Slow Learner Cold Pizza

Published on Aug 15, 2020

Each step lingers in the air as he peers into the corners of the patio. If she weren't there, he'd resume his normal stride to just pass by the cafe. Or maybe he would've stayed anyways, sat down waiting for a glimpse of her.

Jeannie acknowledges him -- acknowledgement might be too weak a word -- she engages. "Hi," she says. He asks whether she plans on staying awhile. "Maybe" -- "You mind if I sit down here?" Jeanie gestures welcoming

Excluding the staff, the inside of Jardin Normand is empty. The lunchtime coffee crowd has come and gone, and the afternoon-slump still has about an hour before it hits. He's come during the odd hours when the city has been sufficiently caffeinated and attempting to get into flow.

Jeannie wasn't doing anything when he arrived. Just staring off into space behind her sunglasses. She doesn't seem to have her laptop with her so she probably came for an actual break from work.

"Hot coffee?" -- "Yes." -- "On a day like this?" -- "Unless it's unbearably hot I prefer my coffee hot." -- "You're not a fan of cold brew?" -- "I like cold brew. been trying to limit my caffeine so if I'm going have only one or two coffees then I'm always taking hot." --  "Do you reheat leftover pizza?" Jeannie's question makes him feel a bit unguarded. Not that he's uncomfortable. Just that he doesn't have a canned response at the ready. "No. I'll just eat it cold. I like it that way too."-- "You're not alone. Many will tell you they like cold pizza just as much as fresh, hot pizza. You know? I know a lot of people who purposefully order more pizza than they can eat just in order to have it cold the following day." -- "This is what people tell you?" -- "Some. I kind of use that phrase 'people will tell you'" -- "I've noticed that." -- "You noticed that about me in our short time together?" she grins. "You must be a quick study." -- "I'm actually a slow learner." Jeannie sarcastically morphs her grin into a frown and says that she must then be that much of an easy read. "Not really. I just notice weird things. Like that. I catch on. I don't know." He takes a sip of his coffee. "But I'm familiar with at least one other person who says that phrase. And that's why I noticed it in you this fast."