Fritz and Zooey stopped at a nearby coffee shop that was sandwiched in between a laundromat and a used clothing store.
“Good, I needed some more coffee,” Fritz said as they made their way to the counter. The coffee shop appeared as if it had once been a fake 50s diner masked with the smell of patchouli and bright paper lanterns.
“I want something different today,” Zooey said before ordering a double cappachino and a bowl of coffee for Fritz and paying in nickels. To be nostalgic, she explained.
The drinks came quickly, to their suprise, and they drank in silence, which was a rarity. Zooey closed her eyes as she listened closely to the music that came out muffled through the speakers.
“Tell me the name and artist of the song that’s playing,” she encouraged Fritz.
“But…” he started.
“No, tell me the name or pay the forfeit,” she challenged with a smile. Fritz dipped his head into his bowl of coffee and pondered.
“Its Brazillian…” he began. Zooey nodded.
“Um, erm…” Fritz squirmed, “I know this…seriously.” Zooey lifted her eyebrows and slowly counted in French to warn him that he only had ten seconds left.
“Vivo Sanhando by Stan Getz and…oh…um, Joao Gilberto!” Fritz shouted in an exasperated tone.
“Your Portuguese is awful my dear, but yes, you are right,” Zooey said. Fritz sighed.
“And,” she began, “You lucked out because my forfeit was a bit sadistic.”
“What was it?” He asked curiously.
“Let’s just say the art museum would ban you,” she said.
“Too bad I missed it then,” Fritz said idly as he stirred his coffee with a spoon. Zooey quickly drained the remnants of her cappachino and stared blankly at the stark contrast of chrome seating and asian decorating.
“This place is weird,” she said finally. Fritz, holding his bowl into his face nodded, coffee splashing down his shirt. Zooey made a disgusted face.
“Aaah,” he said finishing the bowl, “Now I’ll reek like coffee all day.”
“Charming,” Zooey said digging through her purse for sunglasses. She found them and put them on with a quick flick of her wrists.
“So,” Fritz said returning from his previous enchantment with his beverage, “When is Nasa coming over?”
“Mon dieu,” Zooey said cupping her face in her hands, “I completely forgot, we have to go shopping, and you must find time to clean your coffee mug collection.”
“I will do no such thing,” Fritz said shocked at the very idea, “It took me months to make the apartment look like that, its my art!”
Zooey looked at Fritz as if he were a child holding up a fingerpainting he had just brought home from kindergarten. It was a look of awe and encouragement shadowed with a hope for greater potential. Fritz frowned at her stare.
“Can’t I just put them somewhere?” Fritz argued. “I can make a map of where they used to be and number them with post it notes. You know, the coloured ones? And then I can store all the pieces of my great work in the closet and when Nasa leaves I’ll put it all back. Like the way they can take down and rebuild old houses?”
“Fine,” she said groaning. “But find a way to make that unbearable old coffee smell go away.” Fritz looked pleased and gave Zooey a smug look. Behind her dark sunglasses he could sense that she was lowering her gaze at him.
They rose to leave and returned to the sunshine that poured onto the streets from the buckets of sun in the sky. Out of the corner of her eye Zooey caught a flash of red from across the streets. It was gone instantly into the crowd.
Zooey looked back sadly.
“Did you…” she trailed off still searching the crowd.
“Did I what?” Fritz said confused, looking in the same direction.
“Nothing,” Zooey said. She wasn’t ready to explain her trivial desires.
They walked in silence to the nearest market. Fritz could sense there was something wrong in the way Zooey suddenly became silent, distantly gazing out towards the sidewalks with a searching look in her eye.
It was close to midday and the market was in a slow period, so Fritz and Zooey had the aisles to themselves to ponder appetizer choices. They settled on toaster waffles, hummus, cherry popsicles, instant coffee, sixteen cherries, twenty three grapes, and a baguette, purely for the fact of getting to carry one home.
The cashiers looked at them with amused expressions as they read the headlines of the tabloids out loud in theatrical tones.
“Batboy Escapes Prison,” Fritz mused.
“Dolly Parton Marries a Ghost,” Zooey chimed.
They laughed and payed the cashier.