Verbal Valentine.

I’m drinking coffee in an empty corner of a coffee shop when two strangers meet up at the counter and strike up a conversation. They’re kidding the young man behind the counter who’s been sitting on the floor behind the counter, talking to a young woman. It’s a quiet morning, and their chatter has been gently full of laughter and wit.

One stranger buys the other a coffee — “and throw a shot of espresso into it” — and then his card jams and won’t work. The barista turns the card reader upside down (I mean, what else can you do with those things?) and then the other stranger pulls out cash. The men talk songwriting and growing up in North Carolina and the price of a cord of wood.

It’s a kind of Valentine’s bit of goodwill on a snowy morning that soon will turn to sun in Northern Vermont….

When the winter chrysanthemums go,
There’s nothing to write about
But radishes.

— Basho

7 thoughts on “Verbal Valentine.

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