Under the Surface
The coffee shop sells a drink called “The Borgia,” a latte with chocolate, caramel, and orange syrup. I order it because I can’t resist classical allusions, and I’m not sure if they gave it the name because it’s opulent or because it’s going to poison you.
“Of course you’d order the Borgia,” she says as we sit down. And I don’t ask because her answer would be yes: I’m that predictable.
Her hair is the color of her coffee. “You have such a sweet tooth,” she says, and that stumps me, because I’d thought I was predictable for completely different reasons.
I try to think of a reason that she’d naturally have ordered a hazelnut espresso, but all I can think of is that her eyes are the color of almonds, and that wouldn’t make any sense if I said it out loud.
But somehow I still feel I know her better. I do not know her favorite book, or movie, or why she goes to bed early. But if we were to bite each other, I am convinced that only I would not be puzzled by the taste.
Benjamin Wachs has written for Village Voice Media, Playboy.com, and NPR among other venues. He archives his work at www.TheWachsGallery.com.
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