La Tinta


The quaint little café lay ahead, its faded brown paint looking despondent among the huge city buildings.

A light blue metal sign board above read “La Tinta” .

Beads of raindrops swung merrily from the edge, like trapeze artists, unwilling to relegate themselves to the grey stone floor of the patio.

La Tinta… ‘the ink’ ….now that’s a strange name for a café, he thought.

Swinging open the door, he walked in, even as half a dozen customers glanced up, heralded by a sudden blast of cold wind through the open door. They returned to their conversations almost immediately as the door swung closed behind him, the cold breeze forgotten.


 Unlike the outside, the interior of the café was warm and cheery, with bright lights, colorful walls, buzzing with activity. He stood, his eyes scanning the room for an empty table. 

Spotting one at the far end of the room, he made a move towards it.

It turned out, he wasn’t the only one.

That’s when he saw her.

She walked to the table in quick small steps, her heels clicking on the cold tiled floor. Shrugging out of her winter coat, with the most divinely graceful wave of her arm, as if in the middle of a beautiful pas de deux, she spread the coat on the back of an adjoining chair.  A tumble of thick blonde hair fell as she removed her toque. The blonde wasn’t the pale colour of old age, but streaked with warm reddish and butterscotch hues that made it appear warm and exciting. She sat down, crossing one leg over another, elbows resting on the table, even as she absentmindedly rubbed a bare arm with her open palm. A black knee length dress of soft fabric clung tightly to her, like a jealous lover, unwilling to let go. 

He dragged his eyes away, before they strayed again…a bobbing blonde crown, the soft graceful curve of her back, her upright posture. She reminded him of a beautiful swan in the centre of a still lake; the cacophony around receding into a meaningless background.

He had a sudden urge to see more.

He contemplated walking around the café just to see her face.

Should he?

Maybe not…who does that??

Was it possible that maybe he wasn’t supposed to know more?  Maybe some moments, though seemingly incomplete, are beautiful pearls in themselves, meant to be just the way they are. We just have to watch them, be in them, without wanting to change anything at all…without wanting more.

He took one last look at her before turning around and heading for the door.

Hmm…’ La Tinta…  ‘the ink’…

…perhaps what they meant was moments in here are forever etched in your memory, or something like that……??









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