Brand New Silver
We reach the place after wandering. It’s her favorite place she tells me. It wears its history like thrift-store treasures: a trellis railing from its years as a Hof bar, stained and worn coffee lounge couches with mismatched cushions, its roadstall tables and chairs. The stove’s chimney pokes out from a hole above the wooden door — shiny and silver. We sit. We order. “The table’s are big,” she says. “I come here sometimes to work.” The owner talks to someone in a room beside the kitchen. A young woman comes out and leaves. A man comes in. Sullen and alone. He disappears into the back for a bit. Another man comes in, leans over the kitchen counter, peering at the work area. We eat – beansprouts in soup flavored with pink briny shrimp the eyes still on them. The men take seats, one in the room’s corner, the other beside the stove. He spreads his legs, pointing himself right at the heat. We eat, pay, and go. “You have to be in the mood for it,” she says. I tell her I’m always in that mood.