In my dream I was standing surrounded by red petals. I was nervous. Not the panicky kind of nervous but the excited kind of nervous. I bet I was inside a garden and there’s nobody else but me. I was so lost in my thoughts I didn’t notice someone opened a door. It was so shiny I could instantly go blind just by looking at the door’s direction. I covered my eyes with the back of my hands, struggling to see who’s that person walking towards me. The light coming from the door was super bright it literally pained my eyes, so I closed them. When I finally collected myself, I bravely opened my eyes. And just like that, the mysterious person was kissing me, gently. I realized it was my first kiss. He had a beard. It was safe to assume he was a guy. I was attempting to put my hands on his face and look at him. But then my alarm clock went, “Toot-toot. Toot-toot.” And I came back to reality.
Did you every experience something like that? When you’re in the middle of a magical dream and then something bullshit woke you up? Did you, just like me, felt frustrated ten times you got frustrated under the normal circumstances?
I was so upset I immediately got out of my bed. It was past 11 am on a Saturday morning. I really had no concrete plan for today so I decided to just take a bath and have my brunch afterwards. Then, I’d figure out what to do as soon as I finished my meal. Thank God my apartment had a built-in heater on its bathrooms. It was a pleasure to take a long bath but I thought: “I didn’t want to spend my whole Saturday afternoon inside my bathroom.” After a quick 15-minutes of shower, I headed out to my closet. I deliberately checked what shirt could make my skin glow? I didn’t really dress up so well during non-working days like today. Usually, I just wear whatever my hands picked on the closet but today is different and I have no idea why I gave a thought about dressing up all for nothing? I ended up putting myself a fancy polo shirt that complemented my body size and skin color so much. I believed I only worn this twice during my lifetime. For pants, I wore denim jeans. Just a casual denim jeans. Shoes? Well, I only trust nike. And, of course, a sling bag because I never go out without a sling bag, it had been a tradition since who-knows-when. I was craving for something Italian. I knew where I’d wanted to go. There was this cute Italian restaurant five blocks away from my apartment. I always make sure to visit it once every two weeks but since my work had been eating my time lately, I never had a chance to go check that small Italian place.
New York City was busiest during night times and since it’s just 12:03 in the afternoon, every business establishments that sell or render services is almost deserted. No surprise when I arrived at Piazza Del Poppo seeing only two groups of people dining in.
One of the waiters escorted me to my seat. I chose the place outside because I wanted to see the motions of busy streets of New York. I roamed my fingers through the menu, I’ve been here thrice already but there were still a lot of strange names in the menu that I could not understand. Like what were Capellini, Zitoni, Pici, and Buccatini looked like in the first place? I hope they had photos beside their names. Even so, I ended up ordering spaghetti bolognese because, well, I was at least quite familiar with it. Also, what’s Italian restaurant without pizza? So I had a Neapolitan pizza, from the name itself I knew it came from the famous Naple’s pizzas. Plus, I asked for a raspberry tea since I was never a fan of soda.
It took a good twenty minutes before my food was served. I didn’t realize how good looking the waiter who’s serving me until he was dropping my meals in front of me. He kinda looked like Italian and suddenly I couldn’t hide my face from blushing. I was wondering if he would get my number. But no. I spent all my life fooling myself into thinking a guy I liked would turn out to be gay eventually. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. So I dismissed my fantasy immediately.
Hmmm. So. An Asian inside a big old city eating an Italian cuisine. Five years ago, I didn’t even see myself in this situation. I looked at my food delicately, I was afraid that once I started eating my food it would no longer look gorgeous as it was already. Obviously, it could not look the same again once I savored it. I was being paranoid, I know.
First stop, I shoveled the pasta inside my mouth. It was so delicious I bet you would expect I’d use “delicious” to describe it. But to be honest, it was easily satisfying. Or so I just was plainly obsessed with Italian cuisine so whatever my judgment about it was always overstated. On to the next, of course, the pizza. Thankfully, their pizza wasn’t thin. I wasn’t at all fascinated about thin pizza as almost every one else was. I preferred my pizza be thick that way I could criticize if the dough was good enough to compliment the toppings of pizza. I already finished my drink but not my meal yet and so I was beginning to feel like very thirsty. I asked one of the waiters for water, which he served to me with a full smile painted on his face. I was almost done I realized I haven’t thought about my plan for the day yet. I fished my wallet inside my bag and I felt something familiar — I had my book with me. By then I was quite sure where I would be heading after lunch.
