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The café was a quaint little building on the corner with stucco siding and forest green draperies. On the veranda, there were about a dozen white marble tables with matching linoleum chairs. An umbrella protruded from each table to shield the café’s patrons from harsh sunlight, allowing them to enjoy their lattes or cappuccinos in relative comfort. But that day, the wide expanses of the umbrellas were folded under, creating the illusion of matching forest green pikes. There ws no sunlight, nor patrons for the umbrellas to prove of any use.

Rain fell from the clouded sky in buckets, drenching the earth below. Cars sped by, spraying sheets of muddied water up in waves, soaking the sidewalk and any unfortunate who happened to be walking parallel. Silver rivulets danced down the windowpanes of the café.

But I paid no heed to the outside worl. My world, personified, was already inside the warmly lit café. I watched as he hung his hat and coat on the rack by the door. Reading through the laminated menu, he asked for a cup.

A large, I knew. He always requested a large to get him through the morning. Work was tough, but without his large coffee, it was intensified three-fold. With hi cup he walked to the self-serve pitchers, nametags fitted around their black necks.

Il a mis le café
Dans la tasse

Reaching for the white milk jug, he continued his meticulous preparation...

Il a mis le lait
Dans la tasse de café

Moving down the line, he took a sugar packet (only one...he didn't like his coffee too sweet...I knew)...

Il a mis le sucre
Dans le café au lait

...and a spoon...

Avec la petit cuiller
Il a tourné

With his large coffee with milk and one packet of sugar, he strode to an unoccupied table in the smoking section and sat. I was seated a few tables down and watchd him. He lifted his cup.

Il a bu le café au lait
Et il a reposé la tasse

Every movement of his was being burned into my memory. Oblivious to my scrutiny, he regarded the outside world with cold indifference. I had seen that look in his eyes many times before, but those had not been the rain, which he regarded with apathy and disdain...

Sans me parler

Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. I had bought that lighter for him. I remember when I first tried to persuade him to give up his deadly habit but, alas, it could not be done. When I persisted, he looked pon me with the mild contempt, now reserved for he morbd weather. He withdrew a cigarette and flicked the lighter.

Il a allumé
Une cigarette

A cloud of smoke encircled his table.

Il a fait des ronds
Avec la fumée

His mouth formed a perfect 'o' as he proceeded to blow smoke rings, a trick that had always entertained me, once I had given up on making him drop his nicotine addiction, of course. A smile pulled at the corners of my mouth and a small laugh, barely audible, danced from behind my lips. He took one last drag on his cigarette before extinguishing it.

Il a mis les cendres
Dans le cendrier

...and yet...

Sans me parler
Sans me regarder

Finishing off his coffee...

Il s'est levé

...and pushing in his chair, he walked to the coat rack to retrieve his belongings.

Il a mis
Son chapeau sur sa tête
Il a mis
Son manteau de pluie
Parce qu'il pleuvait

He always left at exactly 8:30. He had to go to work, after all, in one of those large office buildings with two hundred floors and a thousand windows and a million cubicles.

He always left at exactly 8:30 becuase his boss was always a pain and would have his head on a platter, even if he were only five minutes late, and, after all, that would be bad for business.

He always left at 8:30...

...He always left...

...He always...

Et il est parti
Sous la pluie

Something puled at my heart, making it ache. My throat constricted as my hands clenched my own empt cup, my knuckles turning white. My eyes stung. He never spoke...

...when he left...

Sans une parole

He crossed the street and rounded the corner. He always walked to work. The roads were infested with bad drivers and the subways were horrendous. He always walked...

...when he left...

I watched his retreating form until he wad lost in the sea of people.

Sans me regarder

Not even a fleeting glance at me, who sat alone and silent in a crowded café, alone and silent in a bright and jovial world. But he didn't care...I knew. I knew he didn't...he woudn't...

My ands were shaking.

Et moi j'ai pris
Ma tête dans ma main

I had loved him...I was happy...there was I was alone...alone in this bright café where he always came to get a large cup of coffee with milk and one packet of sugar and he always left to 8:30 to go to his Hell with fuorescent lighting.

Strangled sobs struggled to escape from between my lips. My body shook with the effort to simply hold them back.

I looked at the rain...

Et j'ai pleuré

End Notes: I was prompted by some act of God to write a vignette based on Jacques Prevert's "Dejeuner du matin" (which we had to memorize in French class this year).

Sometimes, when you make an omelette, you have to kill a few people...

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The following comments are for ""Dejeuner du matin - un revision""
by Capricorn

Capricorn, I've not read the original of which you speak, but I really enjoyed your version.

There were, admittedly a few typing errors, but we can all have those...

Yes, very nice. Well written, which a neat sense of pacing.


( Posted by: Jasmine [Member] On: November 12, 2002 )

to Carpricorn
Hmm..and I thought I reviewed this, apparently my internet is acting up again.

Well written piece, good layout, good mood, though I would recommend you to translates some phrases into English because they tend to carry a lot of weight, for example, and might prove difficult for someone unfamiliar with the language, and really, some parts seem like parts of the narrative.

And I think the "..." got a bit too happy, it stretches too much at the end. You might find a single period to be more useful in some cases.

The word "alas" in the middle of a half sentimental musing, half trip down memory lane just seemed suddenly out of place.

Still, excellent writing, the pacing is lovely.

( Posted by: Furius [Member] On: November 15, 2002 )

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