Warm colors inside the coffee shop seem to match those of the fall that still lingers outside. Music is playing somewhere up high, subdued and jazzy, a touch of blues, setting the mood for winter to slowly creep into the present. Les sanglots long des violons de l’automne bercent mon cœur d’une langueur monotone.
In the middle of the crowded little café a few round tables are occupied by couples, talking in muted voices, smoking cups nested in their hands, some leaning forward as if to conquer the space between them, others at ease and leaning back into their chairs, legs crossed and stories flying.
By the slightly frosted window, a now customary row of high stools faces the outside world and its high counter is occupied by numerous laptop owners, immersed in some chat session, a school project, browsing photos, mostly on Macs.
My espresso macchiato is strong and hot, the cup is nice and I feel good, watching life unfold around me and reflecting on my own, and its own twists and folds.
Once upon a lifetime, or maybe a couple of times if we are lucky, a giant window opens up in the universe above us. A million factors must come into play for that mighty gate to slide open, we’re talking carefully crafted almighty alchemy. But when it does, wonders happen. Distances are abolished, time synthesized and magical things sprouted. This could be when one learns to fly, or to sing, and passion flows effortlessly.
Sometimes that door closes back up so soon that it leaves in our soul but the sweet taste of dreams and possibilities. Others, it seems to linger longer, wide open, unthreatened by our thirst for all things sacred and beautiful. The ultimate art is achieving control on that gate. Not to open it on command – no one really ever could – but to keep it open once it has appeared, like the monolith orbiting Jupiter, deep black and no echo, but ultimately full of stars…
Such a thing has just happened. The giant gate opened up in two places simultaneously, linking two hearts, drawing a straight line, a shortcut through time and space and multiverses, an ironclad, gold-plated, silver-lined, diamond-pure, roses-planted highway across a continent and two lives. I now have to go back to school and relearn everything. Or remember that I already know it all. Strangely, I now experience bouts of dyslexia, spelling Vincent, in five letters, m, a, r, i and e.
Eventually two worlds will be one, for good, and as the dust of the past goes back to dust, a new wind blows the air clean and crisp, and makes our lips tingle. With our window in the sky wide open, Marie was, just a few days ago, visiting Vancouver. The city has now taken a new identity, put on even prettier clothes and whispers to me, at every street corner, each sip of my coffee, many times a day and a night, when the sun comes up and when it goes down, if the rain replaces deep blue skies or yields to them, every time a flower smiles at me, that Marie was here.
A baby giggles behind me. I turn around and cannot resist smiling at the sight of a young mother, coffee in one hand and phone in the other, tickling her child with a manicured toe while she talks to someone she seems to love a lot, making funny faces and acting as a cornerstone between the three of them. Or maybe it’s my imagination. It doesn’t matter. The baby is happy. As so many sweet people have mentioned it to us recently, it’s a wonderful life, and a beautiful world. And then there are the ones who can’t resist the urge to lecture. I pity them.