I paid for my bill and started to walk out from the beautiful Piazza Del Poppo. I looked through my bag finding which book I brought with me and I tried to remember how it got there. I was so immense in my thought I didn’t expect a bicycle practically hitting me onto my legs. Thank God, he immediately changed his direction slightly before he could possibly drag me down the street. I was so shocked I didn’t get the chance to see who he was. All I knew was he had a striking blue bike. What somehow pissed me was when he said, “Watch out!” In my mind I was like, “Ah. Excuse me asshole but you nearly killed me right here. You owed me an apology!” But then he was far away from earshot already so I believe my sentiment was pointless. I let the situation not kill my vibe. So I did stick to my plan — go to a coffee shop and read there until the night came.
Coffee. It’s the first and only thing that I could smell inside this coffee shop. I picked Postmark cafe because 1.It was not a big fancy coffee shop. 2. It was not as overrated as Starbucks. 3.It was cheaper. Okay. I could sense right away your thoughts but I just had this mentality that coffee wasn’t something I could spend a lot of money with. Anyway, caffeine was the next thing I needed after a marvelous lunch. I ordered winter watermelon coffee not only because it’s cute but also because it’s pink. So get over it. I sat into a circular table in the left corner of coffee shop which could only occupy two people. After about thirty minutes, I noticed several seats were beginning to be less vacant. Business meetings, I thought. The book I was reading was all about this dude who slapped a son that was not his. It was super boring it seemed heroic of me to be able to reach 258th page. I stifle a yawn using the back of my hand when a guy was standing in front of me and was trying to catch my attention.
“Hi. Are you with someone else?” He politely said.
I gave him a strange look for two seconds and soon realize the coffee shop was full of people already. “Uhm. Sorry. Oh, no. No.” I awkwardly replied.
“May I?…” He was smiling a little bit. I didn’t know how he did that.
“Oh. Sure.” I flashed a smile back as huge as a beauty queen. I hoped I didn’t freak him out.
I’m not really a flirty kind of person. In fact, I easily got choked up by my words whenever I had a chance to have a conversation with someone who’s far way good-looking. Before my inner persona could make something embarrassing, I mentally reminded it that I was just here to read and chill and that’s all. I felt like he was opening a laptop and when I looked at him I confirmed I was right. He had a really cool blond hair. Okay, shit. I should stop looking. Page 251, ugh. this book was super boring why was I reading this book in the first place. I glance back at him and he had a dark blue eyes, why was I staring at him exactly? I forced myself to read. The character in this story was so worthless I felt like I was just wasting my time. Why did I bought it again? I was sent back to reality when someone whispered “Oh shit” I looked up and yes really “Oh shit.” The dude in front of me poured his drink in the table. From what was I seeing, it was a hot brewed coffee. Before it could reach my pants, I was already on my feet but I left my book on the table. Oh shit it got a coffee stain.
“Ahm. I’m really sorry. I didn’t.. It was an accident. I’m so sorry. Ah, I’d replace that book. Just tell me where you bought it.” There was a panic in his voice.
I was surprised that this guy I was just staring at a while ago was talking to me I couldn’t come up to with something else to say. It took 5 seconds before I could respond. “Oh, no. Ahm. It’s fine. The book was out of my league anyway so..”
“Oh, well, at least let me replace it. You kind of look like someone who collects book and of course, you don’t want to put a book that has a stain on it.” He said matter-of-factly.
How did he knew that? I thought. “Oh. No. Really. It’s okay. ” I really could not say anything more.
“How about I buy you another drink?”
I stare flatly at his face.
“Do you speak English sir?” He said curiously.
I chuckled a little bit. Of course I looked Asian. “Yes! Yes. Ahm, I’m just not really use to conversations with strangers.”
“Well then, come on! Allow me to buy you a drink.”
I sighed. I looked at my hands.
“It’s not a question. Let me buy you a drink.” He insisted.
I smiled at him. It was a kind of smile when you saw a new-born baby.
“Okay.” I shrugged.