I sat with my hands at the marble patio table, holding my glossy, enamel-coated white ceramic cup. A light gold border accented its rim and handle, which glinted at the setting sun. A posh place, of course, given the delicate cutlery. But then, are the rich that careful? I would not know. For us—me and my friend—this was new. To sit on a patio like this one, drinking out crockery made from touch-me-nots, was all new. It would have been an absurd thought even in imagination once, but now, we could sit here and talk as if we knew some things about life.
This was years ago, of course, and since then, I have visited often. I always walk there, order an Americano and sit outside on the patio, watching the blue and the green around. I have made a habit of holding the cup in both hands and slowly turning it to and fro in the dimple of the saucer. Why do I do this? I do not know, but it seems to be something I do consistently. It is a simple pleasure. I do not have an explanation for it, nor do I have an excuse. It is one of those harmless quirks we pick up from nowhere.
The other day, I sat there again with my friend at about the same golden hour. The same glint reminded me of the first time we had coffee there. I listened to what he said with one ear; the other I lent solely to the birds because they seemed to be saying something far more vital than whatever rant my friend had up his sleeve.
It is always something with us, people. Perhaps that is the problem. We think too much about it all. The birds? They but sit in trees around places posh and poor, acting as if they belong wherever they go.