The blizzard was not nearly as severe as all the weather forecasters had predicted, but the fact that I had to suffer in this insufferable way was simply too much for me. Forlornly, I made my way to the little cafe in the lobby of the Jane Hotel. I glowered at the freshly painted walls, signed wistfully at the memory of the Café Gitane’s lost nearness, scowled when I was told that they didn’t have an espresso machine, haughtily accepted drip coffee, and took a seat beside the windows whilst waiting for overpriced avocado toast to arrive. I was insufferable. The toast was actually great. I love a seedy bread.
She said something profound right then, after tutting dismissively at me, “You just live, Ben! Don’t listen to anybody, and if they ask what’s wrong, say that you fell in a damn ditch and you hurt your knee. OH! And always talk to the bartender; he has all the right answers and you don’t have to take him home.”
“Queen!” I muttered, but I don’t think she understood.