Saturday, March 05, 2005

At the Cafe

The woman behind the counter is the artist; you can tell from her look. Layered outfits of dresses over pants and filmy knit tops all run and ladder. Tattoo vines twine up her fingers. Sometimes she knits, slow and English-style, never from a pattern. I order my coffee and scone. I decline her offers of silverware.

"I'm a barbarian," I admit. I will eat my scone with my fingers, dipping it into my unstirred coffee. Fishing out bits with my fingers (as the coffee at the cafe is never hot enough).

"So am I," she replies, grinning. "I love your scarf," she continues.

Excitedly I confess, "It's my heathen scarf." I do not tell her that I'm not sure if it's really a scarf. For a couple years it served as a runner protecting the top of my piano from scratches and damping the vibrations of things that should not have sat on top of the piano. But five years ago I sold the piano to Nick who is now a post-doc at Penn and who probably sold it to someone else and the runner (scarf) is long enough to wrap up in and has been my favorite scarf since then. "The bible says you can't wear it."