Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Le Café

We are privileged in many ways in our hometown.  Apart from having a famous chocolatier ("Hummingbird") we boast a first class coffee maker ("Equator Coffee Roasters"). There are in fact several venues in town to frequent for a stimulating cup of java and to reconnoiter with one's acquaintances and friends.  Today once again our exploit took us to Equator.

As with a social gathering of any description the appeal of Equator café is a combination of its product, location and demographic.  I won't dare to engage in a description of either feature for fear of transgressing a sensitivity; however I can say without dread of remorse that their is a repeat clientele which doesn't hesitate to acknowledge the frequency of visits to this particular watering hole. The assertion is invariably conjoined with the significance of reuniting with others. Nor was today an exception (even though we initiated the enterprise without anticipation of extending our immediate reunion beyond ourselves). As it turns out we crossed paths with Mr. and Mrs. H who I happen to know are regular conveners there. While they awaited the arrival of their out-of-town colleagues we four babbled briefly, touching ever so lightly upon our health and the weather and whatever other palatable subjects of discourse arose between us. It amused me that notwithstanding our physical absence from one another for months we seamlessly reunited. No doubt the conviviality spoke to the unarticulated depth of our relationships which go back as far as 42 years. Buoyed by the innocuous stimulant of caffeine the true measure of association quickly surfaces and sustains an altogether satisfactory confab. It is the delight of old acquaintances to revisit the memory of casual events and people in the past, like resewing the frayed edges of a valued sweater.

Though I said I would not venture a characterization of the attending parties, I can safely remark that we are all retired workers. In the minds of some the denomination may smack of less than vital - and certainly seldom approaching toxic.  But in keeping with my shameless self-approval I prefer to skirt the analysis entirely by instead observing that we have the advantage of indisputable lethargy and the arrogance of vacuous performance.  Gone are the days of immediate assessment.  By contrast ours is an undisguised commitment to complacency.  Some might  label it a vulgar display of strength.  I prefer to wallow in the smugness of it! I confess that each of us privately maintains elements of productivity - whether gardening, art or writing. But unquestionably our primary disquisition is an absorption of life's daily challenges. What better way to profit by the extent and demands of one's historic escapades!

Upon the evaporation of our congress we unwittingly recessed into that world of thought which is a reminder that the universe is ultimately personal. "There ain't no ship to take you away from yourself".  But neither are we destined merely to "travel the suburbs of our own mind".  Get-to-gethers like those today serve to weld the disparity which sometimes threatens to dislodge us. Humankind is after all a social animal - even though there are occasions when we can bear the deprivation (and some I am told much prefer the very favourable company of dogs).

Whatever the preference - dogs or humans - I know that for my part at least the vernacular of a coffee house far exceeds that of a pub.  I won't deny that after three cups of cappuccino my erstwhile aching limbs were much improved for reasons totally unaccountable. The analgesic effect of whiskey - though laden with some of the fondest memories - doesn't currently compete with my gusto for an early morning rejoinder.

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