suddenly stood up and walked to the pool. She knelt beside the kid, smiled and asked him if she could hold the boat. The kid nodded. And as Ariadne picked it up, her fingers started to crush it. Casually. Intently. The paper boat was crushed and rolled into a ball. And Ariadne flung it away, before storming out of the cafe.
This is where the story took a halt. What are we looking at?. We, because you have an idea of what happened, much like I had for the whole scenario. I saw her walk in, and we in our talks formed an impression and an opinion. And hence we saw her walk in, sit down for a coffee. I must confess that it was a fleeting moment, that we saw each other. A curious look on her face, as she saw a pen in my hand. I couldn’t hear what the desolate looking woman spoke to an eccentric feeling Cafe owner. While we saw ourselves in them, we saw a story unfold. A premise we foresaw, a character we brought to life. I had an empty cup before me, of Reed Light cappuccino. And played out the scenes to you, filling the cup. We saw and we never saw. Maybe, I’ll just tear this page again, pile it up in my trash can, but can we do that. Can we shake off that lingering immures? Can we thus define love? What do you feel when you fall in love with a person…