Late afternoon. Café Presse.
It has been months since I went to Café Presse. The menu is limited and the service is unpredictable. But sometimes you just want a bowl of soup, or a croque monsieur. So I head out after work - I am unusually early - and find a seat at one of those strangely olive-colored tables. I order onion soup and grapefruit juice, and settle in with a book. J. did not answer his phone, so the odds of him showing up are extremely slim. His loss. The soup is as good as I remember, sweet (the way caramelized onions are sweet) and savory (with cheese and broth) and intense, with an excellent ration of cheese-to-toast-to-soup. I finish my soup and juice and order hot chocolate. A hot chocolate, or a chaud? asks the waiter. (He is very cute). I order a chaud, which is very thick and chocolatey and comes with a separate saucer of whipped cream, and it rounds out my afternoon snack/early dinner very nicely.
Usually I see a familiar face here, people I often see around the neighborhood (once I saw two rather well-known tv actors and the frontman of a local band), and today I see K. (one of the owners of Lark) at the bar with M. (who is one of the owners of Licorous, next door), deep in discussion.