I’m hiding in the kitchen drinking coffee when one of my customers trespasses and walks in. I hate when people do that.
“Sir,” I say warily, “What can I do for you?”
“Hi,” the guy says, looking flustered. “I was wondering if you could help me with something.”
“If I can sir.”
“Did you see the girl I’m eating with?”
The guy’s date is a young woman in a sexy dress with a plunging neckline. I might have noticed her.
“Well, we officially became boyfriend and girlfriend tonight.”
Aw. How fucking cute.
“Congratulations sir,” I say.
“I was wondering if you could do something special with our dessert to mark the occasion.”
“Glad to help sir,” I reply, “What would you like me to do?”
“Could you put a candle in a piece of tiramisu?”
“That’s easy sir. No problem.”
“Could you write something romantic on the plate?” the guy asks.
“What would you like me to write?”
The guy looks thoughtfully at the floor. “I have no idea. Could you think of something?”
What do I look like? Cyrano de Bergerac?
“Uhhhh…..” I say, “Maybe you should….”
“You’ll think of something,” the guy says, “Surprise me.”
I hate when people say that.
“I’ll take care of you sir,” I say with false bravado.
“Thanks a lot,” the guy says, passing Louis on the way out.
“Man,” Louis says, staring. “He’s a cutie.”
“Sorry Louis. He just officially got his very own girlfriend.”
“Yeah, and now he wants me to think of something romantic to write on their dessert plate.”
Louis laughs, “That’s putting you on the spot isn’t it?”
“What should I say?” I ask. “I mean the creepy potential is huge.”
“I don’t know,” Louis says thoughtfully.
“How about, ‘CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU NAKED?’” I ask.
“He’s probably already seen her naked,” Louis says.
“How about ‘WHEN YOU’RE TIRED OF HIM CALL ME AT 555-5555?’”
“Even better!” Louis replies. “Write down my number and give the dessert to him.”
“CURIOUS? CALL LOUIS AT 777-7777?” I chuckle.
“That’d be great.” Louis says.
“Counter productive though.”
“Probably lose your tip.”
“I have to think of something romantic but not over the top.”
“Dude,” Louis says, “You write a goddamn blog. You’ll think of something.”
Suddenly, inspiration hits me. I scribble a few lines on a dupe pad and hand it to the sous chef.
“I need you to write this on a dessert plate,” I say.
“Are you kidding me?” Armando balks.
“The chocolate sauce is gonna run,” he groans.
“You’re a pro,” I reply, “You’ll figure it out.”
“I’m gonna need a bigger plate,” Armando says.
The chef’s very talented. He dishes up a piece of tiramisu and elegantly traces my words in chocolaty goodness onto the plate.
“Thanks Armando.” I say.
“Anything for amore,” Armando quips.
I light a candle and put it in the tiramisu. With a flourish I deliver it to the young woman.
“I believe you’re celebrating a special occasion tonight,” I say knowingly.
The girl looks mildly annoyed – until she reads what’s on the plate.
“THE HEART HAS REASONS THAT REASON KNOWS NOT OF.”
“Jesus,” her date says.
“That’s my favorite quote!” the girl coos, “How did you know Paul?”
The guy looks befuddled.
“The gentleman obviously remembers his Blaise Pascal madam,” I say smoothly.
“Yeah,” the guy says, “Blaise Pascal.”
I chuckle to myself. I’m glad I didn’t write it in the original French.
“Enjoy your dessert,” I say. My job here is done.
“So what did you write?” Louis asks. I tell him.
“Ah, ‘Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît pas.’” Louis says with a flawless French accent.
“Appropriate,” I say, “Isn’t it?”
“You ain’t kidding.”
I watch the couple as they eat their dessert. Those words are truly apropos at the start of a relationship. What draws two people together? When you think about it – it’s really a mystery.
The guy motions for the check. I deliver it to him. After he pays the bill he and the girl go outside and begin kissing passionately on the street corner. Ah love.
I pick up the bill. My tip is 13%. I hate when people do that.
“Hey Louis!” I say, waving the check.
“What?” he replies, looking at the receipt.
“I should’ve given the guy your number.”
“I told you,” Louis says laughing.
I stare at the bill angrily. That ungrateful bastard.
Now I know how Cyrano felt.