Storybook Friday 29th January, 2016 — told at Cream Cafe Bar.

we are not the same..

Some queries were easier than others. Things like, why coffee always tastes better on a rainy day. Panko had a now lukewarm and almost empty mug beside him on the marble bench top. It had been raining all week, but nothing like the way it poured down during the day as if there was an enormous hole in the sky. He wondered whether this was why people in Melbourne were so adamant their coffee was superior — after all, it does rain a lot there and they are famous for their coffee... But like any other theory, there is always an exception. The almost instinctive example that came to mind was the very bad, albeit caffeinated, hot beverage in gloomy Ye Olde London Town.

Roughly three hours ago, he joined two ladies for lunch at a Korean restaurant on the dead side of the city. It wasn’t particularly worn down or decrepit, but when nobody was around it resembled a ghost town. New urban development had moved in the other direction and this part of the city was left unkept and almost deserted. Many of the shops had closed down and only the toughest — or simply immobile — businesses remained. The name of the restaurant translated into English meant, “Secret Garden” — how fitting! The two ladies were from the Korean church he attended. They were essentially housewives - kind and generous - reigning from Surburbia and rarely came into the city. They would only come in for errands and shopping, and they would always ask Panko to join them.

“여보, 우리 요즘 너무 재미없게 지내는 것 같지 않아?” 레이첼은 차마 얼굴을 보고 말할 자신이 없어 문자로 조심스레 보내보았다. ‘전송’버튼을 클릭하는 순간 시원한 마음과 또 두려운 마음이 동시에 찾아왔다. 남편 마틴은 한번 자기일에 몰두하면 다른 것은 눈에도 안 들어오는 그런 성격이었다. 문제는, 주로 일만 하는 그런 타입이었다. 두사람은 2년동안 짧게 연애를 하고 결혼을 하게된 신혼이었지만 함께하는 시간은 얼마 되지 않았다. 레이첼의 핸드폰이 진동을 하고 문자가 왔다. 마틴의 답장이었다. “Calm down.”

Recently, I shared a meal with a self-professed vegan/vegetarian who ate eggs - and cake! Is that even allowed? I think there is a lot you can tell about a person from the way they eat… And of course the way they pronounce the word “salmon”.

이렇게 카페에서 맥북을 펴고 있으면 카페 종업원이 꼭 와서 말을 건다. “사진 잘 찍으시네요~" 친창을 건내며 대화를 시작하지. 그동안 내가 무척이나 신경이 쓰였을텐데 아닌척하면서 나한테 방긋 웃으면서 친근하게 이것저것 묻는다. 그럼 나는 어떨결에 미식가나 평론가라도 된 기분이 든다. 나는 그들에게 마음을 놓게해준다. “일상, 데일리, 먹방, 잡생각을 올리는 블로그 아닌 블로그예요.”

Panko finally gave into the alarm once it went off for the second time. Dawn had already lit the loft and the room was calm and quiet. A few weeks ago Panko had moved his queen-sized bed into his living room. He wanted to sleep under the high ceiling and liked the feeling of living in a down-sized single room studio. He reached for the book on his bedside table. The LED light was too bright for the cotton coloured pages. A bankers light with a halogen bulb would be easier on the eyes. With the book resting on his stomach close to his heart, he immersed himself in the longing, missing, waiting. Something he had been doing for a long time but for a totally different reason. And he hated being awake when the sun came up.