Anouk Aimée

I crave darkness and simplicity once again, I crave an obscure café where I can sit and sip on something and watch you twist and turn, watch the folds of your skirt and hear the scratching of your heels on the floor.  The wood is pitted and scored, the air is slightly hazy, the laughter and music blend together.  Lots of colored bottles line the wall, the man behind the bar wears a vest and bowtie, the woman behind the bar wears a shift dress and go-go boots.

The bandoneón player wears a beret and is thinking about a girl in Andalusia named Eva.  He sits on a stool in the corner with the fiddle player and a one-eyed woman who plays the clarinet and flute.  The one-eyed woman wears a Carlos Gardel fedora at a jaunty angle; she is constantly raking her remaining eye across the room and occasionally gives a mystical smile and a giggle.  The fiddle player is wearing a black t-shirt that has the word HOLLYWOOD emblazoned in bold white letters across it; he has long hair and a beard that obscures his face, since he is wanted for a string of burglaries in New Jersey.

The male bartender brings a couple of tall cosmos out to a table, then says something to the female bartender as he slips back behind the bar.  Her face explodes in a wide shark-grin, with one eyebrow raised.  I turn my eyes back you you, in that slim teal dress that clings to your hips, as you twist and turn in the arms of a particularly nimble, silver-haired Czech septuagenarian.  Of course, nobody in this dim café besides him speaks Czech, and so no one understands a word he says, but he is fervently swearing to the Blessed Virgin that you are the most beautiful woman he has ever met, and he is giving you, step by step, a recipe for his grandmother’s knedliky, which has remained a secret in his family for generations.  He also wishes that this bar served Becherovka Lemond, but alas, they don’t.  I take another sip of my drink, a perfectly-blended sazerac, and let the golden browns and dark emerald greens smear and bleed into each other.


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