Saturday, April 14, 2012

Setting Up Shop

The door opened slowly, with a noticeably hesitant movement, as the two friends peered inside. The environs possessed the classic coffeehouse vibe, which was recognizable and reassuring to both, although neither of them had ever stepped foot in this particular establishment previously.

“Looks kinda like our other place,” the Younger cautiously opined, looking over his friend’s shoulder as he followed him inside. The Elder, several inches shorter and a good number of years older, preceded his companion into the warm and welcoming atmosphere, glancing left and right, as he took in the new location.

The Younger, always restless and energetic—as if he had already ingested several espressos—schooled himself to not push ahead of the Elder as they moved deeper into the shop. The Younger, partly due to his youth and the rest due to his natural impatience, was more inclined to choose a table or booth as if he were on a “search and destroy” mission. The Elder, in almost perfect counter-point, was completely at home taking his time, surveying the sights, breathing in the ambiance, and then—finally—making his selection after what seemed (to the Younger) to be an eternity.

Looking up with his easy-going smile, the Elder turned abruptly to face the door they’d just come through, and settled into a booth roughly two-thirds of the way into the café, placing his battered old leather satchel beside him on the padded bench. “I think this will do fine,” he announced, looking appreciatively around the booth as the Younger slid into the seat opposite him. “I can only hope that this particular booth will be available on a regular basis.”

“And I must say,” he continued, gently placing both hands palm-down on the table, as if for emphasis, “the name of this fine establishment bodes well for our continued theological ramblings, don’t you think?”

The Younger was still soaking in the welcome aroma of the espresso machine, as he also continued to gaze about this new discovery of theirs, albeit from the opposite direction of the Elder, facing the rear of the café as he was. 

“I don’t think that the name, or the location, or the clientele could really stop us from having one of our usual discussions,” he laughed, leaning back and hearing the slight creak of the wood behind him. “If there’s one thing we’re known for, it’s our intense discussions over pints of good ale—or lattes, as the case may be.”

The Elder was still looking above and beyond the Younger, taking in all the new sights with scarcely contained anticipation. Folding his hands in front of him, tapping his thumbs together in restless energy, he finally made eye contact with the Younger.

“Well,” he conceded, “after so many years at the other blog, I’m just enjoying the fresh start, especially in such a quaint café. I have a very good feeling about our future discussions here.”

Looking around once more with a hearty sigh of appreciation, he continued, “I like this place—this Genesis Café. I think it bodes well as symbolic of a new chapter in our notoriously animated conversations about all things faith-related.”

The Younger grinned lop-sidedly as he ruefully recalled some of their earlier adventures, especially with the Crusty Irish Barkeep at their favourite pub. “Well, unlike the pub, nobody here knows us well enough to bring 'the usual' to our table, so let’s go order something, what do you say?”

“Of course, of course,” the Elder responded, pushing himself out of the comfortable booth with renewed energy. As they made their way across the café towards the black-clad, multi-pierced young barista behind the counter, he looked around once more, nodding in satisfaction.

“The Genesis Café,” he repeated with a smile in his voice and a mischievous twinkle in his eye. “I just know we’re going to like it here.”

The Younger threw him a questioning look, fumbling with his wallet as he took in the array of available beverages, under the watchful eye of the young Barista. She has no idea what she’s getting herself into, he thought, unable to repress a small smile, but she will. Probably before the end of her shift.

The Elder was already ordering his coffee—“black, the way God drinks it,” as he liked to say—and the Younger quickly made his decision (an americano, with a shot of caramel to bring out the subtleties of the espresso shots). Looking around the café once more, he felt a breath—almost like a literal wisp of breeze—of the same sense of anticipation that the Elder was clearly reveling in.

Yes, the Younger thought, handing his credit card to the Barista. It’s good to be back.