Parler Des Livres Avec Le Barista

Hey, Zucker.

~ Hey, Mel, how’s it goin’?

Oh, it’s all good, you know. It’s sunny outside and we got a good breeze for 8am coming thru the door. What can I get you?

~ I’ll have the Breakfast Blend today please.

Sure thing. Small?

~ Yep.


~ And sugar, please.

There’s a quick smile of understanding between the two of us before she goes to make my cup. Her eyes look at me, searching for meaning, for a moment. It’s just a good day, I suppose, for both of us.

Here you go.

~ Thanks.

She notices the book in my hand, different from the one I was reading a few days ago, “Cosmicomics” by Italo Calvino.

What are you reading now?

~ Oh, I’m trying some Gertrude Stein. “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.”

I show her the book, she looks at and opens it, reading the personal note that was written from my mother to my brother. She smiles and quickly closes the book.

Cool. Is it any good?

~ Yeah… it’s a lot of talk right now, though.

A quick laugh, as I, nor her, apparently know nothing about Gertrude Stein’s writing style. I’m not thirty pages into the book, and the journey within has not yet begun.

Alice does talks a lot, but it’s enjoyable. Autobiographies in general are written to show no distinction between conversation and narrative, and that’s what makes this book so great. Whenever a character speaks, it is Miss Toklas’ interpretation of it (even though Gertrude Stein is writing everything). The conversations between Miss Toklas, Gertrude Stein and other characters in the story are ensconced in art and the procurement of art in Paris during the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s.

Neither of us knew why we laughed… maybe it was the book… maybe it was us.

Well, I’ll see you around.

~ Yeah, I’ll see you Monday or something. Have a good weekend, Mel.

You too. Hi, can I help you?

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