We sat outside on the cafe's patio, and talked about the things writers talk about. We made notes in our respective Molskine notebooks. Though clouds obscured the moon much of the night, the air was cold and dry.
My friend is far more successful than I am, and I should feel awkward, like the rookie we both know I am, but our relative levels of success don't matter to either of us. We both share a passion for creating, for telling stories, for putting you where we are, and keeping you interested enough to turn the page.
As I emptied my second mug of chamomile, a group of young Mediterranean men walked out onto the patio, and filled a table behind us. They broke out a backgammon board, and started to play. Across from them, a group of older Mediterranean men smoked cigars and sipped espresso. The young men shared complicated handshakes and slammed their dice cups onto the table, while the older men said very little, and thoughtfully blew clouds of fragrant blue smoke at each other. I wrote in my notebook, "They looked at each other; into the future and into the past."
Two girls in their early twenties sat at a table next to us, and gossiped. I wrote, "She just realized how big it all is, and she is terrified."
Groups of teenagers drifted in and out. All drank huge coffee drinks. Some smoked cigarettes. Many wore Ugg boots, an equal number wore flip-flops. Most intermittently talked on cell phones. I wrote, "They are happy to be here. If you asked them where they were, they would tell you, 'not at home!'"
My friend and I traded stories until the exhausted cafe workers closed the umbrellas and began to stack chairs. I would have written something in my notebook, but that was our cue to leave.
We gathered up our things, and said good bye. I drove home 'round midnight.