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A Café in Italy


I step from the tall stone building into the street alive with sounds piercing the early morning stillness. Squinting, I gaze up towards the small piece of sky, grey with clouds above me, then I set off down the narrow street. I smile at the passing people as my eyes search out a place of contemplation. As I round the corner my eyes light on a tiny café tucked into a rough stone building. I venture over and peek in through the open door. A young man is wiping down the tall counter as he chats with a girl behind him making coffee, their language spilling forth like sweet music.
He looks up as I enter and questions, “Prego?”
I order a cup of espresso and then glance around me. The café is as tiny as it appears from the outside with hardly enough space to turn around. In opposite corners of the narrow room are small tables with two chairs, inviting an intimate conversation, or perhaps the morning paper. By the door is a tall counter for those who prefer to stand as they sip their coffee; the front counter also seems to serve this purpose. Accenting the dark walls are pictures— many pictures. They are mostly photographs of cats: here one’s in an old doorway, there one’s looking up, intently watching something with his curious eyes. Something about those cats with their dear peculiarities lends an air of warm comfort to the small room. Above one of the tables for two hang two photographs of nature— and sky— such lovely expanses of sky! They cause me to dream. I’m brought back from my thoughts as my cup of espresso is set before me. I sigh and smile as I lift the little cup to my lips, content to let everything go for these few precious moments.

Date: August2003
Location: Bloomington, MN

After coming back from my nine-month internship in Italy, I couldn’t get this dear café out of my mind— it etched itself in my memory. I had to bring it back to life on paper and it has had a place in a story I am currently writing.

2 Responses to “A Café in Italy”

  1. Jessica
    April 17th, 2006 05:07

    this has to be one of my favourites… i almost feel like i’m sitting there in a corner with a book, enjoying a latte!

  2. Rachel
    April 18th, 2006 11:44

    Hey, want to hop on a plane and go to Italy together? We can enjoy some lovely book-reading and I know just where to find this place!:-)

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